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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.

As of January, 2009, this message board will become "Read Only" and will be closed to further posting. Please join the NEW Dr. Phil Community to continue your discussions, personalize your message board experience, start a blog and meet new friends.

January 5, 2008, 9:10 am CST

School abuse

Quote From: wupsych09

I must say that I was appauled to find out how little the school actually did for these children. Last time i checked a teacher was supoosed to not only teach, but care and understand the child's needs. Why did nothing happen to this teacher? Why was she not fired or arrested? I know the answer to that. The process to fire a teacher is numerous, and I do mean numerous pages long. They pretty much have to commit murder to be fired (especially in the area I'm from). Now, I know teaching is in fact a hard job especially when you're dealing with children with special needs, but a person like that doesn't even belong in society, let alone as a teacher. Now, I'm sure if the parents were millionaires something would have been done. I mean heaven forbid a school's reputation has a scratch on it. I suppose to them it's better to let abuse go on than to damage their precious reputation.

 

Parents, I urge you to listen to your child  if they tell you anything odd that goes on at school. I'll use myself as an example. I was bullied for years by the same group of girls both in school and on the internet. We went to the school about it, but like everything else, it was swept under the rug. I soon found out that this was going on with other girls and even guys. Once again the school did nothing about it. This went on for me from 1999-2002. I graduated in 2005. The bully epidemic still was rampid until in May of 2007 a kid brought a gun to school. Luckily, no one was hurt or killed. This probably sounds like an unnecessary tangent because I don't have autisim, but a couple of the other kids who were bullied where special needs children and although teachers didn't hurt them, other students did. So parents and and anyone else who has the pleasure of working with children, please, if a child is showing any guarding or has any mysterious bruises, find out what's going on and contact your school. Get the police involved if the school won't listen or if you have the means, call a lawyer.

I am sad to say this happens more than the public knows. We had a similiar case here in Orlando. The worse the law did was revoke her license. I met one of the Mom's whose son was abused by chance at a store. I told her I admired her restraint. If it would have been my boy I would be in an orange jumpsuit behind glass. I have always made my presence known in my son's school. The school knows I can and will drop in at any time.

One time I went to the school, I observed him in his classroom. I noticed while all the other students were in a circle around the teacher, he was running around the classroom. That sparked the great assistant debate. To make a long story short,  I wanted him to have an assistant in the classroom to help keep him focused and on task. The school said no. I said "Fine, I will quit my job and be his assistant. I will be here day in day out, week in, week out,all year long." They assigned an assistant within 2 weeks. 

 
January 5, 2008, 10:48 am CST

Misunderstood...LOL

Quote From: sammyb

Hi Casey,

Although I am not a parent of a child with autism, I have taught and now an administrator and clinician for many children with autism.  I know it can be difficult to get the appropriate resources but I am a strong believer of ABA and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. (BCBA)  As I am sure you know the research out there provides much empirical evidence that ABA is one of the best treatment options available for children with autism.  Unfortunately it can cost a lot of money and some school systems are hesitant to pay however in the mean time, I would suggest finding a BCBA, BCABA (Board Certified Associate Behavior Analyst) or even someone studying under them, it may be cheaper.  You could also look for someone with experience in ABA to help.  I have worked with some very intelligent people with extensive knowledge in ABA but just don't have the credentials (and they are cheaper).  However, I would still encourage you to pursue the school district you are in and remind them of the special education laws.  Make sure you have paperwork from a physician or pyschologist to report diagnosis and any testing done to support thier diagnosis.  Best of luck and never give up. 

Thank you for your input. However, my son DOES do ABA. I was referring to families that approach me daily, weekly, monthly...frustrated with THEIR school systems. I went through Due Process with my school district and WON. But there are soooo many families out there that cannot win, mainly due to finances and NOT proof or the lack thereof. I am a firm believer of ABA, I have seen the amazing effects that it has had with my own child. Soooo much progress...but it's just really sad that the media does not expose these school districts for what some of them really are, and that is THIEVES. They take the money that is supposed to be used for children and appropriate services, find a much cheaper method, and run with it. Autism is NOT a one sized fits all diagnosis, and neither should the services being offered. I am alllll on board with ABA!! Always have been always will be. Thanks for your input!!!

