Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

In desperate need of help & Suggestions

Posted by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
  • 9 Replies
  • 1037 Total Views

Hello my name is Linda, I'm sort of new to CafeMom's. I have a 15 yr old son  who was diagnosed with PDD officially at the age of three. He's High Functioning. I'll try to make this as short as possible though its a long story.

School for our son has been pretty smooth with the expected hiccups. He started high school last year at a prep school. His first year went well until he and his social worker had a misunderstanding about a story he wrote her. My son has been writing kind of abstract stories since he was 8 yrs old. The stories are mash-ups of whatever he is into, cartoons, star wars, video games, science fiction, weather etc and he'd very proud to share his writing. It's his way of socializing. If he likes someone he shares his writing with them.

So...being new to his High School and having trouble adjusting to his new social worker, who admits she doesn't quite understand autism, he decided to share one of his stories with her. It was a star wars mash-up including words like "sharp shooter" which is normal to most of us who know him. He also gave her a story about the winter, frost bite and freezing...which in his mind is funny. His social worker reading between lines that weren't there thought he was threatening her. After a lot of stuff, she decided that our son should not write certain stories and she gave him a list of rules for writing. He seemed fine with it but he wasn't. This happened November of last year. In April of this year he started having meltdowns. He's been severly depressed and trying to hurt himself. He also blames me and his dad for his pain because we reprimanded him for the situation, which I realize now we handled totally wrong. Being near us depresses him as well.

We've had to take him to so many places since August, looking for a therapist with experience in autism but there is a waiting list so long...we had to act quickly. So we took him to a therapist who subscribed celexa, then suggested hospitalization because my son was having suicidal ideation. I was against it but later agreed to a day program. The program's therapist discharged him after four days because she said the program wasn't right for him. She didn't understand why he was there because it was clear to her his behaviour was due autism and that he needed a program like that. Same thing I'd said but every place we took him kept suggesting hospitalization. She also said that his social worker over-reacted and should allow him to write because he needs it.

But Here we are today still with no answers or real help. He is still hitting himself when he's frustrated saying he hates himself. Psychologists still suggesting if he gets worse, put him in a hospital. What do we do? Where can we get help?

What I see is regression, he is  acting like he did when he was very little when he could not express himself.

by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:23 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-9):
cjsk
by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 12:41 PM
2 moms liked this
get rid of thst frigging social worker and get a new one. Let him stsrt wriying his stories again. Some times these so called experts really dont know squat. This kind of thing just ticks me off to no end.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Alynn74
by Admin Amy on Nov. 18, 2012 at 1:48 PM
1 mom liked this
Let him write his stories just don't have the case worker read them. They aren't any of her business anyways. You know what works for your son, tell the caseworker that you are encouraging your son to right his stories his way without her rules. If she wants to see them, tell her no and point out her lack of experience and understanding of autism. If she is insistent, have her removed as his worker. You have the right to ask the school to provide your son with someone trained to deal with his autism.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:35 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with both posts. Time for a new social worker or even a new school.  This one clearly doesn't understand his needs.  Amy is right, let him write but he needs to know that he can't share is work at school. He is old enough that if you explain, he will understand.

The other thing I wanted to say is that if he is having suicidal ideation at any time, please, take him to the hospital. I know you don't want to but the one time you don't may be the one time he really tries to hurt himself. The statistics on spectrum kids and suicide are scary. Make sure that he is taken care of in that respect. 

If you let me know what state you are in, maybe I can help find someone that can do therapy if you are still looking for someone. I have a few resources from work that I can use to find people.

Lyn_F
by New Member on Nov. 19, 2012 at 12:20 AM

Thank you for your replies. The issue isn't just writing, it's being able to write in school and share with his peers and teachers. It's how he socializes. His social worker is assigned to his school so there is no getting rid of her, that I know of. She has to give him his time. I spoke to her Friday and I did suggest that she allow him to write again due to his state. We are meeting this week for his annual review. I think she may change her mind I just hope that it helps and things haven't gone too far off as he has become so sensitive about everythng since the school year started. His grades were very poor which is highly unusual for him. Ever since this happened we explained to our son that he just can't use certain words in school and even gave him suggestions...so many suggestions, but it just doesn't get through and this where he becomes angry at us for not understanding that ths is something he has to do until he is ready to stop.

We live in Chicago, please if you know of a Autism center or therapist I surely apprecate it.

