RAVE: Hearing From You and Speaking Out

blogpicI honestly thought that when I wrote this blog that no one would read it.  I got so fed up with the discrimination, incompetence of state and local services and the mistreatment my son and I received from the very people that were supposed to be helping us.  I was ready to hear, as I always do that “I am the one with the problem, the attitude  and that I have issues”.   Don’t get me wrong, I have heard these things, just look at some of my blog comments; however, what has surprised me is that I have received more comments with parents sharing their personal stories that are similar to mine and offering support.

My blog might not be the most popular, the most read or the most well-written blog, but it actually did what I wanted it to do; it encouraged some to come forward and share their experiences.  As parents or caretakers of individuals with autism, the experiences are not h always “warm and fuzzy” like everyone wants to hear.  We struggle, we cry and sometimes some of us wish we were no longer here to have to deal with this experience.   Unfortunately, those of us who choose to speak the “real” not “warm and fuzzy” truth are often criticized and unfairly labeled.  I know have written this type of statement before, but please remember that you are more than welcome to comment here about your experiences and feelings.

I have been able to meet with people who have commented on my blogs and I love it!  I love being able to meet with others and hear their experiences and realize that I am not the only one struggling.  Meeting with people who have read my blog also tells me that there are massive problems with our local schools and service providers that need to be addressed.  Unfortunately, most parents are fearful of speaking out for the fear of their children losing services or being treated differently.

Mistreatment of individuals with autism (children and adults) and inadequate services will continue unless we, the parents and caregivers unite to speak out.   Think back to my blog, “Kids Club – Denying Services to Children In Need”, oh, did this bring about some nasty comments.  People were so shocked by this blog; however, my story is true, because before I wrote this blog I actually had a meeting with them and confirmed my timeline and facts with them.  I have been told that about 3-4 months after this blog they changed their organizations’ name and now they have a new website with a whole new “fresh, inviting” look.  Did that blog actually do anything?  I am sure most people, especially the people who work there would say “No, that’s all in her head, she just did that blog for attention and to inflate her ego”.   I am not saying that my blog IS responsible for their organizations’ changes, but I do know it DID have some sort of effect on them and made them realize they need to watch how they treat parents and that they need to formally document why they are “kicking” certain children out when they feel like it.  Speaking out is more powerful than you realize; videos are even more powerful.

In addition, to make matters worse, the former editor of the Hanover Sun mentioned to me that one of his co-workers stated to him that he needed to stop “influencing me” to write my blog – and this statement was from a woman.  Wow, I didn’t realize that I am not writing these blogs because of my experiences or trying to encourage other parents to come forward; no, I am writing these because a “man” influenced me.  Really? How ignorant and discriminatory can you be?

This is what I have to go through when speaking the truth of my experiences and this is why I am always so thrilled to hear from parents, lawyers and caregivers expressing similar struggles, frustrations and offering support.  Yes, I have had a lawyer contact me from another state who is representing a family that is going through a similar situation I wrote about.  No, I don’t blog everyday like is recommended to drive traffic and increase readership, I do that for a living for my software company.  This blog is very personal to me and I want to keep authentic and sincere.

I want to keep encourage you to comment here and to share your experiences with others, as well as to speak out when you know something is wrong.  If you want to speak out, but can’t find the courage or resources, please contact me and I will work to provide you the help and resources that may help you.  No, I am not the “Autism Whisperer” by no means, I actually know people who do fit that title, but I am all about speaking the truth and trying to help those in need.  This blog is not about me or Christian, it is about our experiences going through this “roller coaster” of good times and bad times, we too ride that “roller coaster” with you.

As long as this blog is up, please continue to comment or write to me personally, as a lot of you have done.  I honestly appreciate hearing from you, your experiences, your struggles and statements of support.  Some of you experience more “bad times” than “good”; always remember to celebrate and be grateful for the “good times”.  This is something I have had to work on over the past couple of years.  Fortunately, I am happy to report that Christian has been doing very well since the change of medications; we did suffer from violent melt-downs at least once a week, but have now dissipated over the past couple of weeks.

