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Spiritually/Emotionally Broken


mimi

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*Background. My son is autistic. He is an aggressive self harmer who will do anything he can to hurt himself and if you stop him he will then try everything he can to hurt you. He has already given himself brain damage and now has a violent hand tremor from his head slamming behavior.

 

Today was his first day at a special needs daycare. The medical social worker and behvioral therapist thought it would be good for him to go for 6 hours twice a week. It was meant to be a warm up for the private autistic preschool we are putting him in in April when he turns 3. You know get him used to the whole "going to school" thing.

 

They made it 15min before the first call that they needed to use his helmet because he was self harming. Then at one hour they called to tell me he is too extreme and that I needed to come get him. They were unable to handle him there and asked that we not bring him back.

 

I am just broken emotionally. This is my baby. To hear that not even trained professionals can handle him? I cried the whole way to get him (40min) then held it together while picking him up (my face was a mess they could all tell I had been crying) then cried most of the way home. I am crying NOW and it has been almost 2 hours.

 

Spiritually I am so angry. I am angry at God. I am angry that my baby is going through this. I am angry that He would do this to my son. I am at a place where I hate autism and I hate God for doing this. I don't see the good I don't see the hidden blessing. I don't see why. All I see is a sweet smart little boy who can't be with others, who tries to hurt himself, and who is so uncomfortable in his skin that he is miserable.

 

I can't stop crying. I am just broken. I can't do this but I don't have a choice. There is no cure there is no magic answer. This is my life and I don't know if I can do this. I love that little man so much and it just rips my soul apart to see him hurting. I want to make it better and I can't. All I can do is push for more people to try and help him only to have them throw their hands up and say he is too extreme and that they can't handle him.

 

We both need some prayers for sure.

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Mimi~ sending out prayers to you.  Just to let you know, I work in a middle school that has an all Autistic self-contained classroom.  A few of our kids are a lot like yours (or at least they started out that way).  I have seen over the years that we have had that class is that they do respond to a very rigid schedule and no changes in the staff or new students.  Not sure what you have as a schedule at home, but getting something as rigid and repetitious as possible might help a little.  Just a suggestion.

 

Also a thought...could one of the teachers come to your house first to let your son warm up to them in a safe and familiar setting.  Looks like the baby steps your DS will need are micro baby steps and this might be the first part.  I am appalled that that school said flatly not to bring him back without looking at other avenues to help him.  

 

Sending good vibes and prayers your way.

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yes he needs a very rigid schedule that is almost impossible to implement at home. We have a set schedule here that does seem to help but it isn't as strict as it needs to be. Sometimes for example dinner is at 5:30 instead of 5:00pm kind of thing. Or One of the other kids needs to go to the Dr so his day is changed since one of his sisters and his mom are gone, etc.

 

I have no idea how preschool is going to go and I am just too emotionally drained at the moment to think about it. I finally stopped crying but now I have a massive headache and my eyes are all itchy. A nap would be wonderful.

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I can see the schedule at home might not be optimal for his condition.  I do worry about you and the rest of your family as he ages.  Hopefully, with maturity the violence will subside some.  Looks like you are on top of getting him the help he needs.  

 

Are you working at all with the pre-school he will attend? Is that where you took him or another place?  Seems like they should be on board now with his care so they will be prepared when he is of age to attend.  My school does that in the year or two before we get new Autistic students.  Our teachers will go to their current school to get their relationship in place and then gradually they will be brought here to adjust to the new setting.  So when they start here in the 6th grade they are not at a new scary place - like all of the other 6th graders find themselves in!!

 

Try to get some rest and I am sure it is very hard on you and the rest of your family.  Just know we are here standing behind you!

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Amy, I am so sorry to hear what you are going through as it sounds heartbreaking.

 

You are right in that this is your life and you need to work with what you have. It is cliche', but God doesn't give you more than you can handle. That being said, you have every right and a healthy need to let others and yourself know that you are feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and mad when you feel that way. You are not supposed to go through life (especially given the cards that you have been dealt) acting as if everything is rosey all of the time. That is why you have us friends online and those IRL, as well as family, to listen and help when we can.

 

Take the time to be frustrated and upset and have your cry. Anyone in your shoes would be, given the news. But know that you are a strong woman, mom and wife. You are amazing and loving and good. You can and will do what your family needs. Just don't lose sight of YOU and your feelings. Honor them and move forward doing your best. Life is an incredible journey, but I have never met anyone that isn't sad, confused, unhappy or frustrated at times. Tomorrow is a new day. It will take many new days for your son (and you and the rest of your family) to grow and adapt and figure things out. A few months from now, you will see changes. A few years from now, there will (hopefully as I don't know much about autism) be bigger changes and more open doors. That may seem far off, but you will get there one day at a time.

 

I wish I could give you a long hug and that I had some magic answer for you that would make everything better. Please know that we are here for you.