 

 
January 5, 2008, 11:44 am CST

Sometimes the hardest part of loving us is letting go...

Quote From: kpag18

My youngest child has Autism.  She is now 19.  She lives in an apartment with 24-hour support staff.  She has lived independently for a year and a half, and although it was the hardest thing I have ever done, it was the best choice for her.  She would never have learned to live independently if she continued to live with me because I would enable her every move.  I love her too much to watch her struggle, so I tend to spoil her!  She has no other family support in her life, as her Dad, brother and sisters do not bother with her beyond an occasional phone call, and all other relatives live far away.  She needed to have the opportunity to develop her own lifestyle and friends, and now she has that.  She is still working on her High School Degree, and she has a job (with a job coach to assist her).  I talk to her daily, by email and phone, and I still spoil her at my house on the weekends, but she has learned to do so much for herself and I am so very proud of her accomplishments.  And although I still cry the whole way home every time I leave her, the most important thing is that I know that she will continue to prosper and succeed long after I'm gone!!
I know how it must break your heart when you leave but the bravest thing you can do is what you've done by stepping up to the plate & saying hey what else is there out there that I can give her to help her succeed? I don't know if I could be that strong or that brave, as a matter of fact I'm positive I couldn't. Thank you for being a good caring mom
 
January 5, 2008, 12:25 pm CST

No one was listening to me were they???

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

I haven't been here for a while but it looks like everyone here had some kind of a meltdown themselves. Either no one read my post or they chose to ignore it. So I will put my responses in neuro-typical form so maybe someone will get "it"

 

1) I never had a single vaccine til i was 11 & stepped on a light bulb

 

2) Thirty-three (33) people in my family alone have autism in all of it's spectrums, I know I counted & I'm compulsively good about counting

 

3) I am 41 yrs old, my mother never got an ultrsound with me, nor an x-ray, nor did she have any vaccines while pregnant with me

 

4) My mother most certainly did NOT drink while she was pregnant with me as she doesn't drink because she's a Native Alaskan/American

 

5) I had my original diagnosis on base in Montana by a european doctor who was very knowledgable about the whole spectrum for that day & age

 

6) I don't hit my kids, I don't go around punching people in the face when I get frustrated

 

7) 3 out of 4 of my biological children also have high functioning autism

 

8) I am autistic BECAUSE I have autism. I don't care how you say it as long as you're not being rude

 

9) Yes!!! We are all different in our manifestations of our autism, we are all just as unique as any neuro-typical person, because that it the whole point... We are all still people just like everyone on this whole earth.

 

10) No there is no cure, there is treatment & intervention & given the right tools & a positve environment we will thrive & even flourish!

 

It was getting so ridiculous in here that when a young autistic girl wrote in her opinion someone told her that she should know what she's talking about & to go do her homework... Duh lady, her life is her knowledge, trust me she knows more than your pre-scripted soap box antics will ever come close to.

 

Is it easier to blame the pharmacuetical companies than to accept that there's one little strand in your own DNA that is just a little off the beaten path. I'm autistic & I LOVE ME the way I am. Is someone thinking that if they cry wolf long enough the pharm. co.s are just going to one day "oh okay it was us, here's your check for a bajillion dollars" ???

 

This was supposed to be a forum to help parents, children & caretakers, to explore the whole gamualt of all of the spectrums not a witch hunt. A few in here might be able to a bully a few others in here, trust me I'm not in that catagory. I have very good language/verbal skills. Read the responses from the neuro-typicals... then read the responses from us aussies. Not saying all neuro's are bad but good grief

 
January 5, 2008, 12:27 pm CST

Oh yeah? That's real grown up...

Quote From: ramair

Oh, yeah?  I printed, and read, all five pages. No where, do they say "not found"...In fact, they strongly suggest a link between thimersol and many neuroligical problems, including autism.
Did you notice the use of the word "SUGGEST" ? I could also suggest that I have a tail... Does that make it so?
 
January 5, 2008, 12:59 pm CST

Your child did NOT die!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote From: mrsmelodie

As I have a child, and one might say "He's cured!" and in many ways he is a poster child for early intervention and alternative therapy...

and trust me, I give back to the community ten fold.

But, the experts will say there is NO correlation btw the shots and the ism...

