Hello, guest
Name: mmartin
[ Original Post ]
My son is 2 years 5 months. His cousin is 6 years and has Autism. I live in a 3 family house. My sister and her Autistic son on the 1st floor my mother on the 2 nd floor and I live with my son on the 3rd floor. I love my nephew and I love my son. My nephew is globally delayed. He can not sit still and he can not talk and he is more than a handful. He has services and doctors that are trying to help him. The house is a revolving door of specialist so he is getting an incredible amount of help with speech, behavioral you name it he gets that service. Now here is my problem I don't want to offend my family but I do not feel safe. I am scared for my son. My nephew hits him over and over again in his head. My nephew is so strong. My son was born premature only 3 pounds and he was in the hospital for 6 weeks before he came home. Sure my 2 year old son looks strong but all of this pounding in his head can't be good. I am so hurt. It's been happening for 3 months and everybody says oh my nephew doesn't know what he's doing. I am tired of hearing that. My mothers house is destroyed he has broken everything all the curtains have been torn down. I think my sister is selfish and unfair. My baby is getting hurt. My sister won't put her so on medication and she puts him in time out. It's a joke. He attacks my son almost every day. If my son and I are at my mom here he comes my nephew ready to hit my son. My mother watches my son a few hours a day until I get home from work. She watches him from 4 to 7 pm. My sister makes sure to drop off her son with my mom during this time. At least for an hour during this time. When I ask her why she does this she says why not. She says her son is like any other child dont' treat him different. But that is not true he is different. He picks up knives he hit my son in his head with a round metal object and a figurene off the table. Yesterday when he hit my son in the head (two very hard blows) my baby was in my lap in the couch. I couldn't even react I just put my arms over my baby's head and then my nephew started pinching me. My sister said oh my gosh I don't know why he keeps doing that. My nephew was siting down with my sister in her lap he just sprung up with no warning and attacked. I call it attacked because that is what it felt like. No body want's t o say anything because he is autistic. Everyone promises to watch my nephew more closely but he is like a speading bulled when he is ready to hit. I have to move and I think it's unfair. My other sister moved away and refuses to let her three girls see my nephew or have any contact with him. I don't want to take those drastic steps but I am sick of being politically correct. When my nephew injures my son severly it will be my fault because I see it coming and I did not do enough to take him out of harms way. What would you do.
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Name: irish Amy | Date: Aug 25th, 2008 6:17 PM
Hi, I'm not actually surprised you have not had a response, you come on to a site for parents of children with autism to have a rant about your nephew!
Ok, understandably you have had enough and you are concerned for your own child, if your sister will not say anything then maybe you should, of course your nephew does not understand what he is doing but at the same time your sister should be ready to stop him, does your child scream or cry a lot? does he make a noise that your nephew cant bear? does he play with a toy that may hurt your nephews ears, maybe there is a reason, dont get me wrong I am not for one minute excusing the behaviour but maybe there is a reason, I am asking this because my son is 5 and has autism, my nephew is 2 yrs and 3 mths and screams at the top of his voice and
cries for the slightest little thing, my son has made a dive at him on numerous occasions but I anticipate this along with my sister and she then removes my nephew until he stops screaming or crying. I do believe though for those 3 hrs that you work maybe your sister should not go to your mums while she has your son but I'm sure you realise that your sister has to deal with her son 24 hrs a day and obviously needs a lot of support, not to the expense of your own son I hasten to add. I do hope that you dont have a little bit of jealousy or resentment for all the attention your nephew may get, I apologise if that offends you, I just needed to say it.
When your nephew makes to hit your son or you and your sister does nothing maybe you should take his hands, hold them down and say NO! it could be that this has now become a habit for your nephew if he is allowed to get away with it he will continue to do so, have you ever spoken to one of the professionals that deal with your nephew on how best to deal with this and maybe try to stop it? you have to deal with this sensitively even though quite understandably you have your own sons welfare to think about? have you spoken to your own mother about this?
I wish you luck but agree with you that your own son could be seriously hurt in the long term. 

