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More Joy of Autism. Another Autistic Teen Male Accused of Violent Murder

Crazy man By Kim Stagliano

How many stories of violent deaths allegedly at the hands of autistic teen males will we have to read before the world either A) embraces treatment for autism as a medical ailment or B) paints all autistic males as dangerous killers and locks them away a la 1955? 

In February, Sky Walker of NE Ohio was indicted on charges of beating his mother to death HERE. He remains in jail.  Now, Henry Cozad of Bunker Hill, OR is charged with killing his father's live in girlfriend HERE.  

I don't believe that Sky or Henry are mentally ill. They each have severe autism. Not HFA and certainly not Asperger's. I think the DSM IV classification of autism as "other psychoses" is bu#sh!t. 

Autism is not violent insanity.

I dread a world in which we go from "No treatment is necessary because autism is a natural state and there is no epidemic." to "Holy shit, he's 265 pounds and out of control, we'd better chemically (or worse) restrain him."

Our cute little (manageable) boys and girls are growing up. WAKE UP.

Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism.

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As a registered nurse i have watched my sister deal with a moderate to severe autistic son who is now eighteen. He was a happy child who has grown more sullen and violent. As we have explored all avenues of intervention it is clear there is no one size fits all solutions. We do not believe that he is comfortable feeing so out of control and certainly the effect on family and others in his life as he attacks them is one of concern. The language used seems so mild compared to the violence and destruction that is following in the wake of this child. Our family has decided to use medication to control him as the outcomes without are too severe. We are hopeful that as he ages perhaps the need will lessen. Without medication his world is so small and filled with only negativity as he cannot interact on any level. I have to add the out of control violence and the inability to predict it, is astounding. I am truly saddened by the lack of information that is available to the community of families who have an autistic member. It seems that each person must reinvent the wheel for themselves as their child's needs change. We are convinced that he will injure someone and the police will be involved. In no way is this in his best interests. After all the interventions that have been tried and have failed, we feel that medication will at least allow time to pass and perhaps his violence will lessen and allow him to interact with the people around him again.