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   Thank you all. I got the kids home and fed, my husband came home for lunch and I locked myself in the bathroom and took a hot shower.......and sobbed. When I got out the behavioral therapist had called to make sure I was okay. We talked for a bit and she told me it wasn't even one of his really bad meltdowns just his "normal" ones *sigh* Anyways we talked for a bit and she said this was probably good for everyone involved because it proves what we have been saying for months. He needs a one on one aid at all times and can not function in a school environment without one. The therapist and I both spoke to the director and she agreed to write whatever we wanted for the preschool saying he has to have a one on one and such.

Once dh left for work I got all the kids down for naps, skipped school (we will make it up on Saturday) and took a nap myself. I am still in bed resting while Brent and Meg finish their naps. When they get up I will. Lacy is in bed with me playing on her kindle and I am soaking in the cuteness. Tiny little toes and wild curls learning her ABC's.

At this point I am just numb which is probably good. Today was just the straw that broke the camels back, I just reach maximum load and crumbled. I am sure that i will be okay and my faith will come back quickly. This Wednesday and Thursday we have Occupational therapy, Behavioral therapy, an IEP meeting with the elementary school here in district to formally acknowledge that THEY can't handle him which will start the process of getting him into the autistic preschool, and a meeting with our medical social worker. Brent was supposed to have behavioral therapy tomorrow as well but we had changed it to 2 times at school and 1 time a home a week and now will have to change it back to 3 times at home. Paperwork probably won't be done by tomorrow which is okay I need a little time to heal and get my head back on straight.        

 

Big Dog, today we took him to a developmental daycare operated by the county. They handle kids till they turn 3. In April he will be going to a private autistic school that specializes in just autistic children 3- 18yrs old.

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I wish I had some advice for you but I'm totally at a loss, having never dealt with anything like this before.  Your son is lucky to have you advocating for him.  Hang in there.

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My oh my.  I am sorry for your distress.  I hope the one on one comes through. He has gifts-he just needs the right school setting whatever that may be.

 

Meanwhile, best wishes for you and your family.

 

Annie

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Amy, you and Brent have been on my mind all night. I hate that you are going through this. I know God doesn't give you more than you can handle and all that... But it's OK to feel like He does sometimes! I do too and my stresses aren't as big as this is. Every strong person is allowed to be weak sometimes an every person with faith is allowed to feel let down. You will pull out of this and your son has the best advocate in you. I will keep praying that with the 1-1 aide in the preschool he will be able to adjust.

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Amy, I am sorry you are going through all this and wish there was some easy way to fix it. But we all know there is not.

 

I am going to respectfully disagree with those who say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. My God does not look down on us and say, "Oh, she's a steel magnolia. She can handle anything. Let's send this affliction to her." Life just sucks sometimes, and I honestly don't think God has anything to do with it. He will, however, give you the strength to get through it. Read this blog entry that  expresses what I am trying to say much more eloquently than I. You might find comfort in his words.

 

Hugs and prayers for you. You are a very strong woman and a wonderful mother. 

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I agree Katie that God does give you more than you can bear on a regular basis. If we could handle it all on our own we wouldn't need Him. It is like the potter with a lump of clay. He has to tear and rip and otherwise break the clay down to then be able to mold it into what He wants. I am just in a season where He is doing a lot of reworking and reshaping and it hurts. I however know that in the end He has a reason and I will be better and stronger at the other side of it all.

 

Thank you all :) I got about 10 hours of sleep last night and I am feeling much better today. We made a special breakfast for daddy and used our fractions and units of measurements ;) Brent has a lovely bruise on his forehead from school yesterday so he must have been really upset it has been a few months since he left marks from his self harming. I am glad he is home with me today.

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Mimi, does all of this have you rethinking your decision to homeschool?  You have sooooo much on your plate right now that your physical and emotional resources are being taxed to the limit.  I'm just wondering if you'd be better able to handle Brent's challenges if you weren't having to school the other kids.  And the thought of you doing all this when your husband is deployed makes me want to cry for you.

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Mimi, does all of this have you rethinking your decision to homeschool?  You have sooooo much on your plate right now that your physical and emotional resources are being taxed to the limit.  I'm just wondering if you'd be better able to handle Brent's challenges if you weren't having to school the other kids.  And the thought of you doing all this when your husband is deployed makes me want to cry for you.

Nope the changes I am seeing in my girls have been amazing.  My oldest has gone from crying in class and being scared of her teachers to blossoming and doing really well in her work. My second daughter has gone from having massive screaming mood swings to being much more level emotionally speaking and  just over all happier and more loving.

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So glad to hear how your girls are doing so well with the homeschooling!

 

I know it's still a few weeks until April - but it will be here sooner than you think. I have to imagine that the preschool Brent will be going to has been trained for all levels of autism and have seen/dealt with self harming children. He should be in good hands there -- and at that point, I think that you'll change from angry to happiness because you'll see him growing and flourishing.

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