But those of us who lost a child, who was Neuro-typical, to this epidemic...we know differently.

That was quite possibly the saddest statement I have ever heard:

 

But those of us who lost a child, who was Neuro-typical, to this epidemic...we know differently

 

Your child didn't die!!!!!!!!! He is still there, he still needs you to love him, he is not your idea of perfect but my Lord woman he's still your child. Do you just spend your days looking at him, being angry that he is who he is? My heart is breaking for him right now. So he not what you thought you'd get... are you perfect?

 

I'm wondering if the early intervention was your attempt at trying to fix your "broken" child, not for his well being, but to make things easier on you. There is no cure & again: I will state after reading this message board, you can keep your nuero-typicalness, I's rather be an Aussie, Aspy, Autistic anyday


 
January 7, 2008, 5:15 am CST

Brandia's creative solution

This is what Brandia wrote earlier:

"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."

Wow! I admire you for finding  this solution! In the years we have developed and invented our own solutions for handling our autistic children.
Have you ever thought of setting up a blog or website with these ideas? Because you are autistic and really knows what does help, could be a life saver for another parent!

We prevented a lot of situations by avoiding them - hardly took my children to a store... But that is not always the answer - now one of them hardly goes into town and rather wear his shoes with a hole in it than going out with me and buying new shoes!
 
January 8, 2008, 1:19 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

I have a 15 year old daughter, who is Bi-Polar, Autistic and MR.  There are days at home when we walk on Egg Shells and hope that nothing sets her off.  She swears like a sailor at anything and everything, and will go off about nothing.  She goes to a special school just for children with special needs, and we dread weekends and holidays.  I can't take her many places and the only person who helps me with her outside the household is my mother.  All my friends have decided that it isn't a good idea to have her at their house after she had a meltdown at my friend's house and destroyed her house.  I dread the future as she gets older.  She is on meds of course, has been since she was 3, without meds, she doesn't sleep.  The longest "no sleep" stent we had was 4 days!  I can tell when she is "edging" and try to avoid it when possible, but that isn't always doable.  So when she melts down, I just let her have at it, and wait out the storm.   She is very violent towards her sister as well.  I have put my other daughter in self defense classes so she could defend herself when needed.  I am a single mom trying to make ends meet and keep peace, but somedays I often think of just running away from it all, but  I can't because she is mine, and my responsibility.  And there is the thought of what will happen to her when I am not here anymore, or who will take care of her.  

 
January 24, 2008, 3:01 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: shawnylou

That is NOT realistic.

I have raised a total of 7 kids and another 3 kids foster and another 10 off the streets. I have an 8 year old who is autistic.

Never give up and always give love. Both parents always need total support and people NOT LIKE YOU*

I once knew someone like you and low and behold off they went to a land  we now call forever "LOST" in the obis of  people who should never be listened to.

Honey, I have known Ogre's who are better.

I assume you are trying to use the word "abyss" in your last paragraph.  As I was saying, it depends on how much you want to sacrifice.  If they want to give away the happiness and security of their other children by keeping this violent child, then that's on their heads.  Yes, I DO believe that the happiness and safety of the whole family should not be sacrificed for one child.  Not knowing your family,  I can't say if you should have done the same thing.  You're a tad too judgemental and don't know everything about what's best for someone else.  My message was an opinion--YOU seem to think yours is gospel.
 
January 24, 2008, 3:02 pm CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: shawnylou

That is NOT realistic.

I have raised a total of 7 kids and another 3 kids foster and another 10 off the streets. I have an 8 year old who is autistic.

Never give up and always give love. Both parents always need total support and people NOT LIKE YOU*

I once knew someone like you and low and behold off they went to a land  we now call forever "LOST" in the obis of  people who should never be listened to.

Honey, I have known Ogre's who are better.

I assume you are trying to use the word "abyss" in your last paragraph.  As I was saying, it depends on how much you want to sacrifice.  If they want to give away the happiness and security of their other children by keeping this violent child, then that's on their heads.  Yes, I DO believe that the happiness and safety of the whole family should not be sacrificed for one child.  Not knowing your family,  I can't say if you should have done the same thing.  You're a tad too judgemental and don't know everything about what's best for someone else.  My message was an opinion--YOU seem to think yours is gospel.
 
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