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Topic : 12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

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Created on : Thursday, December 13, 2007, 05:12:39 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
The ultimate test for any parent is loving a child who is difficult, sometimes frightening, to the whole family. It’s a test parents of autistic children are put to daily. Ten-year-old Luz throws screaming tantrums, barks like a dog, and tells his mother, Sara, that he plans to kill her. Sara has long felt despair at Luz’s out-of-control behavior, yet she was shocked when a doctor diagnosed him with autism. Go inside the daily life of this family, see Luz’s wild behavior caught on tape, and learn why Sara’s main coping mechanisms might be putting her at risk. Then, a member of Dr. Phil’s own staff achieved miraculous results for her autistic child and her whole family through an intense program. Could a similar treatment work for Luz? Plus, what causes autism? Several recent media reports and high-profile parents such as Jenny McCarthy have pointed the finger at vaccinations. Is there a link? Child care expert and pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears weighs in. Then, imagine having a crime committed against you, but not having a voice or any way to tell someone you’d been wronged. Some mothers in Las Vegas say that’s exactly what happened when a teacher allegedly abused their autistic children, and they’ve filed a lawsuit. Hear them recount the painful details of the alleged abuse. What are their chances of winning in court? Share your thoughts here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 21, 2007, 1:19 pm CST

Two little ones with Autism

I have two children with autism ages 3 and 2.  They are both in Early Intervention and both have showed dramatic changes since starting. I don't have to much time to type things out and spend on the computer, I just wanted to give some encouragement and let people know there is help and things do get better or easier.  Thoughts and prayers go out to all of you.
 
December 21, 2007, 2:02 pm CST

autism

I was appauled to hear the pediatrician on the show say that 10% of autistic children recover.  THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS RECOVERY!  I have an 8-year old autistic son, have worked in a school for autistic preschoolers for a number of years, and know a lot about autism.  Saying an autistic child recovers is like saying an autistic child is cured.  There is no cure for autism.  Some autistic children can make great strides, but not recover.  In my opinion, if they "recover", they were misdiagnosed and weren't really autistic after all.  Maybe they were afflicted with some other disorder.
 
December 21, 2007, 2:06 pm CST

George

Quote From: njrg6861

The first of November of 2007 I received a call from my son who has moderate Autism that he was involved in a incident in school.  There was a lot of blood I drove like mad to the school and his mouth was nothing but blood, gushing out.  Some teeth were gone and some were hanging out and he was screaming.  I pushed teeth back in his mouth the permanent teeth and stopped the bleeding the best I could.  Stood right there and called his dentist, and got him right away.  They told me that he would need surgery but caused more problems for George is six years old well aware of things.  51 inches tall and weighs 68 pounds and extremely strong.  It took six of us to hold him done to take x-rays, but could not get a good one.  So we just held him down while the dentist pulled out the broken teeth that were still in his mouth that could cause damage to him.  We found a surgeon by our OT therapist that did major surgeries that offered his services for free, for our insurance would not pay to help our son.  My son has been through a lot and this has set him backwards in a lot of ways.  He is back to sucking his thumb and putting his hand down my blouse like he did when I nursed him.  Needs me a lot more and was so more independent of me, Cries when I take him to school now, before hand he was standing at the door saying come on mom lets go.  was the first in the van.  Loves school straight A's in spelling and math and has a following of friends.  Language is not good and can't tell anything except this bad kid kicked me and hurt me.  The school won't tell me who did it and this is not the firs time he has been hurt.  We have had staples in the back of the head, bruised sprains.  George is not a clumsy child can climb and tree in nothing flat and can run in nothing flat and walk over river rock to a shore without falling.  Very aware of his body and where it is just not his surroundings.  Now what do we do?  I have fought for everything for my son, everything and have gotten it.  Now how do you fight this one?
That poor child.  I can't imagine what school must be like for him after all he has been through.  Schedule a meeting with the school superintendent.  They meet with parent's whose kids are in trouble, having trouble, etc.  They are protecting the child that is bullying your son and not protecting your son well enough. You have the right to know who hurt your child so badly and to speak with that child's mother.  You are his voice.  All he can do is cry when going to school.  You have many more channels available to you.  Start by calling the school district and meet with the superintendent.  Last resort- get a lawyer.  Your son deserves his right to an education without fear.  The story breaks my heart.  I will pray that you get resolution. 
 