Name: mamakeene | Date: Sep 9th, 2008 11:58 PM
Unfortunately sometimes aggressive behavior is just the nature of these special children. As a mother in any circumstance if you feel your child is in danger or at risk you have the moral obligation to protect them at any cost. I know it seems more complicated than that because it's family and you don't want to offend anyone, but it's simple, that's the bottom line. You feel that strongly that your son is unsafe, you remove him from the situation. My son has an autism spectrum disorder and can be aggressive at times, hitting, biting, he even fractured my nose once. It's true he is not doing this with malicious intent. It's not an excuse, it's a typical behavior. These children have trouble expressing themselves verbally and emotionally. So sometimes it comes out in the form of throwing things, hitting, biting, all of these seemingly aggressive "inappropriate" behaviors. If you wish to stay there you must come to anticipate these behaviors (because your sister can't change that about him) , and take proper precautions, what those are will depend on you. 

Name: Nechama | Date: Mar 6th, 2009 11:04 PM
Dear mmartin,

I'm going to be direct with you because I think that's what you want and need.

What does your gut say? What does your fear say? What does your maternal instinct say? I think you've already given that answer in your question. Your duty is to protect your child, and your nephew is dangerous.

It doesn't matter whether or not your nephew intends to hurt your son or not. Nor does it matter that your nephew has a handicap. Abuse is abuse, no matter what the reason. And since your sister is responsible for her child and allows him to abuse others, I hold her responsible for your nephew's abuse of your son. Does she have a right to play the sympathy card for HER child while not showing the most basic concern for YOURS? Is a child with autism more important than another child? Does the fact that her child has autism excuse the fact that your child may be have neurological damage from the head injuries your nephew is inflicting? We both know the answers to these rhetorical questions, I hope.

Your child needs and deserves a childhood without abuse. Your nephew is not only abusing your child, he is putting your child's health and life in danger. This must stop at once.

Of course you want to get along with your sister, and as a decent, loving person, of course you care about your nephew. The decent, loving action is to not allow your nephew to abuse others. If your nephew is able to understand consequences, then fine, he will learn to not abuse. If he can't understand consequences, he still does not have the right to abuse others. Abuse is abuse, whether it comes from a "special" person or a child or not. There's no such thing as "special" abuse.

I'm the stepmother of a young adult with autism; he lives with my husband (his father) and myself. While my stepson has never behaved as badly as your nephew, he's had his moments. I've laid down the law. He had the chutzpah to use his handicap as his defence, because that's what he's heard from other adults. Not with me! He's not allowed to threaten to kill people. He's not allowed to threaten anyone physically, period. He's not allowed to play the peeping tom with me, his stepmother. (For a while he thought his "sexual needs" were excuse enough to gratify them by violating boundaries with me.) In other words, I insist that he behave. I am willing to listen to him talk about his feelings and help him find ways of dealing with his challenges, but I do not tolerate acting out.

You're worried about not being "politically correct"? I'm not! I have come to accept that my stepson is very self-absorbed and doesn't care about other people the way he's fascinated by himself. That's an unpleasant trait that comes not only from his handicap but also from the special attention he's received all his life from aides, teachers, and so on. It sounds to me that your nephew is used to doing whatever he likes because there's always an excuse--he's "special." What kind of an adult will he become if he gets away with this? Who will put up with him?

I understand the heartbreak parents of autistic children feel. Denial is a part of the grieving process. But you aren't dealing with the death of your fantasy for a "normal" child; you're faced with a real-life situation in the present tense.

Without a doubt, there are reasons why your nephew abuses your son. What those reasons are--and what your nephew needs to do in order to deal with his frustrations in a non-abusive way--are, I believe, not your concern. They are your sister's. She first has a duty to stop her child from abusing others. Maybe she needs some help?

I urge you to set clear boundaries with your sister and tell her in no uncertain terms that you cannot allow your nephew near your child. For I believe that's your only choice, until your sister learns to control her child and stop playing the handicap card as an excuse.

There is nothing "drastic" about setting reasonable limits to ensure your child's safety. You don't need to cut off your sister and your nephew--just set limits that your nephew is not allowed anywhere near your child.

If your sister can't understand this--I'll bet your other sister does, and will. Good luck. 

Name: mEm | Date: May 5th, 2009 1:25 AM
I would move away, and quit blaming your nephew for your ignorance. Clearly your son is in harms way, and i dont know why you dont bring him to a daycare or hire a nanny while your at work. It is NOT your nephews fault that he "attacks" your son, and it is not your sisters fault either. She is coping with an autistic son, it is very typical behavior for him to be agressive. And i agree with irish Amy, why would you go onto a website for parents with children of autistic children to go on about your nephew. the answer is simply. move away. if you think its unfair, think about how it is unfair that your sister had an autistic child. it isnt unfair for you to move, its smart. 

Name: Jennifer77 | Date: May 7th, 2009 11:29 AM
Isn't that ironic? There are 3 verbal adults in the house, and there is still lack of communication! You have a right to feel scared. Heck, I used to fear for my daughter's life after I caught my son putting a pillow over her face a couple of years ago! My son is 6, my daughter is 8; however, he is 3 inches taller and about 3 pounds heavier, and unfortunately stronger. This family has come a long way with TEACHING what is right and wrong. It has taken the effort of every person that walks into our lives. How does the old saying go "It takes a whole town to raise a child?" and they weren't necessarily speaking of an autistic one. You have two decisions to make here....should you stay or should you go? and should you care or should you not? I do not blame you for being concerned about your children's welfare. You MUST think of #1 first. However, if this is your family you should stick together. BUT that will take everyone's awareness, effort, dedication, and love. NO ONE should say that it's OK that the boy is abusive because he has autism. Your the adults, you set the ground rules. Children, even autistic ones, have to be taught HOW to respect and follow those rules. If this boy is receiving therapy that everyone is active in than some progress should be made. BUT if there is a weak link in the team then someone will have to make up for it. There is no "downtime" with an autistic child. My son stopped napping at 8 months, walked at 9, and keeps me on my toes 14 hours a day. Thank the good lord he finally sleeps! He has become much less abusive, much more verbal (which has helped with the tantrums), and more understanding of people's emotions and feelings. I am not saying that each day has become much easier because it hasn't, but what I am saying is that I am hopeful that some day it will. A week ago I was able to finally take my son to a musical... The Wizard of Oz. And for the first time he did not hit me repeatedly in the head or scratch the hell out of my arm. We did deep pressure, a little singing, some bouncing, and eliminated as much wait time as possible. Now pay attention to what method was used here. See how it had to be planned out. That is how everyday is and will be. It is more then just taking the boy to therapy. It is about getting him out of the house to socialize. It is about time-outs, token economy (taking away something he really likes as a punishment), verbal explanations of what they did wrong (Not yelling), and most of all patience. My son has had to learn about the world by experiencing it. Taking him to therapy and school alone isn't enough. First off, the three adults in the house need to have a sit down heart- to- heart, and calmly discuss the situation. Then you need to come up with an action plan together. If you are afraid of offending someone, you better get over that fear. If the boy is this abusive then there must always be someone around him to protect the younger children. You must always correct the behavior when it occurs or even when the behavior is apparently pursued, but not necassarily followed through because someone was there to intervene. All of you could probably use a little behavioral intervention. Go read a few books on autism and behavioral therapy. Take a college course on it, seek out a behaviorists help. The boy needs to be given time-outs explained that he should not hit. That it is mean. Ask him how he would like it if he was hit? DO NOT scream. Try to make him understnd it is not nice. If this doesn't work, go onto token economy, and so forth. The point being here is that these methods may not work, you may have to keep working at it for months and months. Also, I do not know how autistic the boy is either. If he has something that he really likes then you have something to work with using token ecomony. And you have some awareness to the world too because he recognizes that he likes something alot. If you should decide to stay and talk with the other adults in the house understand that it will be a difficult, yet quite rewarding road to follow. Really either decision you make isn't wrong.....it's just what will you learn in the end? I wish you the best of luck either way. 

