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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 17, 2007, 7:30 pm CST

Hmmmm

I didn't think vaccinations caused autism. I thought that occurred at birth? My daughter has had all her vacines and she has not had anything happen to her. Autism could be genetic.
 
December 18, 2007, 9:15 am CST

NOT ultrasound

Quote From: sandiefields

Thanks for the info. I always wondered about this, this is a very real concern. I pray others take notice!

I have a wonderful 36 year old son with autism.  I did NOT have an ultrasound prior to his birth.  I KNEW before the doctors something was not right with my son.  Imagine all those years ago, autism was certainly not 1 in 150 births as it is now.  Frightening! 

 

Those of you who define their behaviors as "violent," shame on all of you.  This is their response to the overload of the sensory system and their inability to cope with the same.  If you are not ready to live in the structured enviroment these wonderful people demand, I feel sorry for you. 

 

If I believed for one single solitary minute there was a CURE, I'd be first in line!!  We've been through it all...

 
December 18, 2007, 10:39 am CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: sandiefields

You know I was once like you, I thought the cry and concern of the mothers was a last ditch efferent to blame someone for there troubles. Boy was I wrong!!! My g-son was diagnosed at 14 mos, he also stopped talking around 12 mos, when he use to say at least 6-10 words clear as a bell. We did not give the 12 mos. shots due to his strange behaviors. But he did get the flu shot at 8 mos along with all the others. When mom was pregnant she got the flu shot and he was given the Heb. B shot while sick in the NICU at the hospital! All of which have thirmersol in them, now I know genetics have some play in this but to sit there and claim that heavy metals have no play... You need to do your homework!
Welcome to the message board! I'm the great-gandmother who took all those pictures at his birthday party. If  sounded insensitive in my previous posts, just overlook it.
Since, as you mentioned in a previous post, there's no autism on either side of the families, it sounds like the shots, ultra-sound, or something else environmental could be responsible. When i was young, we were only got DPT, polio, and smallpox vaccinations. Nothing for chicken pox, measles, or mumps. Now, it seems that kids are vaccinated against everything under the sun. But, heaven knows what's in those shots!
And, heavy metals do have a play. Lead poisoning from peeling paint, glazes in some dishes, even those pretty lead crystal glasses. Then, there's mercury. Some of Dr Phil's previous shows have dealt with heavy metal toxicity.
I so hope tomorrow's show will  be helpful.
 
December 18, 2007, 10:46 am CST

Another Autism show

 I get so frustrated when I see yet another show about autism.  You see autism shows typically show one of three things about autism:
1.  The Savant autistic who is brilliant in one and only one area of their life and  very few people with autism fall into this.
2.  The violent autistic person.  Who maybe is violent but it is because they cannot deal with all the input from daily life.  The need compassion and understanding.  They thrive on routines and low levels of sensory input.
3.  I cured my autistic child with a special diet or my child got autism from vaccinations.

My son was diagnosed with aspergers last spring.  He is not brilliant in one area he is bright in many areas, he is not violent although has been known to have a temper tantrum and  I don't believe he got aspergers from a vaccine nor can he be cured with a special diet.

But all the majority of society will see is those three things.  What about the thousands of other children and adults who are on the autism spectrum who are not that way?

 My child is really quarky for lack of better words.  His deficits impact how he deals with people.  He does not read non verbal cues such as body langueage, tone and proximtiy.  He has sensory issues that impact clothing choices and food.  He thrives on routines and sameness.  He struggles with peer relationships. 

Autism is not a cookie cutter disorder.  Everyone on the spectrum presents differently.

dani
 
December 18, 2007, 10:59 am CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

If anyone doubts the connection between thimersol, a mercury compound used in many vaccines and pharmaceuticals, here's a link you ought to see. http://www.nationalautismassociation.org/thimersol.php.
 
December 18, 2007, 8:56 pm CST

I agree with you

Quote From: hylton

 I get so frustrated when I see yet another show about autism.  You see autism shows typically show one of three things about autism:
1.  The Savant autistic who is brilliant in one and only one area of their life and  very few people with autism fall into this.
2.  The violent autistic person.  Who maybe is violent but it is because they cannot deal with all the input from daily life.  The need compassion and understanding.  They thrive on routines and low levels of sensory input.
3.  I cured my autistic child with a special diet or my child got autism from vaccinations.

My son was diagnosed with aspergers last spring.  He is not brilliant in one area he is bright in many areas, he is not violent although has been known to have a temper tantrum and  I don't believe he got aspergers from a vaccine nor can he be cured with a special diet.

