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10/3/2018 5:13:00 PM
Lafayette area community leaders fill the gaps for disability advocates and parents

Lindsay Moore, Journal and Courier Reporter

The moment Finn opens his eyes he has something to accomplish.

Turn off alarm clock. Check.

Now onto the bathroom. There are five pictures taped to the mirror for reminders to go potty, wash hands, brush teeth, floss and wash face.

What’s next? Tell Mom what color zone I am in today.

Does this morning feel ready-to-go green or slow-down-and-pump-the-brakes yellow? Hopefully, there are no-screeching-to-a-halt red meltdowns.

It’s taken some time for Jada Haughey to get her 9-year-old son into a routine like this.

The checklist they keep in the kitchen grounds the Haughey family as they branch off in different directions from work to school to Boy Scouts to parkour practice.

No one day is quite the same, which can be hard for a kid like Finn who is on the autism spectrum.

Autism diagnosis came as a surprise

A structured routine doesn’t come naturally to Jada and her husband, Sam, who describe themselves as being “kind of hippies.”

Sometimes the fear of stifling her son’s creativity and “clipping his wings” causes Jada to change her behavior to adapt to Finn's instead.

When Finn’s unfiltered stream of consciousness about the intricate design of the Titanic or the infinite possibilities in Minecraft is let loose on a long car ride, she’ll stare out the window and tune it out.

Related Links:
• Journal & Courier full text

Related Stories:
• Teachers are learning on the job how to manage students with autism
• Purdue Polytechnic High School takes new approach to students with autism

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