Into the Depths: Autism, What?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Autism, What?

We found out today that my eldest nephew, Brendon, has autism. He is ten years old. This shocked me as I thought people typically found these types of problems out when the child is very young. Apparently this isn't always the case. What we see on T.V. or in movies is typically worst case scenario, where a child doesn't even speak or allow someone to touch him, so this was all I knew of the disease. Well, Autism is a 'broad spectrum disorder' which means it ranges from very severe to highly functioning. He is said to have 'Atypical Autism' or rather is said to be a highly functioning autistic. Just the good news my family needed around now. See that sarcasm flourishing.
Part of the reason it is so hard to accept I think, is because Brendon is so dang intelligent. In his first year of pre-k when he was three, his answer to the 'what do you want to be when you grow up' question was paleontologist. Not often that the pre-k teacher has to go to the library to look up how to spell what a three year old wants to be when he grows up. He has always had straight A's and has been in GT throughout grade school. So to be told your child, or nephew in my case, has a disease that typically effects the mentally challenged is a hard diagnosis to swallow.
My sister had already determined to begin homeschooling him this fall. He had so much trouble with his peers this year. There were screaming matches between she and his teachers, his principle, even the police were involved due to bullying. It was a nightmare year for Brendon. Being that he has no self esteem and suffers severely with anxiety this made the year all that much worse. He has already begun dealing with suicidal ideology. HE IS TEN. How does this kind of crap happen.
Anyway, the doctor is urging her to not only leave him in public school but to actually put him in special ed. WHAT?? He says that Brendon needs the one on one attention that this would provide. Well so would homeschooling right. How much worse will his life in school be when all of the children who gave him such a hard time this year find out that he is now in special education. Hopefully she will stick to her original plan.
Apparently his struggles, where he is really stunted, are in the area of social skills, obviously, and motor skills. So, he will now have to go to a speech therapist, I think he talks perfectly normal but what do I know, an occupational therapist, for motor skill development, and psychotherapy. This last part, the counseling part, is going to be the hardest for my very stubborn brother-in-law. The only emotion he knows how to show is anger, so when he is fearful, it comes out as ticked off. I can only imagine what it was like at their house tonight. The doctor says that Brendon and his parents have to go to the psychotherapy, which my brother-in-law, I guarantee, will fight to the death. We will have to wait and see I guess.
Well, that is all my good news for tonight. I figured everyone could use a break from my never ending questioning, so here ya go.


Blogger Shayne said...

My son is 11 and we went through the bullying thing this year. He started asking questions about suicide, like why people do it, do people who commit suicide go to hell, stuff like that.

Like you, I feel this powerless rage inside that an 11 year old would be thinking those things. I've worked so hard, all of his life, to let him know he is loved unconditionally and that he is a worthwhile human being but let a few ignorant, red-neck punks have 6 hours with him in public school and all my hard work goes down the drain.

Sometimes, being a kid really sucks.

As for questions...I've been there. I'm not perfect, but I have reached a place of solidity I guess. Ask away.

June 08, 2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger Bttrfly1976 said...

Yes, I would never want to be a kid again. It was crappy when I was young and I think it is just getting worse as days go by. She can't put him in special ed where she lives, it is just too much. I did find out today that a district nearby has a program just for autistic kids, so that is an option. I hate that this is reality for him mostly because I know he will just have to keep struggling with it. It breaks my heart to know that he already wonders if it had been better that he never been born. I hate that he hurts and that he hates himself. I hate that his childhood has already ended. But what do you do.

June 10, 2006 12:16 AM  
Blogger LiteratureLover said...

Oh man, that IS hard. Poor little guy. Keep us posted.

June 17, 2006 12:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home