But all the majority of society will see is those three things.  What about the thousands of other children and adults who are on the autism spectrum who are not that way?

 My child is really quarky for lack of better words.  His deficits impact how he deals with people.  He does not read non verbal cues such as body langueage, tone and proximtiy.  He has sensory issues that impact clothing choices and food.  He thrives on routines and sameness.  He struggles with peer relationships. 

Autism is not a cookie cutter disorder.  Everyone on the spectrum presents differently.

dani

All these shows do is present Autism as a "freak show" type of disorder. Nobody wants to discuss how we're planning to genocide everyone on the Autism SPECTRUM, because of the children who have difficulties. It seems these days, even the slightest parental inconvenience is portrayed into a horrible nightmare.

 

You know, "normal" children can through "nightmarish" tantrums too. Why aren't they paraded out on TV, like freaks? Where are the shows about the "martyr" parents, who whenever they go out in public expect everyone to drop everything, cause they have chillllddreen..and their little annngeeeellls never do wrong? They can't tell their little prince or princess,  you have to be quiet out in public. Why doesn't Dr. Phil have them on TV, and explain to them that having children, doesn't mean  you're now entitled to expect the world to serve you.

 

The point I was trying to make with the above paragraph, is that the problem isn't the Autistic children. It's people who don't want to put in the effort of being parents anymore. Having a kid, is not the same has having a cat or a dog. You have to put time into taking care of them, and nobody is guaranteed to have a perfect Barbie or Ken doll for a child. How about Dr. Phil, tells the parents of their normal kids to stop complaining. He should also show the full spectrum of Autism.

 

That it's not all bad. Now I know that reality doesn't get the same raitings, it certianly doesn't play into the raitings of the "martyr" parents out there. The fact is, we're in a time now where people are deciding wether or not Autistic children should be on the list of kids who would be better off aborted. If we continue down this path, this path where parents feel they shouldn't be inconvinenced  by less-than-perfect children. Where will it stop, already we're in a society that demonizes anyone who's fat.

 

Where will it end? Children only being born blonde haired, blue eyed? Do you want to live in a society where people are no longer respected for their uniqueness, instead where parents discuss who knows the best geneologist. Who sells the most perfect child? Have you read Brave New World, or seen the movie Gattaca? That is where we are headed if we buy into this martyr mentality. I have friends who are parents with Autistic children. I'm not claiming it's a bed of roses. However, they love their child. They don't see their child as a problem, or as some object they can drag on to TV so they can talk about how much THEY suffer. How THEY are cursed by having a child that actually requires time and effort. A child they can't just kick out onto the streets the moment they turn 18.

 

Even the children who are "normal" who are sent into the world just after high school, end up doing drugs and having problems. Maybe we should say parenting isn't something that has a strict timeline. That being a parent is more important, than just having the social status of a child for people to ooh and ahh over. It means taking care of another human being, and having undevoted unconditional love for that being. Unconditional love means just that, it does not mean that we should choose to make the assumption to abort first and ask questions later. It means that you love your child without condition, you love them even if they do throw tantrums, even if they aren't perfect, even if they have Autism. If you can't handle that, the answer isn't that we should get rid of Autistic children. We should hold who should be parents to a higher standard.

 
December 19, 2007, 5:14 am CST

I agree with you.

Quote From: califlori

After reading this shows intro about the child's violent behavior, it  worries  me that many people will view others with autism as potentially violent and even fear them. Violence is unusual for a person with autism. It is not the norm but gets the most attention of course.
Since my son was diagnosed in March of 2000, I've been studying this disorder and hope that the show conveys to viewers that autism does NOT look the same on every person and each person with autism has a range of mild to severe behaviors that can arise.
Many behaviors come and go as the child explores his world around him, tries to assimilate into the environments we've created and tries to desensitize himself to what can be overwhelming environmental triggers due to heightened senses.
We need to have compassion because the population of people with autism has exploded since the 1990's and many many families have made significant progress with children who may have seemed unteachable to many.

This enormous and growing population of people WITH autism (NOT autistics - impolite term to many) will be all of our co-workers, neighbors, spouses, class mates and ultimately our greatest teachers in the next two decades and then beyond. 
Your future grandchildren and even future son-in-law may have autism.
Please honor and respect them and if you know of a relative, friend, school mate, or neighbor with autism, please do not be afraid of getting to know them better. They will develop more acceptable ways of expressing themselves by watching your example and thrive with attention. Just try to ignore the autistic behaviors and treat them like everyone else. It may take practice.
The child featured on the show can be helped a great deal if the parent has help, resources and does research. What has helped my son the most is nutrition and biomedical help such as determining trigger foods, allergens and ridding the body of toxic build ups of yeast, metals, preservatives. Also, five years completed of speech and occupational therapies. And most importantly, treating and interacting with him as we'd treat him if he was any other typical child. He is now age 10 and doing better than ever expected.