December 21, 2007, 2:26 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: phoenixzen

my 21 month old son is displaying autistic behaviors: Spinning, flapping, lining objects up (mostly food) and will be interested in  objects (one of his favorite is an oven mit) for what i feel is an abnormally long time for his age. Also, sometimes the only thing that will settle him when he's having a tantrum is watching one of his favorite movies, which will hold his attention throughout the movie. We didn't plop him in front of the TV to entertain him when he was younger, to the contrary, we found that he finds those movies soothing by a fluke The first time we noticed it was when he was 7-8 months old and we put in Finding Nemo it held his attention for about 45 minutes. He sat very still and watched it during that time, now he's hooked on any disney/pixar movie. Again, i would like to stress that we did not "condition" him to rely on tv/movies for entertainment. We don't play them because that's what we want him to do, we play them because that's what he wants to do. He gets very upset when something isn;t going the way he expected or do what he wants, and sometimes will hit himself in the head repeatedly with his palm (Rainman style) until he sees that we're doing something to "correct" whatever is bothering him. He also only has about 4 words: bob (used for spiderman) and spongebob, hat, hello, up, wow, none are very clear and most (except hat) are whispered. We have had his hearing checked and he does have diminished hearing because of fluid in his ears, and he is on medication for that and it seems to be helping him to hear better but still more words. He's sparsely affectionate and has to be in a certain mood to give/get hugs or kisses. Unless he's tired he doesn't want to be held. Allergies do run in the family and i've read a lot about how that plays into autism. Sometimes he seems like a normal kid but other times it just seems like he's off a tad.

 

i would appreciate feedback from anyone whose child has/had similar behavior whether they were diagnoosed as autistic or not.

Hi I have a four yr old with autism and if I were you I would get him evaluated. The behaviors he is displaying are not typical and to be honest sound very much like mine. Just know that children with a diagnosis do not all turn out like the kids on the show. Autism is not a death sentence. It can be treated with therapy and lots of kids do much better with a structured school setting. Also giving in to his tantrums by giving him what he wants is not helping your child. Even though it's hard, kids with autism aren't that great with engaging other people. Taking them out of their comfort zone is going to result in a tantrum. Which is exactly what you want to happen. Our kids don't learn by being left to their own devices. They need trained people structuring their day in order to make them comfortable with things they wouldn't ordinarily do.
 
December 21, 2007, 3:18 pm CST

Bless you

Quote From: brandia

I also was very concerned when I read the title & lead-in... I have Aspergers also & I am hoping that that part of the Autism spectrum is also covered. It's very hard for me to tell people I have autism. When I do they just look at me like "Duh" I have to explain that there's different levels & spectrums of the disorder & that NO I'm not the rainman I don't have to get my underwaer on thursday from K-Mart but I do have some idiosyncrasies that result from this. Autism is a genetic disease, it runs rampant through our family. I am just learning about a diagnosis that was made on me over 38 yrs ago, I had the luxury of being born & raised in a military home for the first few years, where a great deal of the doctors were from Europe & already had knowledge of this disorder (Aspperger's), but my mother being young couldn't handle the diagnosis & dumped me off with my grandmother & never told anyone til i started to do my family history. I found a bunch of cousins on the internet & we were in our group chatting back & forth & one of the cousins started getting irritated with me then another told her to shut up & leave me alone cause she knew I had autism, well i got mighty mad at the cousin who was trying to defend me, but she started to explain everything that I do which is exactly like about 30 people in our close immediate family so I started to research it myself, when I told me mom I thought that's what was wrong with me she exploded on me & said she didn't ever want to hear that s**t again & I was just fine & didn't act like the other retards in our family. So she knew my whole life but I had to wait to find out. I was in MENSA when I was little, I can not memorize a phone book, can't even remember where I put my keys, I rock when I get upset, I don't like being touched, but I have to touch everything, can only wear certain clothes, I talk funny sometimes get some things mixed up to the point I stutter when i'm trying to say things. I have 4 children 3 verified with Aspergers which I probably wouldn't have had had I known about my family history but they are wonderful functioning incredible human beings. I was very violent as a child/teen because I was beaten into coma's by an angry step-father but now I'm doing fine, I've never been violent with my children. I will continue to "adjust my underwaer in public" because that's who I am. I've learned to deal with it, & now that I know what my problem is I can deal with all of it easier. I don't take meds but I probably should... my meltdowns are less frequent now that I know what's causing them but I have the luxury of having a wonderful husband who shields me from alot of lifes irritants, if they could replicate him we'd have all the problems for autistic women solved but we can't. I have found people to be very curious & very understanding when I tell them, mostly they want to know what "it feels like", which is good for me because it pulls the focus off of whatever was stressing me out so bad that I had to declare it to a complete stranger, & gives me time to reload my guns so to speak. I thin the new Asperger's diagnosis is the replacing the ADD/ADHD diagnosis & those 2 things are very different. Which is very dangerous. We live in Washington who has an autism center & they diagnosed me as an adult & my teens & one adult child. They have support groups for us, for parents & a great website. Again I hope that all of the spectrums of this disorder are covered here bacasue I don't want someone running from me because they think I'm going to pound on them. Have you ever had your daughter think of volunteering with a school program for autistic kids? No one else is going to understand them like we do! There was a lady at the store with 3 autistic kids, 2 were very severe, she was freaking out & the kids were running around flapping there arms screaming & I found the middle point of the worst one, sat down in the middle of the floor in his circle & waited for him to run by & made an airplane noise finally he stopped & sat next to me & started making the same noise, then I stood up went to his mom's cart held on to it, the other 2 fell in line & we walked out to her car. She asked me how I did that, I told her I was autistic too & that he obviously got overloaded & was trying to drown out the sound of all the people but especially the cash register & that he just needed another focal point. She said it was okay for me to do it but she didn't think she could Huh? I said lady if your kid was bleeding in public you would put a band-aid on him & give him the care that he needed wouldn't you she said of course well this is him bleeding. Her & I are friends now she has my number & isn't afraid to use it! LOL! Also have your daughter try janitorial work, I do that when my health permits, no people around I do what I have to, & it's consistent work
Good for you!
 