Name: flaminjo | Date: May 13th, 2009 9:48 AM
Hi there,

I think you should look towards alternative therapies like yoga also i have found some thing called "Super Brain Yoga".
Here is a short excerpt:
A yoga practice that can improve brain function in as little as 5 minutes per day? Sounds like the stuff of fairy tales. But neurologists, teachers, doctors and other scientifically grounded individuals across the country are advocating a system called “Superbrain Yoga” as a possible anecdote for autism, Alzheimer’s, and even plain old brain drain.

Visit the source link for more: http://www.yogaflavoredlife.com/styl

Name: dalia_in_nevada | Date: Jun 18th, 2009 4:45 AM
I am writing you this letter in the hopes of some desperate
assistance in Nevada. I have a young Autistic adult son,
19yrs old, ( Vincent Ortiz ). I understand the dilema you are going thru.
You are not alone. I will be happy to talk to you any time, if anything
just to listen and support each other.
I will make this brief and to the point.
I am a single mom working many
hrs 7 days a week, savings is now gone in an attempt to pay
on my own for caregivers.
My son has severe "episodes" at which he can bite/scratch/pull hair or
all of the above. These behaviors all began over the last couple of
years and are progressively getting worse.He is 5 foot 10 185 pounds.
I am 5 foot 2. I can not restrain him when he attacks.
I desperately need HELP now.
There are NO group homes or facilities who take children and/or young
adults w/ Autism here in Nevada. The state treats Autism like it is a dirty word.
I am in fear for the safety of myself and my daughter as we have been
attacked a cpl times now without a caregiver here full time.
I was thinking there are several folks in the same dilema as myself
here in Nevada as well as across the country..
I would like to know if you could :
1.) assist with helping me open a
RANCH FOR AUTISM here in Nevada. Pahrump still has land low
priced and it's far enough out that folks who don't understand Autism
will feel comfy, yet it is close enough for medical needs.
I know exactly what these children need to make their life
complete and busy with a scheduled routine and space to roam.
I know that I could sucessfully provide the care and know how to
make it a wonderful structured environment for the children.

For instance:
an equestrian area
music program
arts n crafts
a green house
pool / spa
sand box
walking paths

2.) help / steer / assist me w/ getting some families
together that are looking for longterm placement for their
young adults where they will be loved and cared for as if we were there
ourselves. Home-like environment with plenty of activities to keep them
busy and fulfilled. We need 20 committed families that have a young adult
who needs the special care and guidance the Ranch for Autism will provide.
We all know as parents we can not be there forever for our loved ones.
I know I do not want my son to be institutionalized when I can't be there
for him any longer. Of course our children can have visits ( home or on site)
anytime. You may have the connections, knowledge to get this request
completed. You may know someone with acreage ( we need approx. 50 acres )
that needs a tax write-off, or a family member willing to donate.
Maybe help get a fundraiser, some attorney's, doctors, wealthy
folks. Get the community involved! I have faith in you. Together we can pull
all resources and do this.
I currently have an investor to meet/match up to $800K, which is about
1/3 of what we need to reach our goals.
Please contact me with any contacts / ideas that you may have.
God Bless!

Delia Power
360 Yacht Ave
Henderson NV 89012
[email protected] 

Name: There IS Hope | Date: Jul 14th, 2009 3:10 AM
Hi. I work in a school district, as a special-education paraprofessional. I have been blessed to care for and help many different children of various ages, with a variety of challenges. I recently listened to / watched a woman share her incredible story of raising a son with autism. It touched me deeply. Her son was healed, a few years back, and continues to improve in his schooling. I ordered her book and found so much hope in her experience. Hope that applies to everyone, including families with autism but not limited to only autism. My heart goes out to all. If anyone is interested in the details of the book and the radio / t.v. program, please e-mail me at [email protected] (Since it is my understanding that some things cannot be posted.) With excitement, encouragement, and heart-felt appreciation and compassion to every family touched by especially autism...There IS Hope. 

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