If you love somebody whose life has been touched by autism, THEY may not have enough time and energy to go on-line and research from thousands of websites to learn about all of the wonderful and varied approaches to helping their child or loved one with autism to thrive.
YOU can help by learning all you can, reading, printing info and sharing with them.
I hope this helps inform someone and I sincerely will answer any questions posed as I care very much about these kids and this topic. I will be back on-line after the holidays though.
Thank you for reading.

My son is 7 now and he was diagnosed autistic(pdd-nos) at age 3.  Although, his behavior can be a challenge, he is not violent.  He throws tantrums when is routine is messed with(2 hour delays can be fun) and other things.  I am thankful my son is autistic, somedays I may not seem it, but I truly am, he is a bright spot on a bad day. :)  He has overcome so much and we just love him so.

 

I just wanted to point out that I agree with this poster that it's not the same on everyone and children with autism are very rarely violent. And that learning about the diagnosis is your best defense. :)

Thank-you.

 
December 19, 2007, 6:46 am CST

12/19 Parents’ Ultimate Test: Dealing with Autism

Quote From: jsolimine

My 9-year old daughter has autism.  She is sometimes aggressive because of her frustration levels at our inability to understand what she is trying to communicate.  Sometimes she doesn't want to stop doing something others want her to stop doing and she thinks her wishes are being ignored when we don't listen to her wishes.  Sometimes she hits her little sister (pretty typical in older siblings) when she thinks she's not getting enough attention.  This wouldn't be so much of a problem, except that her little sister is extremely developmentally delayed, is in a wheelchair, and is medically fragile.  Most of the time, she is a funny, smart, and even affectionate girl -- with some very quirky behaviors.

 

Autism is a big enough problem without adding violence to the mix.  Too many children in this world are violent without autism.  Autism could make a tendancy for violence worse, however, because of the lack of inner restraint and inability to empathize many people with autism seem to have.  If Luc is threatening his mother with violence, the autism may not be helping, but it is NOT the main problem.  Vaccinations may trigger autism in some kids, but they are NOT the cause.  Like other parents with children with disabilities, I'd like to know why, but with my children, and many other childen, there is no "why" there are only the facts of their disabilities.

 

Many people have told me that they don't know how I do it, having two children with completely different disabilities.  I do it like every other parent does it:  with love, intention, a willingness to fight for my children's future, and a combination of diplomacy and insistence when dealing with their school district and doctors.

 

The life that my husband and I have is not the one we planned.  The lives our children will have are not the ones we dreamed for them before they were born.  But, to paraphrase Joseph Campbell, sometimes you have to give up the life you have planned and the dreams that you have in order to find the life and dreams that God has waiting for you.

I just wanted to say that I completely agree with your statement about aggression being related to frustration.  If you have ever faced some sort of difficulty in speaking or communicating, you know how hard it is to have other people understand.  If you can get someone's attention by throwing a chair, hitting an arm, or kicking a wall, it is a way to show you have something you want to express.

 

That said, I work with children who have autism.  I want to echo that autism is not something to be afraid of and that it is important to love them and teach them how to communicate in appropriate and acceptable ways.  You also have to learn from them--what they like, what they don't like, and how to reinforce positive behaviors.  Often, with just a little bit of time to get to know a person with autism, you can learn so much!

 
December 19, 2007, 7:08 am CST

Odds of Autism and Supports

Quote From: yarncrazy

Having an adult daughter with Asperger's is difficult.  Many psych docs do not believe Asperger's exists.  They also don't believe it can be found in adults.  Well, it can.  I also have Asperger's and I am 56 years old.  No wonder I was the "odd one"!  Now, my daughter struggles with a world that does not accept autism.  After all, autistic people sit on the floor and rock or bang their heads against the wall.  I think autism is genetic.  What I find difficult is all of a sudden 1 out of 150 children are autistic.  If 1 out of 150 children are being found to be autistic today, what about all the children who are autistic and never diagnosed?  And, how will our nation accept these children when they become adults.  My daughter is loving, giving, a nurturer.  Can she get a job?  No.  I do not want her to lie and say she doesn't have Asperger's but when she tells them, she is turned down for the job.  Her greatest challenge area is communication.  It always has been.  When she worked at our local cinema, she was fired because she misinterpreted what her supervisor wanted her to do.  That was in January 2006.  She still hasn't found work.  She has been declared  disabled and receives assistance but we supplement her income.  She lives at home.  I worry about the future.  We have no family to assist her and she doesn't qualify for adult services.  So what happens to her when my husband and I are gone?  A researcher made the comment recently that "we know that  you don't adjust your underwear in public.  People with autism don't think that way."  How true!  It's that little bit that's missing - that little bit that ruins their lives.  Meltdowns?  She still has them.  Meds?  Yes, she takes them.  What she takes helps take the "edge off".  So . . . what do we do with our children when they become adults?  Can they marry?  Can they have children?  Can they hold jobs?  I don't have any answers and I need to know.  I want my daughter to be self-sufficient.  She isn't quite there yet.  She may never be.  She will always need a little help as a reminder or a push.  Who's going to give it when I'm gone??

I'm a High Functioning Autistic person myself, and the odds of getting Autism is actually around the 1 in 168.

 

These odds reflect all the Autistic Spectrum Disorders or Pervasive Developmental Disorders combined including Classic Autism, Rett's Syndrome, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified.

 

If each Pervasive Developmental Disorder is treated differently and not merged into one, the odds are still considerably less.

 

As for living with Autism, I'm going through the same experiences as your Autistic Daughter.

 

Employment wise, even though I have a University Degree and a College Diploma, I still have a tough time getting job in the Information Technology field because of hidden negative perceptions from potential employers. 

 

However, I am seeking help from Government and Private employment service centres for disabled persons.  Your daughter should get help from disability related Employment Services centres as well.

 

Getting your daughter into a day program, sheltered workshop, or other adult service centre programs also help.  In some cases, because Autism is considered a mental health related disability, they could accept her into these programs as well.

 

Emotional meltdowns are also part of the Autism experience, and you have to do your part in supporting her endeavours.

 

Keep in mind Autism is a lifelong commitment for all parents, whether you like it or not.  It even applies when a person recovers from this disability.

 
December 19, 2007, 7:29 am CST

My autistic son

I can totally relate to the mom featured. My husband used to be in the army and when my son was dx at 3 he was always gone working, I was in Germany with no family, 3 boys and friends that had a hard time dealing with my autistic sons screaming. Before getting the dx I begged for help because I knew something was wrong. I was told bad parenting skills, terrible 2 yr old. After begging a social worker for help I was able to get him seen by the EFMP and was on the road to a dx.  Alone, in a foreign country, before the internet was available and my son was the only autistic child in the pre-school for children with disablilties. When we moved back state side I met one other mother on post with an autistic son. Now it is everywhere. But I felt very alone at the time.

 

Fast forward to today he will be 15 next month, is a freshman in high school and he made it into a pre-engineering academy and is a straight A  honor student. Thinking back when we were told that he would always be communication impaired (had lost all language), would never be in a "normal" school or classroom and that we would have to think about long term arrangements ie. intstitution for when we get old or if we wanted to have a life of our own. It has not been easy over all these years, our marriage and family has survived being teen parents, military life, autism, tourettes syndrom, add and the financial struggles that come with the latter and me being a stay at home mom. I have been kicked out of stores, schools, even the emergancy room due to his screaming. Been stubbed by other parents and dinner out with the family or a babysitter so we could go on a date,  impossible back then. But I NEVER gave up or took what the doctors told me. This is still back when teachers and experts believed that autistic individuals could not get much better. But I did my own therapy at home and made sure that all keywords, actions and gestures that I used was to be used by the therapists at school. I cut out all the other therapies except speech and behavioral modification. Once he started making progress we started bringing in other therapies slowly. There were times that we would get the routine down then I would change something on him so he would learn to adapt. Always pushing forward instead of falling into an easy routine I often wondered if what I was doing was cruel because it would flip his world back upside down. But it ended up working for us.

 

Today he is about 2 years behind socially and is a big push over. But we are working on it. He advocates for himself in school, something we worked on. Now when we are old he can take care of us, not the other way around. Big relief not to worry about that any longer. But one thing I have to say is that I never gave up, never took what the doctors said as final. AND I NEVER aloud for his autism to be an excuse for bad behavior. There were still consequences for his actions however I did adjust my parenting to fit his disability, age and personalilty. Just as I have with my ADD, Tourettes and youngest sons. Now with three teens in the house I can't imagine them bigger than me and acting out. Now when we deal with a typical teen behavior issue I can giggle and be glad because it is "normal"  for that age. A blessing when "normal" was supposed to be a taboo word due to the autism label.

 
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