Thank You

dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Nov. 19, 2012 at 1:17 PM
1 mom liked this

Lyn, try this link. It looks like your local Autism Resource Spectrum Group:

http://www.rush.edu/rumc/page-1213718660256.html


If they can't help you, then let me know and I can do more research. 

I have a suggestion, maybe your son could work with the English teacher instead of the social worker. This could absolutely be reframed as a learning experience for him that his writing is SO good he could be an author some day. His English teacher can then help him tone down some of the words because you don't want to offend some of your readers. Then when he and the English teacher have done some editing together (you could even frame it that all good authors have an editor to help them out), then he gets to share it with his friends.

Sometimes schools just jump to conclusions. And I get it, with Columbine and other incidents, everything gets taken seriously. However, there are ways to turn this positive for him and they just are not able to see that just yet. Heck, he could work with the history teacher and they can ask him to write a historical essay about Abe Lincoln and what would have happened to him if he lived in the 20th century. Then he can talk about snipers all he wants. 

It is all in the reframe to help him. Now the adults have to figure out how to reframe it for him so that he can learn instead of feeling punished.

Quoting Lyn_F:

Thank you for your replies. The issue isn't just writing, it's being able to write in school and share with his peers and teachers. It's how he socializes. His social worker is assigned to his school so there is no getting rid of her, that I know of. She has to give him his time. I spoke to her Friday and I did suggest that she allow him to write again due to his state. We are meeting this week for his annual review. I think she may change her mind I just hope that it helps and things haven't gone too far off as he has become so sensitive about everythng since the school year started. His grades were very poor which is highly unusual for him. Ever since this happened we explained to our son that he just can't use certain words in school and even gave him suggestions...so many suggestions, but it just doesn't get through and this where he becomes angry at us for not understanding that ths is something he has to do until he is ready to stop.

We live in Chicago, please if you know of a Autism center or therapist I surely apprecate it.

Thank You



Dawn-Owner for the very board you are reading right now!


Lyn_F
by New Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

Just an update: He had his IEP last Tuesday. They have decided to find a compromise that will allow him to write, I even suggested free writing time. The social worker seems to be more understading of his autism as well as the other counselors. @Dmsfr thank you very much for the information. I'd actuall y called Rush before and they had a three month waiting period but I did call again, they gave me an app in January. We'll see how it goes. Thanks again.

dmsfr
by Group Owner & PITA on Nov. 26, 2012 at 9:48 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm so glad you got a January appointment. I know it isn't soon enough to get him the help now but the time will go quickly. Hopefully, having some free writing time will lift his mood and boost his spirits. Good job mom!

kajira
by Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:33 PM

First step, get rid of the rules on writing and the social worker stuff. I mean really....

My son writes all sorts of stuff and as long as he's not planning on doing actions, I don't really care about his fictional stories. they are *stories* that are clearly made up. If he started writing about planning a bank robbery or killing people he knew in person, I might be more concerned.... but video games and weather? Are you kidding?

You should have fired the social worker at his school and requested a new one the minute she tried to enforce those stupid rules on him.

I don't blame YOU exactly, but I absolutely blame her. Her fear of him caused her to do a lot of damage to him.

What you need to do is find an autistic mentor for him to talk about stuff, and get him back on track. Or someone who's incredibly understanding and knowledgable about dealing with autism and the creativity that often comes with it.

He needs to have his outlets. Writing is one of mine, if someone told me I couldn't ever write again, I'd probably want to hurt people or myself too and i'm not naturally a violent person, but it's so integral to my wiring and has been since I was tiny... I just cannot imagine someone telling me I couldn't write.

and I've written some fk'd up stuff as a kid. LOL

kajira
by Member on Nov. 26, 2012 at 2:35 PM

reactions and ignornace in a school setting is why we homeschool our son now.

"they decided to compromise?" You don't have to allow that. You can insist on what you know works for your child and his happiness. You need to hire a legal autism advocate for those IEP meetings. Tell them your goals for your son and they'll make sure the school puts it into place.


Quoting Lyn_F:

Just an update: He had his IEP last Tuesday. They have decided to find a compromise that will allow him to write, I even suggested free writing time. The social worker seems to be more understading of his autism as well as the other counselors. @Dmsfr thank you very much for the information. I'd actuall y called Rush before and they had a three month waiting period but I did call again, they gave me an app in January. We'll see how it goes. Thanks again.


Living with Autism - The quirky kitty.

Our autistic Family - A Dad's point of view on living with Autism

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN