Noah age 8 -Oct 2009

Noah age 8 -Oct 2009

Monday, December 17, 2012

In response of Violence and Autism

It concerns me that quite a few people are bias against people with Autism and I am apologetic if this post looks like I am "attacking" anyone who isn’t Autistic or isn’t dealing with some form of Autism in their life circle. I have a son (Noah) whom I am very proud of and has severe Autism. He is the sweetest boy and loves everyone. There are times when he gets over stimulated and he will put himself in "time out" and go be alone. This is how he deals with too much stimuli. When he does this we give him his space (I am sure everyone and I mean everyone can relate to having to have your own space to be alone one time or another) When he was in preschool the psychologist told me she wanted to put him on “Risperdal” which was supposed to make him focus and make him have an appetite. I refused several times because I had a very bad feeling about it. She pulled me back into her office and told me that if I did not put my son on this drug she would turn me in for medical neglect on my son, I told her, I "would give it a trial" after a few weeks of him taking this medication he (at 3 years old) became very violent to the point we couldn’t turn our backs on him. This was not my son at all. He loved to laugh and loved being kind and helping and this child was not laughing he was a zombie that was mean. I told the doctor I wanted him off of it and it was making him violent. She refused to take him off and told me basically I was making it up.... until one day when she was observing him and he turned on her. At that point she had me take him off the medication and he went back to his smiley, snuggly self he used to be. He is now in 5th grade and still loves to snuggle and is a smiley boy. Now, to address social interactions with people under the Autism Spectrum… Kids in general don’t truly know right from wrong and certainly do not know how to be socially or politically correct I am sure all of you who have children have had them in some form embarrass you by pointing out either gender parts to a total stranger or just saying something they overheard you wish you hadn’t said or what -not. Dealing with someone under the Autism Spectrum is a lot like dealing with that on a long term basis. Not to mention that we are dealing with human beings that can’t process reality from make believe. As a “normal” human being we like to watch action movies, play computer games or read fascinating novels that take our imagination somewhere other than real life complications. Most children don’t understand what is real and what is not (And today’s c.g.i. affects are so incredibly realistic). This is how some, not all Autistic people relate to the world. (Autism is different in every case but they all soak in information one way or another). Noah can act out every movie he has ever seen. But cannot talk or tell you how he is feeling. The point to all this is coming up next… So Last month I was watching a funny movie with my husband at night called "Four Christmases" and there is a scene in a bouncing enclosure where kids were beating up and Reese Witherspoon’s character and bashing her head into the floor of the bouncer. Which as an adult we saw the humor in it and we laughed. What I didn’t know was that Noah was hiding at the top of the stairs watching the movie as well until I heard him laugh. Being the Mom I am I sent him to bed again and didn’t think another thing about it until the phone rang the next day from school. He had been playing with his friends in school and there is a girl he really likes a lot (I dare say his first crush) and another friend who is a girl came and was pretending to “fight” over him and he then re-an acted that part in the movie. He didn’t know this was going to hurt anyone, he didn’t see anyone hurt on TV so why would this hurt in real life? Needless to say, when all was done he was so emotionally distraught that he hurt the girl and was hysterical for the rest of the day until he saw his friend Lexi the next day and she gave him a hug and told him she still loved him and she was ok. He didn’t want to leave her side. I was being responsible by only watching adult movies with my husband at night when the children are in bed. We all do this. But, it still affected him and it affected other people. Children learn from what they see and hear every day. No matter what their ages are. A parent to a normal child has the same challenges to teach their child right from wrong, real and not real. A parent to child with Autism may never actually be successful in the real and not real aspect of things. But we try every day and every moment we breathe. As a member of the human society, I urge everyone to be responsible in their own actions. You never know who is watching you or listening to you and how they will interpret what your actions are. Like it or not we all are responsible for each other, and everything we do and say is reflected (mirrored) somehow out there in the universe. The old saying, “monkey see, monkey do” really isn’t that far off because we all learned by “seeing and doing”.


  1. Noah went to Giant Steps right? I felt like the psych there tended to over medicate.

    Noah is such a sweet kid and you are doing a fabulous job with him.

    It's crazy to think how kids with autism act out what the were doing everything as a parent you could to ensure he was safe, but there are things out of your control (like him sneaking out of bed!) At least you were just watching a comedy. Can you imagine if it was a violent film?

    I had a student once who was OBSESSED with the batman movie "Dark Knight" and the mom laughed and said, 'Oh yeah...he loves that movie and watches it all the time." Although I enjoyed watching that movie,I'm an adult who can handle reality/pretend. I was saddened that this mother let her FIVE YEAR OLD with AUTISM watch it over and over again. Like Noah, this child was a very sweet boy that wasn't just never know when they are going to act out what they've seen! So sad.

  2. Thank you Bre, Noah really loved you and yes he still is very sweet and would rather cuddle with someone rather than anything else.
    I have since learned when we watch movies we use them now as a learning tool. We discuss what was good in the movie and positive behavior and we discuss what is the wrong behavior and why it's wrong.
    It seems to be working and it's an ever learning experience with us.

  3. Wonderfully written. As an aunt with daily contact with an autistic child, she acts out only temporarily and never could pre-meditate. (They need to stop pushing the autistic angle and go for the no-brainer mental illness - personality disorder! That is a pre-meditative condition NOT the aspergers or autism! They are totally missing a chance to discuss real mental illness here...)

    Keep defending Tracy, sometimes medication is the answer and sometimes not. My niece uses intuniv and it works for all her act outs, without her feeling numb as she calls it.

    More important..being a "there" parent! That is what matters! His knowing his limits... now get on Jason Chaffetz butt to actually discuss REAL mental illness!!

  4. Suusi, Thank you for your support and you are completely correct. Sometimes medications are the answer and sometimes they aren't. I appreciate and welcome comments because it keeps me informed and in tune with how others deal with their trials and victories.