Originally Posted on April 25, 2010
Okay, we went away this weekend to a lovely family wedding and spent some time with my nephew who also has autism but is not doing to great. This blog will likely made me unpopular with one family member….so if you are that family member I am sorry. I am sharing this because of a intense frustration with parents who do not get help or WORSE do not help their child consistently and with the understanding that coddling only make you feel better but does NOT help the child. I did spend 6 months with a friend (ABA Certification Graduate…most masters special ed and amazing teacher) trying to help my sister in-law with her son but they would not follow the plan and for it his life is NOT okay. Many people lie to themselves or others that these kids will be just fine when they grow up. WAKE UP 81% of all people with autism are UNEMPLOYED. They do not have that stat for most other disabilities because they do not need that stat! DO SOMETHING…or watch your child fail because you did not! For this story is the train wreck I can not look away from and I wish I could. Bird was diagnosised with autism at 2.5 years old. His cousin only 3 months younger than him was diagnosised with autism at 4 years old will call him Bill. Bird was so obviously impacted that people for the most part did not say,”NO, seriously he has autism.” Bill spoke as a young child but not often and rarely made good eye contact but still looked unbelievable normal next to his non-verbal, stim a second kid, who lived in a separate world from the rest of us and was never able to attend even upon request, begging, crying or blood (that he drew biting us). Flash forward to this weekend when both boys are 9. One boy still does not have great language but moves with the crowd easily and is very responsive to new people, new foods, new setting and exploring with or without people. The other child who is smart, sweet, loving and has all the potential in the world is clingy, little eye contact, almost no interaction with grandparents, aunts, uncles, same aged cousins or novel people. When this child speaks which is not often it is in a very high pitched baby voice. He carries comfort toys, rarely answers questions with more than 1 or 2 words, can pitch a fit such the likes as I have not seen in 5 years, eats almost nothing, and is in a self contained classroom a great deal of his day but should NOT be as he has no cognitive issues. Rigid, food issues, compliance, confidence, appropriate speech are all things you can work through with a kid this high in ABA. He is losing time and it is awful to watch. I have spoken to both mom and dad (who are divorced) about taking classes and doing therapy and while mom happily took the classes she still carries this 9 year old 80 pound child!