Have you ever had to lock you and your animals in the bedroom to protect yourself from your child? Have you ever been given a black eye by them? Almost had your nose broken? Had your hair so knotted from being drug around and whiplashed that you are afraid to wash it the next day, hoping it will somehow miraculously reattach itself? Have you ever been so "locked up" that you can't go to a doctor’s appointment or even shop for your own groceries? Have you had someone bite you so violently that they drew blood and almost took a chunk from your skin? Been so frightened that if they had connected with the next bite they would have taken off half your face?
WELL I HAVE....AND THE LIST GOES ON!
I hope I live thru this.....tonight escalated to the point I could not control my daughter and she is trying to hurt me badly. She tried to run in the road and it took 5 people to stop her-the whole while she was attacking everyone.
I have a black eye, cuts, she bit me so hard she drew blood and I am sure when I wash my hair in the morning half of it will be gone!
ROUND 3 - Sept 18, 2012:
Last night was the third round of my daughter losing control this week! IT WAS HORRIBLE!
There were police everywhere, ambulance, fire truck and she was trying to hurt me so badly they would not let us stay home. They forced us to go to the ER on a Police Hold. The ER tells me they gave me all these opportunities to help us and I just turned them all down. I said, "No one offered me anything other than this room you are holding us in and to tie her down to the bed and medicate her." All I said was, "How is that going to help? How is locking her up and drugging her going to make a difference? If I as her parent can't even help her how will you be able to do anything else but to tie her down and continue to restrain her?
Did you get to kiss your kids good night tonight? I didn't! My daughter was admitted to the hospital on a psych hold 6 days ago. WE sat in an ER room unable to leave or do anything for 6 days. Then we were transferred to the adolescent care center only to sit in ONE room without the freedom to move about or go outside our room. Today was the 7th day of that.
The hospital admitted they do not have a plan, program, or a way to help us try to make a plan. The care unit agreed to take us but I was a liability and limited us to staying in our room (with nothing in it and no personal belongings) then, because they wouldn't serve me meals (even though they wanted me there to help stabilize her) I had to go get breakfast in the lower level. As soon I left my daughter flipped out and the physical restraints started (4 times today alone) then, it was HIGHLY recommended that I leave. I AM LOOSING THIS BATTLE!
Because I am so terrified of her at this point, I finally agreed to let them hold her for a week long evaluation...that is not what I want but I was terrified because she was blowing up and they were trying to make us leave the hospital because I wouldn't sign papers for them to keep her. WHAT CHOICE DID I HAVE?
I am going to shower and loose another half of my hair, pick up the debris and glass from last night and hope I can stand up long enough to make it through all of this. I have no strength left, I am beaten, battered and terrified of the one I love the most out of anyone in my life.
Update - 10/30/12
I wanted to update you on the situation. We were taken to the ER on a police hold Thursday, almost 2 weeks ago. We literally SAT in a room in the ER for 6 days with little more than physical restraints to keep my daughter from leaving her room (which had nothing in it), to sedation, and a visit from a Psychiatrist. It is bad enough for a disabled girl to be sitting there with nothing to do for that many days, but throw in three adult males screaming at the top of their lungs, cussing, beating on walls, 8-10 police converging on them until meds kicked in. DO YOU KNOW HOW SCARY THAT WAS FOR ME, LET ALONE MY DAUGHTER?
On the 6th day they sent her to the Juvenile Psych program at Providence. It was to be a wonderful program that would allow her to be around other kids and have a good shot at finding a med that worked for her. Well, after a whole day sitting there, again not being able to leave our room, we had a consult with the nurse. I said, “What is going to take place? We have just been sitting here and not able to leave our room again, this is not what I expected.” They restated what the psych had already told me, “We are the new generation of this disability. They do not have a plan or a program for us. There is not a med, it’s not like Schizophrenia where you can just give you a pill. Each child is different and we really don’t know what to do for you.”
WELL, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT THEY DO FOR YOU….SEVEN (7) days later (13 days total), my daughter is still sitting in a room with nothing to do! Their plan is to “stabilize her meds”. How do you do that when an autistic child’s triggers are sensory and there is certainly nothing sensory in a room with a bed and barely any interaction with any one? Change 1 med, give it a week and we’re on our way. WHAT no medical testing, no research into other reasons? I just have to accept the fact that “she is mentally ill” when she never was before? A pill is the magical answer, the only answer????
Where are her human rights? Every time she tried to leave her room it would be a battle, 2-6 security guards would be called and she would be hauled/drug to the lockup room to sit. Then, get this a script of Adavan & a jigger of NYQUIL! Back to the room to sleep and look out, round two is on its way, then, three, and four….when and where is it going to end??????? Oh, yeah, I forgot…she’s a smart little girl, she will learn that her behaviors get her in lock up, she’ll figure it out! Well, how’s that working for them, day 12/13 and were still in the same cycle!
Then I have never cried harder…she has had the flu for two days. They have her on a strict liquid diet (nothing like Pepto or Metamucil). Tonight I get there and she and her room STUNK! I asked if I could give her a shower. We get in there and I cried…she was in a DIAPER and had gone to the bathroom in it. Could they not smell it? How long did she sit in it? This girl is 17 years old and hasn’t had a diaper since she was 2! How humiliating for her, I was sick!
Then we were sitting in her room and I said I had to go. She started crying, and said, “Please mommy, SAVE me. Take Lexi home!
NEED I SAY MORE????
PLEASE…that’s all I’ve got left! I pray I never die before her because I have had a great taste of what will happen to her! I am so sick!

