Readers Write

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By Special to The Sun

Dear Editor,

 The sun shined a lot brighter on Washington County this afternoon and, in fact, on Sunday too.  
  It should be remembered as a proud moment for Washington  County,  regarding how the local, neighboring counties, state and national  resources came out in force to search for Randall Chesser.  
 Though not  everyone participated in the search I am sure, like me when I learned late Sunday night of the missing child, our thoughts and prayers throughout the  night and into Monday were with the Chessers and for the safe rescue of  Randall.  
 I did something unusual for me, after checking the barn and neighboring outbuildings I left the porch lights on just in case Randall was  wandering in my area.
 As the grandparent of a non-verbal autistic five-and-half-year-old grandson,  Randall’s plight hit close to my heart.  
 Recently, I realized a daily fear when  my grandson escaped out of his home in West Virginia.  
Fortunately his  parents noticed that it was too quiet in his basement playroom, and checked on  him to see the always-locked door open.  
He learned something new that day, how to unlock both the doorknob lock and the dead bolt.  They quickly began  searching and, thankfully, found him safe about  1/4 mile away.  I do not have confidence that the response in their area would have been the same as  the huge response we had here in Washington County.
 Autism Spectrum Disorders have many faces and each person affected is  different.  Many people think of autism as “Rainman”.  That was  Hollywood’s version, not real life.  Autism is a constant challenge for the  autistic person and their families.  The Autism Walk held in April was a good event beginning to bring an awareness to Autism to the community. For  those who would like to learn more about autism, the University of Louisville  operates the Kentucky Autism Training Center.  They have an excellent  downloadable Autism Guide, louisville.edu/education/kyautismtraining
Mark Smith
Springfield, Ky