19 January 2008

On Autism and Services

Recently, on Casdok's blog, she wrote about the abuse her non-verbal autistic son C was experiencing, as well as relating some current news stories about how people with autism are still being mistreated.

Her son was being abused at school, and while I don't know the particulars of the situation, I can associate. Elf has been locked in a closet many times by our local school. (It's called a "safe room" where we can calm down, you know...). It only escalates the behaviour. Elf is one of those people who, when he is overwhelmed, will go run and hide somewhere. Poking and dragging him when he is fearful and upset is NOT going to get you a pleasant response. Of course, what do people at school do? Get out NOW or we're going to... and then Elf reacts... and then it's all HIS fault for behaving inappropriately, not the school's for failing to let the kid hide for a few minutes so he feels safe again. He WOULD have joined you in about five minutes, but instead you provoked a tantrum that lasted an hour and a half. Thank you!

So Casdok is blogging about her frustration with this school. And there were plenty of comments supporting her parenting and her efforts to amend the way C is treated. I know lots of you homeschool parents would say, "Just homeschool him!" but it *truly* is not that simple when you are dealing with a child with severe disabilities. Even G, who can carry on a conversation and is not noticeably autistic on your first meeting, really needs a lot of "extra" help that I feel unable to provide at this point. Of course, we always keep our options open but right now, that's where he is.

And at taxpayer expense, yes. We pay taxes and two of our children do not go to school. If we are mandated to pay these taxes, then we ought to be able to get every last benefit that those taxes would provide. I'm sure Casdok is paying hers, and C consequently should have every benefit that he is entitled to based on his particular educational needs. Do you know what? I don't even have an objection to people applying for and receiving welfare if they're genuinely looking for work. As long as they're legal citizens and availing themselves of every opportunity to get off the rolls, that is.

I can understand people who say that we should just cut all funding for this or that. Go ahead! Oftentimes you'll find I'm one of those people, too. But until that becomes the reality, there is no reason to criticise those families who avail themselves of the services they're already paying for.


  1. Thank you.

    So sorry to hear about Elf being locked in a cupboard. Thats awful.

    Good post. :)

  2. Yep, that's why he's homeschooled now. But they work well with G at the middle school in the same district, probably because G is more obviously autistic and they don't think he's "at fault" as much as Elf... hopefully that makes sense. They put G in the same closets when he is out of control, but since they leave the door open, that makes all the difference in the world to me.

  3. PS. I see you have comment moderation on your blog and I can't say I blame you. Some people are jerks.


Non-troll comments always welcome! :)