Monday, July 28, 2008

The Terrible Incident of the Boy at the Zoo

As I have mentioned before, our family frequents the zoo on a very regular basis. It is one of the few things that we can do as a family. We have gone so far as to invest in the annual pass, and go winter, spring, summer, or fall. On Saturday we decided to go, so we packed the family up and drove the half an hour to get there.

L. was really off. I realized to late that we had neglected to give him his medication. That's something we don't forget very often, because it tends to have disastrous consequences. The further we progressed through the park, the worse he got. We made it to the carousel, which he normally enjoys. But the second they started the ride up, he tried to bale. I mean he was whining and saying he wanted off, and kept trying to stand up, which of course I wouldn't let him do. I threatened him with leaving if he didn't straighten up, and he didn't.

Once we got off of the carousel, I told my husband that we should head back to the van, that I had told L. if he didn't shape up we couldn't stay. That's when the real fireworks began. We tried to leave the zoo and he had a complete break down. L. tried to bite, pinch, scratch, and mortally wound my husband. He was screaming and crying and fighting us. There we were with four children, one of which is the size of an adult and temper tantruming, half way to the car, with no idea how we were going to get him out of there.

It is very difficult having a child like L. You love him very much, you want the best for him. He is your child, your flesh and blood. While it was very embarrassing to have him behave that way in public, the worst part is the judgement past upon you by total strangers. Everyone stopped what they were doing and just stared. For that moment in time I understood how the animals must feel, in their cages, being gawked at by all of those people. At some point someone called security. They must have thought we were either harming him or kidnapping him. We had to follow through on our threat, so we just continued to try and get him out of there.

The man wearing the red shirt with SECURITY boldly printed on it at least kept some well meaning individuals from approaching us. He was able to help my husband get our son to the parking lot where I had pulled the van up to the curb. To be honest I am completely surprised we didn't make the evening news. It was quite a disturbance. By the time it was over my husband and I were completely drained. I wondered too, how it had affected the other children. I guess you win some and you loose some. But boy it hurts to loose.

The next day my husband 'climbed back on the horse' so to speak and took L. back by himself to the zoo, to show L. that if he behaved he could stay at the zoo. The biggest surprise of all was that he got L. to ride one of the animals on the carousel that moves up and down. To this date he had only ridden on the stationary ones. I could have fallen over from shock when he showed me the picture of our son, grinning broadly as he sat upon the lion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Michael Savage Speaks Out Against Autism

The newest flake to become an expert on autism, Michael Savage, shock jock, that makes his money disparaging others. Not such a stretch that he felt compelled to slander mentally handicapped children who can not speak for themselves. Savage recently shared his thoughts on autism on a broadcast that aired July 16th, claiming that children with autism were "frauds", and that their parents were perpetuaters of the lie.
Somehow Michael Savage has found the answer to the question that all of us as parents with children who suffer from this disability have so earnestly sought after. He knows what autism is, what causes it, as he disclosed on his show last week. "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is. What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, 'Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot." From the mouth of Michael Savage. All I needed to do was berate, ridicule, and yell at my son and he would have been normal. No pill, no diet, no therapy required. So simple, how did I not see it?
And why do I want my son to have autism so badly? Well, for the money of course. Mr. Savage believes that parents who claim their children have autism somehow benefit from it. It's "a fraud, a racket"... "the illness du jour". After waiting for two years to get government assistance for my son's medical bills, I have been told that this is the year. This is the year that I might receive help for the medication that must be purchased every month, for the dental bills that are piling up, for the many needs of a boy who is suffering from autism. This for a child who we cannot get insurance for because he suffers from a 'pre-existing condition'. All this time I have been banking on the dough rolling in, willing to put up with a son who is ostracized for his behaviors, forgoing public appearances, allowing my family to become dysfunctional, and I haven't seen a dime. I would like to file a formal complaint because, apparently all of these other people who have children with autism are getting their financial gain.
Well, Michael Savage, for saying something so completely insensitive, so socially taboo, so completely foolish, I'm wondering if you've ever considered being tested for autism? If you loose your job, perhaps the government could support you.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Band Aid

Several months ago, L. skinned his nose when he fell from the front porch steps and biffed it on the concrete driveway. He has a pretty high pain tolerance, which has at times been a good thing, at other times a real problem. The thing is when he skinned his nose he insisted on wearing a band aid. Not to inconspicuous right there on his face. My husband and I attempted to put it across the tip of his nose, but he didn't want it that way. He wanted it front and center. The band aid was vertical right straight down the length of his nose.

Try explaining this to curious onlookers in public. It didn't end there. Whenever we tried to take it off he would freak out. We had to sneak in at night, while he was asleep, and remove it because it began to make a sore on his forehead where the adhesive from the band aid was beginning to pull at his skin. It finally somehow healed on its own. Band aids are the bane of my existence. I find them everywhere, stuck to the hard wood floors, stuck in the carpet, stuck on blankets, stuck in hair. Any time there is the slightest hint of a boo boo it requires a band aid. We have tried to hide them to no avail. Much like the scissors they just seem to be found, no matter where you tuck them away.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

New Controversy

Here's a new controversial study they would like to do on children with autism. They say that they would like to detoxify children with autism, buy removing metals from their systems. Why is it a controversy? Because there is no proof that is is mercury that is causing autism, and because it could be potentially harmful with the side affects. They are horrified at the thought that children would be used in the study.
I hate to break it to you, but children with autism are nothing more than lab rats. It's been this way for years. There are no proven treatments for autism and so they try and address the symptoms with medication that is not for their autism but for the problems that come along with it. For instance, after several years of trying to deal with my son with out medication, his aggressions became concerning enough that we caved. He is now on a medication for schizophrenia. It works in helping to subdue his violence and so we are forced to use it. There are also medications for hyperactivity that have been beneficial to children with autism. How did they discover these medications were useful? THEY TESTED THEM OUT. I'm not particularly thrilled at the prospect of testing, but what choice is there?
Part of the problem with autism is the unknown. There isn't enough research and we don't really know for certain what causes it and so we have to try things we haven't tried yet. I'm all for research being done as long as it is not harmful to children. It's sort of a necessary evil. As long as they aren't doing frontal lobotomies, or anything crazy like that, please find something that will help these children. You decided for yourself.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Tricylce

I could not imagine trying to teach my chunky son how to ride a bicycle. As a matter of fact, I don't like to say things are impossible, but I think this would be close to impossible. So I looked into getting him a tricycle. I'm not talking one of those little kiddie ones. That would not do. I'm talking an adult size tricycle. I looked into them and even though they are a little expensive, I think it would be worth it. Not to mention it has a HUGE basket on the back, that you could carry some large size items in. Maybe he would be willing to tote me around in that basket, or at least his baby sister and the cats, Tom and Jerry.
Talk about payback, though. When I was younger, my family and I lived in a very small community called Gaston. Gaston had one gas station, a small market place that sold some basics in an old building, a library the size of my closet, and well, that was basically it. So everyone knew everyone. One of the town locals, someone that everybody waved at when the saw him, was an older gentleman that rode around that little town on his tricycle. Something very similar to what I'm looking to get for my son. I thought it was so funny. There he was peddling the streets of Gaston on this giant tricycle. Mind you, I never made fun of him, just had a little chuckle at his expense when I saw him.
Never laugh, people. It has a way of really biting you in the butt at some future date in time.