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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