Here is a copy of the original letters I have been sending to explain in more detail, however, there isn't enough paper to tell you what I have been through!
August 21, 2012
Despair, loneliness, isolation, depression….we are in “The Land of Limbo!” Where do you go when even the support people you have don’t know where to tell you to go for help!
My daughter has Autism. Her history has caused PTSD. She is 17 years old and her size makes it almost impossible to control her. The Hospitals say there isn’t a place for her because she hasn’t tried to kill herself or others…the support programs won’t take her unless she meets the IQ level to attend meetings and support groups. The State CAN take her and place her in Foster Care…but “I” want her and I want to take care of her BUT it is getting to the point I am not sure I can.
WELCOME TO THE LAND OF LIMBO!
I am the reason she is where she is…I allowed her to go to her friend’s house – where she was molested! I kept sending her to school…where they called security guards and physically restrained her every day for 1 1/2 -3 hours…and yes, I kept sending her because the law says I have to.
But where is the law when you try to protect her from the man that molested her…oh, yeah, she has no rights because even though she told/showed Rape Crisis and everyone else she can’t take the witness stand so she isn’t credible (So, he is allowed to pass our house freely every day – because our restraining order does not work!). Where is the law when the school has untrained security guards restraining her and they have her in an illegal hold that has caused death in the state mental hospitals…oh, yeah, you have to have money and big guns as they say to hire attorneys to fight for her rights, strike two!
A single mom…trying to keep her daughter, one I LOVE with every ounce and fiber in my body…but it’s not working!
Even with her disability, I think my daughter feels that I should have protected her and rightfully so. So, now the battle has come home! She breaks everything in her path (my main living area is now reduced to couches and a couple chairs…gone are the pictures and memories of what used to be the happiest days of our lives), she removes her clothes in public…stripped naked anytime, anywhere, she hits me, spits at me, removes her seatbelt in the car and tries to open doors while I am driving. I have been stuck in very public places trying to hold her clothes on for, not minutes, but literally hours and hours! I hate to tell you, but people that witness these situations are NOT kind! They do not try to help you or give you strength to go on, instead they avoid you like the plague and stare as if you’re from another planet - I no longer look people in the eyes, because it hurts too bad. They only see the person on the floor acting up and yelling…I know the other one and I know they would love her too!
I did not believe in the use of medicine and I have been seeing a naturopathic doctor for the last 5 years. I have tried behavior programs, behavior therapists, horse therapy, staying busy and staying home -nothing is working! Approximately six months ago I decided to go to “medicine”. The doctor tried Risperdal for several months…things got worse. The doctor withdrew her off it for two days, then on to Guanfacine. I didn’t really notice much difference and funny thing, when the explosive outburst happened in her office she said she had tried what she had available and I should “give her up” because there was something very wrong in our house & it must be something I was doing.
It’s kind of funny but I have noticed that when the problem gets really big, NO ONE wants to help and they jump ship quick. Even Emanuel Children’s Hospital said they had no help for us, basically we were a liability and we needed to leave. So, the Psychiatrist writes us a prescription, put’s a little hope in our pockets and shoves us out the door!
Wow, what do you do with that! I was TERRIFIED! We returned INSTANTALLY to the Battle Zone! My house was destroyed the second we entered the door! So, when she fell asleep I took everything out of it, now I tie the two bedroom doors together so she can’t get in to destroy everything else we own. I have padlocks on my entry gate, a keyed deadbolt on my front door, a screw in the track of the patio door and if I try to leave I have to back the car in my yard and butt it to the gate so the only direction she can go is in. NOW THIS IS LIVING!
The saddest part in this whole story is what has happened to the quality of Lexi’s life. I cried my eyes out when she was in the backyard a couple days ago, a 17 year old BEGGING to go play on the Slip-n-Slide with the neighbor kids. Lexi is an extremely social person who’s life is limited to ME! I used to have such a fun loving happy go lucky girl that loved to tease and laugh and dance! SHE IS GONE!
I AM BEGGING YOU TO HELP ME FIND HER AGAIN…I know there is hope…I am just having trouble finding it! Maybe you could find someone that could do brain scans or find a way to emotionally regulate her. Right now I never know what the trigger is or when it is going to hit. I am not walking on egg shells, we are on LANDMINES!
I watched your show yesterday, when you worked with the mother that had split personalities. I know you are willing to “take on the big battles” and I know I am not the only mother in this situation. My goal is to help Lexi, but If there is any way to help someone else by sharing my story, that would make my life complete. I know I am not the only one out there facing this issue. Autism is now 1 in 100 or less, where are these kids going to go? Society had better prepare themselves!
I really hope that if you consider helping us, it might pave the road for others. This is such a long road…but I am willing to travel EVERY inch of it because I want a better life for my daughter…and those that follow!
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I really hope you consider this Challenge!
Sincerely,

Debbie Popov
18358 SW Jann Drive
Aloha, OR 97006

Our story has a happy ending. I have an autistic son (now 15) that turned from happy to violent (aggession, self injurious, destructive) at 8 years old. I won't go through the list of horrible situations but I assure you that I know what it's like to live in a violent home for several years.

