I have recently been inundated with stories of children who were taken from their parents because they were running for the sake of running. One such story hails out of Calgary Canada and tells of a drug free joyous autistic girl who ran off to play forgetting to circle back for home. Dad called 911 and she was found shortly thereafter completely oblivious to any problems she may have caused. She was apprehended and since the children’s aid was not able to help her as she was they chose to drug her – a lot.
Another story comes closer to home and is about a California boy who was tethered to keep him safe while the family was moving. This was reported and the child was removed. (Apparently no one saw that wonderful movie Babies wherein the Mongolians model this type of safe keeping or even bothered to watch most day care centers walking their line up of tethered kids to the park.)
One of my many life goals is to educate the general population and people in positions of authority on what is and isn’t ‘good for autism’. This is because I lived it.
Below is an excerpt from the book I wrote while still in the trenches, solving problems in ways others wouldn’t dare and healing myself and my children along the way (For the record out of the five of us sensory overwhelmed weirdoes only one is still diagnosable.)
Excerpt from Jeff: a sexually realized spiritual odyssey of stepping into love
By Lynette Louise
My poor babies had been rejected so often by so many people. First, their natural parents, then their foster parents, then my husband, my family, their teachers and eventually my friends,
And finally you.
So, there we were, driving home from the cottage,
When my phone rang,
A little ring.
The mom in me was in trouble,
Rye had been kicked out of camp and apprehended by Children’s Aid,
You can get used to anything, so my panic was minimal.
‘Why?’ I asked.
Apparently Rye had been running and screaming and VVRROOMING at the top of his lungs all night long. On the second night the exhausted camp counselors gathered Rye’s brothers together and asked for advice. They had been trying to reach me but none of the numbers I had left were of any use to them. So they turned to my other children for help.
“Does he do this often?”
“Lots and lots.”
“What does your mommy do when he acts like this?”
“Tie him up.”
I was in trouble.
Poor Rye, he was just too wound –up to stop moving, even for sleep. Dar was the same. Something about autism and sleep doesn’t mix. However, Rye was close enough to normal to get me in a lot more trouble than Dar.
Because Rye was close enough to normal to be irritating.
And because Rye was dangerous.
Because he was fixated on so many hazardous things like heaters and furnaces and tailpipes and hanging out of second story windows. And of course there was that destructive savant in mechanics that led him to want to take everything apart but never put it back together again.
He was my challenging little “Houdini from Hell” whom no lock could keep in, or out, or even slow down.
Sleep deprivation, destructiveness, fixations and an inability to restrain themselves are common complaints with autistic kids. People who deal in children’s services should know all about it. But they seldom do. So people like me, with children like them, get in trouble.
Of course I’d known this would happen, had seen it coming. That is why I had had the doctor prescribe a bed harness to keep Rye safe and make him stop sneaking out in the night and going into other people’s houses looking for heaters.
He was only four years old. He needed to be contained somehow.
I knew how to prevent Rye from getting out at night but I also knew that whatever method I used needed to be approved of by a recognized professional. Otherwise I’d be called abusive and my son would be considered at risk. How ironic!
Because my son was at risk I had to keep him safe, which put my son at risk of my keeping him safe, which put me at risk, of getting in trouble for preventing him, from running the risk, of coming to harm.
So I had gone to the extra trouble to involve the doctor and make my parenting legal. The contraption he sold me was pathetically ineffective. However, it was medically prescribed, which made it superior to anything I could come up with in its ability to keep me out of jail.
So I bought the harness for my protection from accusations, and created my own device for Rye’s safety from fires and falls. This type of social politicking wore me out even more than my kids did.
I felt that I should have been able to be honest and just do what was best for my son without fear of persecution.
But the undesirable world of “Woe Is Me” is papered in. “Should Be Able To’s” so I just dealt with it by accepting the fact that such was not the life for the single Canadian mom of four special-needs sons.
So there it is … I tied him up …. kept him safe …. and he got better!