December 21, 2007, 4:11 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

I am a grandmother of an 8 year old with  autism.  I have the privilege of raising him.  He is truely special.  I know that it is difficult, but God made him the way he is and God does not make mistakes.  I also believe in early intervention.  I am still learning how to deal with the challenges.  Christian does not have the behavior issues some children with autism have.  I have tried to teach him and correct him as I have the other children.  He knows his boundries.  Yes he has issues.  He wants lots of attention, like now he keeps hitting the keyboard because I am not paying attention to him:).  He is good in crowds, he enjoys going shopping.  He has gone to church and sunday school since birth.  It has helped him transition into school.  He is in public school in a class with 3 other boys with autism.  His teacher is trained in autism and is all the time trying to learn more to help the boys.  He is mainstreamed into regular classes with the help of an aid.  This year is much better than last as he is getting more social and speaking more.  Like the mothers that spoke of their children not being able to tell them if something happens to them I have the same problem.  Christian is talking more, but still is not able to communicate everything.  He is very trusting and loving with everyone.  I feel very blessed when I hear the stories of other parents as Christian is not as aggressive and he is  eaiser to handle.  I know it can change in a heart beat, but if that happens I will trust in God to give me the knowledge and the strength to deal with what ever comes along.  At this point I have lots of support of my family, friends and church.  No we do not have as much free time as others because he takes lots of special time.

My only concern today is that the finances to take care of our children is limited.  The programs available to  help the children  are very expensive and insurance does not pay for the diagnosis of autism.  Some of Christian's therapy is paid for because he was diagnosed with learning disability before the autism.  The children need behavior therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy and lots of it. 

Thank you for airing this show.  Autism needs more publicity in ways to help our children and parents need to know that there is support out there for them. 
 
December 21, 2007, 4:31 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: serenacoss

