Posted by: debstake | February 5, 2009

Autism 911: Help for a Family in Chaos

This link will take you to the CNN website with a feature video on a 13 year old autistic girl. There are 2 parts to this video. Their situation is out of control in my opinion and I left comments on CNN concerning this video. Watch the video and read what I wrote. Maybe you agree with me and maybe you don’t but the fact is our son was like this at the age of 3 when he was first diagnosed.

You can see the videos HERE.

“Being the parent of a son with autism who is now 11 and was diagnosed at the age of 3 Marissa reminds me of what my son was like at the age of 3…. This child at the age of 13 is totally out of control. Obviously her educational programming is not addressing the behaviors of this child. It is a sad comment on the educational system in this country. Equally obviously inclusion isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
My son attends a school specifically designed for children with autism and over the past 5 years he has gone from severely autistic (what I would say Marissa is) to a level on the low side of mild. The school uses ABA and CLM and it’s very intense. However, now our son’s behavior issues are gone, we can take him out in public and he knows how to behave himself. He does NOT run our home, he answers for his behavior, he knows that there are certain areas in our home that are off limits (i.e. his 14 year old sister’s bedroom). Most importantly, because the behavior issues are addressed he can focus on academics now.
In addition to the school placement our son has also been on supplements for the past 5 years. I believe the approach of helping our children MUST be two pronged. The medical and physical issues MUST be addressed if behavior modification and academic teaching are to be successful.
I understand that not all children are as well off as my son and not all families are dealing as well with autism like mine is. However, if parents don’t take an aggressive approach to getting their children’s issues addressed Marissa is what you get at the age of 13. When you deal with a child who is dealing with autism you can NOT settle for second best. YOU as the parent MUST get the programing that is going to help your child. Not doing that very basic thing will result in more Marissa’s.

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