Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cowardice

When I first began to blog, I wanted to talk about writing.  Writing is a passion, whether it's for work (a legal treatise) or fun (fiction books).

Over time, I found that I wanted to blog about the thing most on my mind: my son's autism.  I wanted the world to know the challenges that we were facing, whether family, friends or strangers.  Autism is a disability and a difference, and I could help by being honest and up front about our struggles.  I have content posted on Associated Content/Yahoo Contributors' Network, and on my own blog.  My blog feeds to Facebook through Network Blogs.

Today, however, I am a coward.  As the challenges we face become more severe, I find myself not wanting anyone I know to have access to the details of the issues.  Faceless, nameless families who need help are the only people that I trust to share our deepest struggles.  As a result, I have split my blog: This blog continues to discuss my son and his challenges, and a different blog is designated to share to Facebook now.

To this blog I assign my saddest secret: my son has, at age 9 become violent toward others.  At home, he's mostly sweet and loving, with the occasional meltdown or tantrum.  At school, he has become an awful child.  He hisses at school mates who have (theoretically) done nothing wrong (except have freckled faces, or voices that are too loud, or have nothing in particular but bother him anyway).  He throws breakfast and sticks and rocks and books and chairs.  He punches adults when they try to help or control him.

Today he was suspended from school for doing not one but all of those things.

I am not ashamed, exactly.  But I find myself falling apart, little by little, as I watch my child lash out at others and slowly implode.  I have been searching for answers, trying desperately to find help.  So far, there's very little help out there.

In my online research, I found this article about a mother whose autistic son turned unbelievably violent. While I don't agree with some of what she has written -- those children are not "monsters," nor are many autistic children violent in the way that she describes, and she seems a little naive to me about her son's condition (but who am I to judge??) -- the article struck a chord in me.  I started to cry reading it, and I have cried the remainder of the afternoon.  I would do anything at all to change what is happening.  At this point, I am not even sure I can keep up.

We have an appointment this week with the child psychiatrist, to discuss the meds which do not appear to be working.  We have an appointment next week with the clinic for his anxiety study appointment, as well as the first of a series of appointments with a brand new doc, a psychologist, who will reevaluate Matthew to ensure that his diagnosis is correct, and that we have a good plan for further treatment.

In the meantime, I hope I can be forgiven for my cowardice.  I am unable to allow those closest to me into the deep abyss in which we have fallen; that right is reserved for strangers.

Susan
www.susancalistri.com

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