Take care and keep fighting the good fight, no matter who or what tries to silence you.

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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15 Responses to RAVE: Hearing From You and Speaking Out

  1. Hanovarian says:

    Kim, instead of pushing your child onto others to take care of, maybe you should spend more time taking care of him yourself. Seems you want to play the martyr for doing very little. I wonder how much time you actually spend doing the things for him that he seems to need. Autism and Mental retardation is no excuse for violent outbursts, and you offer of rewarding him for doing wrong seems to imply why he has these breakdowns.

    • kgoff says:

      Okay, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about. I am with my child all the time and we are trying to get him involved in activities that will educate him and stimulate his social
      behaviors. Keeping him at 24/7 is not going to help him with his social skills. I take him to the library 1-3 times a week, we go to the YMCA pool and we are registering him for equestrian therapy. Who is it that I am pushing my child off to? My son lives with me and my husband. He has violent outbursts, many autistic children experience that, you obviously have no idea what it is like to raise a child like mine. In addition, we have a TSS in our home who works with Christian as well as myself and my husband to help our child. Your comment is inconsiderate, uneducated and ignorant. I am not “pushing” him anywhere, I am considered about his future; therefore it is important for us to teach him how to be independent. All parents want to see their children become independent and live successful lives. I think you need to do some more research about Autism.

    • Another Autism Mom says:

      Hanovarian, do you know what it is like raising a child with severe Autism? Do you know Kim personally? I can say yes to both questions. You couldn’t be more wrong about Kim. Your comment “Autism and Mental retardation is no excuse for violent outbursts” is misinformed and ignorant.

      • kgoff says:

        Thank you Another Autism Mom for the support. I think there is something more “going on here” with this comment. Obviously this person has some sort of “issue” with me and they have
        no idea what it is like to raise children like ours. This is the type insensitive and ignorant criticisms we are forced to endure. However, I really don’t think this person’s response makes sense to this blog – I really think this person and their response has something to do with my previous blog from last year : “Kids Club – Denying Services to Children in Need”. Again, just my personal observation.

    • Candy says:

      educate yourself. Maybe you will understand it more. Autism is a brain disorder.

  2. Ron Klingler says:

    Well first off I will address this person by “Han” because you shouldn’t have the ability nor should ever think of using anything with “ovarian” in it due to what I just read.
    I don’t know Kim personally, but I do respect the way she is dealing with her sons upbringing. This person is trying her best to give her son the life he so well deserves. She is dealing with the gift that God has given her, and quite well in fact. Many people in the past would not have dedicated theirselves in finding the remedy for their child to “live” a normal life. Their children would be institutionalized and away from socialization. Not in this case nor should it be in any case. I have experienced an autistic adult, and if you allow yourself to witness the great things they hold inside you will be amazed. It may not be the normal you are looking for, but they are great people with great things deep down inside them. In closing, think before you engage next time.

  3. Hanovarioan says:

    Not saying autism and mental retardation is a reason to not live an independent life, and i do have experience with people who have both. My opinion comes from what I read in Kim’s blog. I have no clue who Kim is, I just happened to read her blog, and did a little internet searching on her background and formed my opinion on what seems to me to be a woman who puts her needs ahead of her responsibility to raise her child. If she wants to put her opinions on the internet and a blog from my local paper, I have the right to do the same. Why does putting her son in a daily program make a better chance of him becoming independent then her doing the same thing? Can she not teach him these things if she thinks no one can do it better then her. I find people using Autism and MR to promote themselves or their business offensive and I have a right to say so.

