About this blog.

My son was diagnosed with PDD-NOS at 24 months. I created this blog to bring meaning to the often-confusing label. Sometimes I have answers. Other times, just more questions.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Aversives"

Since autism has touched my life, I've had a keen interest the subject matter, including autism in the news. (Can you tell?) And so, living in Massachusetts, I'm aware that a local special needs school is on the worst offender list for its use of "aversive therapies", including electric shock therapy. Outraged that this was happening so close to home, I've taken to quiet advocacy, emailing my local representatives to crack down on the abuse.

A moving essay just published in Salon.com provocatively entitled "The Monster Inside My Son" reminds me that there are two sides to every story. Read this essay at your own peril.

9 comments:

Patience said...

I have a cousin (or somehow a relative) with Down's Syndrome; who also turned from a placid child into a very strong willed teen. He was institutionalized as he was also very big and strong and his parents didn't feel they could manage him any longer. The institution also seems to feel he is autistic. He does well there but it is sad.
I would like to know exactly how "high functioning" this man was as a child; it sounds like he was supported to a great deal. Having to send him to a transitional school sounds like he might have been intellectually strong but unable to cope with everyday life. (which seems to me to be not too high functioning but maybe I'm quibbling over labels here)
I think your ds is probably light years away from this person in terms of what his future holds but I can understand how hard it must be to read something like that.

Laura said...

Temple Grandin similarly describes crippling anxiety that set in during adulthood, which she overcame with meds. But she didn't have the male hormones to contend with.

anything, sweetie said...

clicking on the special needs school link and reading their list of key features was enough to traumatise me, laura. i read "one flew over the cuckoo's nest" at a formative age.

with regards to the essay "the monster inside my son", i have no words- well, not any that aren't a bit frightened.

stay positive. there is no "what to expect..." book for this, and maybe that is a good thing- they terrified me anyway.

a.s.

Shari said...

Okay, that essay really bothered me. I should have heeded the warning about reading it. But a lady at my church has a son who is 21 and autistic. She told me recently that he will throw his shoes when he's angry, or break his glasses. If that is his amount of violence, I would say I could deal with that.

The shock therapy is a bit bothersome. I hope I'm never in a position to decide that I would rather have my child shocked than for him to physically harm himself.

Laura said...

Yeah that article is pretty horrifying and represents an extreme - not a fate I spend a lot of mental energy thinking about. I don't think I - or anyone - would think this of their own, unless it actually happened. I posted it because it was so dark and brutally honest, and I guess I just wanted to share it. Sorry for the downer...

A little boy just 2 years old said...

Whew - that's a hard read. But probably equally as important to know the bright side and the dark side. Someday, we might run across someone who needs US to know more than just the stereotypes so that they don't feel so alone. I just pray that it is none of us... I can't imagine the horror.

Nyx said...

That was hard, but thank you. Sorry for the gargantuan posts before. I plead sleep deprivation.

rhemashope said...

Yep, I know about that school. When researching an out-of-district placement for Rhema, that school came up. I was horrified.

allaboutpotential said...

Just found your blog. it's a treasure!

That article was scary & makes me wonder how we can find the tools to help our sons get through the adult-transition. I'm hopeful that in the next 12 years more research will come up with better treatments for my child.