We were at a loss because we had done everything "right" (ABA, speech, etc etc). We tried the med route but it ended worse then it started. God finally provided the answer for our son with Neurotherapy. Now 3 years later, he's a different person. The violence is not fully extinguished but it greatly reduced. I feel confident that it will be gone soon.

I think violence in Autism comes from several different sources. In my son, there were two major sources. The first was an external triggers (something outside of himself) that caused him to escaluate to violence. In general this type of violence can often be managed with a good consistent behavior program including developing frustration tolerance.

The second source for my son came from some internal triggers in his brain. I call it "The Flip." One minute he's fine and enjoying himself, there's a brief pause, and then a huge rage attack. Nothing we did for my son helped until we started neurotherapy.

Now interestedly, neurotherapy also helped with frustration tolerance, and attention, and spontaneous language, etc. That's because neurotherapy resolves problems in the brain. I'm a big believer and want to get the word out to those families living in the nightmare of violent autism.

here's a good site with both descriptions and links. http://www.centerforbrain.com/

I live in california, with my 19 yr old Autistic son who has also just been diagnosed with depression OCD and PTSD. Yesterday he attacked me with a 16 inch pipe wrench. He hit me very hard in the flank just between my kidney and liver, I am on a transplant list waiting for a kidney and a pancreas. If they find out about this they will take me off the list believe me.While I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher he got the phone away from me, they called back and by the grace of god he gave them the address an allowed them to come get me.( I am OK big bruise no internal bleeding)
The sherriff was at the hospital when I got there. They left it up to me to send him to jail for assault with a deadly weapon or get him held on what they call here a 51/50 (for mentally ill) 72 evaluation hold. I chose the 51/50.Later a woman from the other hospital called to talk to me about him. She almost let him go without the evaluation, but luckily I was able to convince her to keep him for at lesst the 72 hrs. He has no where else to go but back here, he refuses to take his meds, who is going to watch over this kid when I am gone by one reason or another?

Kim I am sorry. Trying to get help from the mental health is confusing. I am pretty sure mental health facilities picks and chooses who to help, or who they are capable of helping.

My duaghter says her facitily will not accept low functioning or low IQ.

That is a lot of people to fall through the cracks.

I am so sorry that there is nothing I can do for you.

I am so sorry for you and your children.

Kim my daughter works as a nurse at one of main psych hospital in Eastern Ky. She has a high functioning austistic brother. I thought that was why she choose this line of work. She does esp like the boy's unit.

One week end she called in to work sick.
For mother's day I found her in complete psychosis. She had operated on herself!
Her problems does lead back to the three Hep B vaccines from nursing school 2 years ago which caused her to have high sed rates and C reactive proteins (unspecified inflammatory disease the useless Rhuematologist said as he handed her a prescription for ibuprohen. plus at 2 years old the DPT shots caused her to have Kawasaki's too.

Now I don't Nothing was there for her much in this county except social workers that run comprehensive care. She was in an emergency situation and all she had looking after her was a social worker???? And that social worker after seeing her in the hospital made the next appointment two weeks away. The social worker also went against the doctor who recommended she go to a menatl hospital other than her own. \

mm social worker ---- medical doctor!??
I am beginning to think that all the trouble the rural areas of America is having with drugs (really bad), People breaking into houses to steal anything but especially medication,meth labs every where, can not buy sinus medication without showing your driver liscense- threatened with being flaggged by the FBI, and of course all the pot fields. In the spring it use to be the return of the Robins, but now the spring brings out the fleet of helicopters looking for pot fields.

At my daughter's hospital the main thing is medicating them. In my daughter's case it was medication untill another type of medicine also used for seizures could take over.

All bipolar medicines after looking at them are seizure medicines.

We are also using all kinds of B vitamins, L carnitine and are on a low carb diet too. Low carb diet of less than 15 carbs will control seizures in 40 percent of the cases.