    • kgoff says:

      You obviously don’t get it – I am not on here promoting myself. I am strictly speaking about my experiences with autism, part of teaching a child like mine social skills requires him
      to be out in public programs…you “googled” me and saw my photos and business and ASSUME I am doing this to promote myself. That is NOT true. Lots of parents blog about their autism experiences and I have every right to express mine. How in the world do I put my needs ahead of my child? My life is built around my child, there are lots of things I cannot participate in because I have to take care of my child. Please, give me specific examples of how I put my own needs ahead of my child – would love to see that…

    • kgoff says:

      I work with my child as much as I can, but he also benefits from other public programs. I do NOT use this blog to promote myself or my business anyone who knows me knows this. This blog
      is strictly about our experiences with Autism. You formed your opinion of me outside of this blog. This blog is about Autism; not about anything else that I do or am involved in.

  4. cynthia Helmick says:

    Hanovarian, you obviously do not have a child with autism or mental retardation. You have know idea what people who have children with disabilities go through, and until you do you have no room to talk. There are many types of autism and mental retardation. You should be ashamed talking to someone who lives with this everyday 24 hours a day which you do not know anything about. You have know idea what Kim’s life is like an until you walk in her shoes, keep your nasty comments to yourself. I would like to see you deal with this everyday. Maybe you should spend a day at a school or with someone who has a child like Christian. So, you can be educated on how people deal with these disabilities. I have a child with Down’s Syndrome and everyday there is something new going on so, get educated or keep quiet!!

  5. Earl F. Shaffer III says:

    I think Kim is being clear here. Being a mom is not easy. Which also requires no punch line(hanovarioan). Good job Kim!

  6. Candy says:

    Hanovarian,

    I know Kim personally and have worked with her son as well as his school bus driver in the past. I also have two of my own teenagers that are both on the ASD. I take you have no clue what autism is all about and what goes on with these children. I have driven special needs children for almost 13 years now, I see it everyday, every hour. It is hard and I have help for both of my 16 and 18 year old kids. It comes a time when yes it gets to be a little heavy wait and you need the extra support that is out there to help these kids on the ASD and it’s available to us, and we do so to help them make themselves a better person. ASD children are far more different then normal kids. They need the extra special help that sometimes mom’s and dad’s just can’t give. You ask “Why does putting her son in a daily program make a better chance of him becoming independent then her doing the same thing?” I have my autistic child in a program since he was 3 years old, he was non verbal and did wasn’t able to understand anything. Now he’s almost 17 and he’s out of the LIU program (4 yrs ago) and he’s in a regular ed class with regular kids, he is going to his jr. prom and making all kinds of friends now and making distinguished honor roll at school. My point to you, is without the help in the past he would have never made it this far. My oldest is Asperger’s and she is graduating high school in 2 months with Honors. So I give all the thanks to the people out there that are willing to help our children make better lives for themselves and educate us in the long run on something sometimes we are clueless too. We just don’t walk into Autism, and you’re not born with it. So I’d like to say, educate yourself and learn more about it, that’s what the internet is for…

  7. Cynthia Helmick says:

    Hanovarian, You damn idiot!!!!!! Children with autism and mental retardation go to programs that can help them and there parents it is just like other children going to school everyday. They go to the programs to learn!!! they learn social skills and also, learn how to be independent an interact with other children and adults. These people in these programs are there to help they study and work with children and adults with autism and mental retardation everyday. My daughter went to a special school from the age of 2-21 years of age (AN SHE LOVED IT). An they not only helped her but they helped me and that is what they do for Kim. I would just like to know if you have children and do they go to school and if you do why can’t you teach them the skills they need instead of sending them to school, and if you send them to school why? when you could teach them. Why does putting your children (if you have any) in a school everyday make a better chance for them becoming independent then you doing the same thing yourself? Kim is not promoting herself she is just expressing herself, it is nice to talk to other people who have the same problems as you. Autism should be promoted maybe one day there will be a cure. I think you should stop talking about something you know nothing about!!!! all you like to do is criticize. I know I would never what my child around someone like you.

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