MY SON IS ALMOST 6 AND AT THE AGE OF 3 I FOUND OUT HE HAD ASPERGERS. UP UNTIL THEN I KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH MY BABY. HE WASN'T SOCIAL, ALTHOUGH LOVEABLE, HE WAS ANTSY,LOST INTEREST, NO COMMUNICATION, CRIED EASILY, AND WAS VERY MEAN AND HAD OUTBURST ALL THE TIME. IT WAS SO STRESSFUL. WHEN HE GOT TESTED AT 3 1/2 HE WAS LOGICALLY IN THE AGE GROUP OF A 1 YR OLD. IT HAS TAKEN ME ALMOST 4 YRS TO GET HIM DIAGNOSED, ON MEDICATION, SOCIAL(KIND OF), AND MANAGEABLE. WE COULDNT GO EAT ANYWHERE OR GO TO THE STORE TO GET MILK. HE IS STILL OUTBURSTING AT HIS SISTER AND MEAN TO HER, BUT HE HAS LEARNED HOW TO WRITE AND LOVES HIS CARE PROGRAM. BUT I HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE BAD PLACES TO. SOMETIMES I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO. IT IS STILL HARD EVERYDAY. MORE POWER TO THESE MOMS WHO FOUND OUT ABOUT THE TEACHERS. I WORRY ABOUT THAT WHEN HE GOES TO PUBLIC SCHOOLS, IF HE CAN. WE STILL DONT KNOW HIS POTENTIAL ALTHOUGH I KNOW HE HAS LOTS, ITS WHAT THEY THINK THAT GETS OUR CHILDREN HELP OR LIFE. I CANT AFFORD SPECIAL TREATMENT OR SPECIAL THINGS FOR MY SON, WHAT AM I SUPPOSE TO DO TO MAKE HIS LIFE BETTER AND FULLFILLING. THANKS. MOM IN IDAHO

I have Asperger's Syndrome. It sounds more like your son is High-Functioning Autistic, which is NOT the same Asperger's Syndrome. I might've had problems like that when I was younger, but it's that social things might not interest people with Asperger's Syndrome. Not that they're anti-social perspective monsters.

 

What you're supposed to do, is get over the idea now that you can push him to be any more social than he WANTS to be. I'm tired of these parents of Asperger's children, who think the best thing to do is throw them in with the other social lions, and hope that they learn how to survive. The best thing is to see what your son decides to do. It would be very wrong to push him into a life that seems more "normal" just so you can feel he's not missing out. Hey, with people who have Asperger's Syndrome, we think the social people are the ones who miss out.

 
December 21, 2007, 4:36 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: mom1979

I can't believe that you think we don't want to be parents to out children with autism.  It is very obvious that you have never tried to raise a child with autism.  WE DO NOT EXPECT THE WORLD TO SERVE US!!!!  What we need is people like you to understand what we go through on a daily basis.  Shame on you for putting us parents down for something you do not understand!!!!!

Maybe you don't expect the world to serve you, and your child. Then you're in the minority. Shame on you, for not realizing that you don't need to be a parent to know about parenting. As well as assuming because I never raised a child with Autism, I don't understand.

 

Let me see, are you searching for a cure for your child's Autism? If you are why is that? I mean, if you supposedly want to a parent to a child with Autism. Why would you try to fix that? Why would other parents try to fix their children with Autism? It's not about a cure, Autism isn't a disease, it's a different way of seeing the world. Why are there so many supposed parents who want to be parents to children with Autism, trying to cure them? To end their suffering, or their own? Do they realize they're most likely doing more harm than good, by trying to force their child as a round peg into their square hole?

 

So explain to me then, where am I wrong in thinking parents don't want their child to be Autistic?

 
December 22, 2007, 8:56 am CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: yoshiyoshi

I have Asperger's Syndrome. It sounds more like your son is High-Functioning Autistic, which is NOT the same Asperger's Syndrome. I might've had problems like that when I was younger, but it's that social things might not interest people with Asperger's Syndrome. Not that they're anti-social perspective monsters.

 

What you're supposed to do, is get over the idea now that you can push him to be any more social than he WANTS to be. I'm tired of these parents of Asperger's children, who think the best thing to do is throw them in with the other social lions, and hope that they learn how to survive. The best thing is to see what your son decides to do. It would be very wrong to push him into a life that seems more "normal" just so you can feel he's not missing out. Hey, with people who have Asperger's Syndrome, we think the social people are the ones who miss out.

He is low functioning Aspergers. I have dealt with the kids and they usually run about the age this mom is stating. High functioning usually have very high IQ and can function as they grow into themselves. As yourself.However they do tend to have a short fuse or are a bit more emotional then others. Working with them is essential from day one.

There is no real cure for Autism at this point , but the aspergers especially HIGH functioning Aspergers  are amazing studies.

 
December 22, 2007, 10:22 am CST

yoshiyoshi

I have a teenage son who has Asperger's Syndrome too.  He is very well liked and his different- ness is a part of what makes him special to his friends and those who love him.  I am glad that you wrote in on these boards.  It is good to hear from those who are living with this.  You are very articulate and I imagine that your parents are proud of you.  Best of luck to you.
 
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