Quote of the moment

"I have to tell it again and again: I have no doctrine. I only point out something. I point out reality, I point out something in reality which has not or too little been seen. I take him who listens to me at his hand and lead him to the window. I push open the window and point outside. I have no doctrine, I carry on a dialogue." Martin Buber

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Visit Today from Carabinero Amable/Officer Friendly

This morning Andy and I went down the elevator together, me on my way to a doctor's appointment, him to work as he always does:

Andy, my son of 25 years (with DS)  has been making his way to work and to the gym in Chile now for nearly a year without incident.  Now that his sister and her boyfriend are also living/working in Chile and they  have an apartment only a few blocks away from us, his world has expanded a little more.  And now we have a little more homework for him and a little neighborhood-work for the residents and local police/carabineros.  Seems today Andy decided it would be better to go visit the relatives than to go to work.  A kindly concerned neighbor spotted him out on the street where his sister lives and called the police.

Andy NEVER leaves home without his wallet- and the couple of times that he has forgotten it he returns home to pick it up. Two carabineros- our "amigos siempre" (friends always) showed up to escort this apparently "lost little lamb"home.  They were able to locate his RUT card (Chilean National ID card) in his wallet (not sure if Andy was patted down for it or he gave up the wallet to Carabinero Amable when asked for it). Through the RUT card they were able to locate his residence and brought him right back home.

How wonderful the support from the Concierge who insisted to Carabinero Amable that he was NOT lost...that he most assuredly knew where he was....and was out visiting relatives. Now whether or not he should have been there... well that's another issue. Carabinero Amable could not believe that. The Concierge then proceeded to explain how Andy always walks alone to work and to workouts, how he is a very capable young man.... a concept that still seems hard to accept in a country who continues to hide or even lock their family members away.

Carabinero Amable  made his way up to our apartment to hand off this wayward young man and to ask our nana/maid how it was he was out of her sight and control. Well, that of course made the nana concerned and worried... because we ALL know it's the nana's responsibility to watch the pets and disabled. Try as she could she didn't quite make it clear to Carbinero Amable that Andy ALWAYS goes out on his own, that he was his own man. She even pointed to the office building visible from the kitchen window.

Carabinero Amable left our nana his name and phone number to contact. We've tried calling quite a few times to no avail.  Hmmm....wonder who watches out for the Carabinero Amables in the neighborhood. We will continue to call. In the meantime we will also be making a visit to neighborhood Carabinero station with Andy and hopefully with the Carabinero who attended our Seminar, Cuidan@s y Discapcidad Intelectual.


He has offered to work as liaison and even asked about setting up work opportunities for people with disabilities. And he wasn't alone at the seminar. Other ranking officers from the military attended.

Time to put Carabinero Amable's offer to the test. Time to review with Andy when he needs to go to work and when he can go visiting. Time to practice more how to respond in Spanish his name and address. And time to celebrate that Andy is a very capable young man!



  1. I'm happy for Andy, not because the police escorted him back home, but because he is breaking boundaries, trying to make it out there on his own.Hopefully, next time Carabinero Amable sees Andy, he should try to watch first. If there is any danger, that's the time to step in.