RANT: Coming to the “last resort”…

Last night was the one of the worse nights we have had with Christian since 2010.  We were home with our TSS, and at 3:30 we took Christian for a walk, instead of playing in the snow.  We were planning on going to the local Hardees’ to see the Grinch at 4:00.  I didn’t want Christian to get all wet with snow before we went so we proceeded to go on the walk. Christian was whining and complaining, but we decided that he will probably calm down once we were outside and then we could come back home and go straight to Hardees’ Wrong.  While we were walking Christian started screaming and began to hit at the TSS, he hit him in the chest and the face.  Christian then started hitting on me and bite me five times, headbutted me and hit me three times.  All of this while walking through our neighborhood, needless to say I was extremely depressed, humiliated and embarrassed.

We finally got him back into the house, trying to calm him down so we could go to Hardees’. Things got worse, his screaming got louder and louder and he started to bang on all the walls, hit the picture frames, hit the computer, the keyboard and at myself and the TSS as well.  After 45 minutes, I couldn’t take it anymore and the TSS was also getting overwhelmed.  Therefore, I called 911 and asked that my son be transported to the hospital so that I could meet them there and not have to run the risk of him hitting and screaming at me while driving there.

A police officer arrived first to ask what the situation was and what type of help we needed. I explained Christian’s diagnosis and the situation, how upset I was and that I just needed help getting him to the hospital.  The EMTs arrived and the officer said he would speak to them to figure out a “plan of action”.

The EMT came into the house, I was standing there with Christian and the TSS and I explained the situation to him.  Before I could finish, he rudely interrupted me by putting up his hands and saying “Ma’am, Ma’am  - I am going to be honest with you, we don’t want to deal with this, if he tries to hit us we will taser him.”   “We will try to see if we can get him into the ambulance, but if starts with us this is what we will have to do, so I am just giving you a heads up.”

Wow, really?  Why did I even bother to call 911?  What a waste.  Of course, when Christian saw the ambulance he did not want to get in it.  So, then I asked if I could ride in the ambulance with them, therefore, I could go there and not have to worry about driving and have Bill come pick us up.  The female EMT look at me and said “No”.  The officer then said, “I will follow you and if it gets too bad, please pull over and I will try to calm him down and see what we can do then.”

I was so disgusted with the lack of effort of the EMTs to help me, I just went in the house got my coat and keys and got in the truck.  So, I ended up driving Christian to the hospital myself with him screaming and hitting me the whole time.  Should have never bothered to call 911 and I never will again.

Bill arrived at the hospital 10 minutes after I did, trying to get Christian to calm down, the hospital staff was very nice and supportive, they gave Christian a medication, liquid form of course, called Versed, this medication calmed him down within 15 minutes.

My BSC (Behavioral Specialist Consultant) was nice enough to meet me at the hospital and offer us support and assistance through the whole ordeal.  I spoke to Crisis Management at the hospital and they basically told me that they were a “hands-off” service and that they could not come into my home to help me if Christian is aggressive.They said they could talk to me over the phone and give me “guidance and support” while Christian is having his meltdown.  Yeah, okay.

When Christian is screaming and hitting himself and destroying property in the house how in the hell can I talk on the phone?  How are you going to help me over the phone?  I need in-home help when my son is escalating, that is why we have a TSS in the home until my husband gets home from work.  That is why I have often referred to raising my son as a “curse”, because even though I am clearly communicating to the appropriate people and organizations that I need help, I am basically told they can’t help me.  I am doomed to be physically abused by my child that no one can seem to help and basically no one really wants to help.

Families experiencing these types of violent situations need support and assistance as well. Therefore, many families have had to opt for the “last resort” which is to have your child placed in in-patient treatment at a medical facility where doctors, behavioral specialists and psychiatrists can try and figure out what is triggering the child’s behaviors.  This is the “last resort” because many of us parents do not have children to simply “send them away”.  No parent actually “wants” this for their child, but there comes a time when you simply have run out of options to try.

I called our psychiatrist before I left to go to the hospital, telling him what had happened and to please call me as soon as possible.  He called me first thing this morning, listened to what happened and recommended that we increase Christian’s Risperdal again.  If the medication increases do not work, inpatient therapy is the next step.

With that tough decision, we have to actually go through the horrible ordeal of dropping him off, seeing him upset and having to walk away, as well as, I am sure, being subjected to negative and harsh criticisms from others.  Having a child on the spectrum is literally like being on a roller coaster; one minute they are happy and sweet and then without warning they are extremely violent.  Some people can handle this “up and down” behavior, I am getting exhausted with it and am getting to the point where I cannot handle this anymore, physically or mentally.

So please save the insensitive comments you may have, it is so easy to criticize someone going though something you have no clue about.  Raising a child who often lashes out on you physically and mentally, for years, is not a “blessing” – please do not tell me I am “blessed”.

Standing in the ER with my child screaming and out of control is no blessing and I do not enjoy it.  This is the truth about my experience with Autism, whether you agree with it or not – it is MY truth.  This is the way that it is.  No child should have to suffer with this and there needs to be a cure.  However, our society now says that this is statement is “politically incorrect”, there is nothing wrong with having Autism and we just need to learn to be more accepting of it.

I accept the fact that my child has Autism, but I don’t enjoy it and I don’t see it as a “blessing”.  I want a cure, I want my son to be happy and get to experience things that other kids his age experience.  He cannot communicate to us if something hurts him or bothers him, you really think he enjoys this?  I know I wouldn’t.

So if the increase in medication doesn’t work, it looks like the “last resort” is our next step. Welcome to the “real world” of Autism.

About kgoff

Kim Goff is the mother of Christian Goff who is diagnosed with both Autism and Mental Retardation. She is married, resides in Spring Grove, and is the CEO of Goff Software Consultants, LLC. , as well as the founder of Women4Women - a women's group that meets once a month in Hanover.
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4 Responses to RANT: Coming to the “last resort”…

  1. Captain Pickles says:

    Kim,

    I am so sorry to hear about all this. That decision if it does come to that will be a very difficult one to make but I am sure you make the decision that is best for christian.

    Any child having meltdowns especially as you have described would be hard for anyone to handle. In the end you have the best choice for you and your family. As much as you want to it may not be best to keep him at home there may be people that can help him better and help him live a better life.

    As much as it sucks that may be the case. You can not always have your life on hold as much as you may want to and as much as you love him it may be best for both sides if this continues to allow him to be in a place where he may be helped better.

    Obviously I hope it does not come to that and you guys figure out a healthy happy way to have him at home but it looks like it is heading that way.

    I wish you all the luck and blessings possible to help you with this.

    Now that I have softened the blow here comes the list of spelling and grammar errors………………………………………………………………………………………………
    Just Kidding :p

    Have a great day and keep writing!

    • kgoff says:

      Thank you very much for your support, I try to share my experiences, good or bad just to try and get people talking about issues that are not being addressed.

  2. I really appreciate this post. I have been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again

  3. Kim – Don’t ever let anyone judge you for making the decisions you and your husband feel are best for Christian. I am certain that neither of you have ever made any of these decisions lightly. You are very knowledgeable about Autism. Your love for your child comes shining through in your posts. Until someone has walked one inch in your shoes they cannot even begin to understand or empathize with what you are experiencing each and every day. Even then, as the mother of a child who has a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum, I know that my experience will be much different from yours. Each person who is diagnosed with Autism is effected in different ways. How my child is effected today may vary from how he is effected not only years from now, or even tomorrow, but a mere hour from now. It is called a “Spectrum” Disorder because it is so vast. I have always thought that the puzzle pieces were a good symbol for autism because discerning all of the different faucets to this disease and how it pertains to each person who is diagnosed with it is like trying to put together a large puzzle with many tiny pieces that don’t all seem to fit together properly.

    Know that I am praying for you and your family!

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