I am in this exact situation with two of my children. I have 6 children, three are typical adults and doing very well in their lives. Three have autism and MR and are teens. Two of the three autistic are violent. One has been in hospital inpatient units 15 times in 18 months until they finally gave her the help she needed in residential treatment. It took so much to get her there, It is a story in itself. I begged pleaded with everyone, every social worker, state personnel, dr and hospital for 18 months. The answers were always "no beds available, funding is a problem, or she has been denied by that facility due to her violent behaviors" (yeah can you believe that? these are places meant to treat the exact reason they are denying her). I am a very very proactive, very good mother. My kids have not experienced any trauma or abuse. We are a married couple whose marriage has amazingly sustained all this tragedy and I am very lucky to have alot of support from the school, case workers, doctors etc, but the truth is, there is NOT help for cases like this.There is no help because the few places there are equipped to deal with these cases are usually full and when a spot opens, there's many in need. Getting funding is like pulling teeth from the county or state govt. The politics of it all is ridiculous, and that alone keeps these teens from getting help. Fortunately, My daughter has been in residential now for 2 years, Unfortunately, She is not doing any better, however she is safe from hurting herself or anyone else. She is truly disturbed in ways that to me does not seem like comes from autism alone. She was a typical autistic child very happy and giggly until she hit age 14. Literally within weeks she deteriorated to an extremely violent person. She will tear the skin off her head with her fingernails daily,bang her head constantly, she will tear the clothes off her body right in public (and i mean literally shredding) in her rages, and she is extremely violent to those around her, punching, kicking,spitting, throwing things at and lunging into people DAILY. They diagnosed her with schizzoaffective disorder bipolar type with intermittent explosive disorder on top of her Autism/MR diagnosis. She will not be eligible for group home with her violent nature, however when she turns 21 she can no longer stay in the residential facility because its not for adults. I have no idea what will happen then. She has been on so many meds I have lost count. This is also only 1 of my kids. Her younger brother who is almost 16 is now going through the same thing. He was in a specialized psych hospital with a floor for autistic children for 8 weeks. Got discharged 3 days ago, had to call 911 yesterday as he was attacking all of us and trashing everything in the house continuously for 2 hours.He has banged his head into mine so fast i didn't even know what hit me. The cops were clueless on what to do. the hospital didn't want to admit him because they say they aren't equipped to deal with his severe autism (hes non verbal) I had to threaten to not take him home, no matter what, even if it means getting arrested to protect both him and my other child. and his reg psych doc had to tell this particular hospital that he is a danger, and its a safety risk and they MUST admit him before they reluctantly agreed. This is a juvenile psychiatric floor in a local hospital. I have exhausted every service available to these kids, Therapeutic specialized support, family based counseling, partial mental health programs, specialized schools and behavior specialists. I will not allow them to send him home but they have nowhere for him to go. I cannot let him hurt his twin sister or another family member, or....himself which is most likely. So I'm reliving the same thing I went through with his sister and I was very very lucky to have ever gotten her help in the form of residential treatment. I don't know how we are getting through this as individuals or a family. My heart is broken in half, as I feel I have lost 2 children for no other reason than some medical reason that everyone in the world seems clueless about.
I can understand people not wanting their autistic child to be feared because of kids like mine, however, my kids problems cannot go ignored. Society cannot just shove them back to the parents, or ignore the situation. This is how people end up a victim killed by a mentally ill individual. this country needs educated on exactly how bad the mental health/ and developmental disabilities services really are. Most of the population THINKS in cases like this there is help...they have no idea how bad it really is and this serious problem needs addressed in our society as its only going to get worse with the increase in the amount of adult autistic population coming soon, and SOME of those autistics WILL be violent. There is so much more to this story but I cant possibly write it all here. ANd I apologize for the length of this post. But please keep an open mind about this problem. No one can understand until you live it. Its real easy to try and judge parents, or fear how it will reflect on the autistic population. My kids are just as valuable as anyone Else's and they deserve to get the help they need, they shouldn't be thrown away by society, looked down on or anything else because they are SICK and they are the most vulnerable types of people in the autism community. Please don't turn your backs and make false judgments when you hear stories of violent autistic people. they should have the same human rights as you and I, and should get the help they need. Protecting them and others around them should be the highest priority.

I have an autistic niece who at age 12 fractured her infant brother's skull. She is now in the custody of the state and heavily medicated at all times. She is very violent towards everyone. It's a shame because her mother would beat her as a child tell her she wished she was never born and basically turned her into the violent person she is today. I don't believe that an autistic person should be held as accountable as a normal person. However, I think her mother is a monster who should have been prosecuted and another method of intervention followed for her daughter. It's disturbing some autistic children are violent, but this article hardly offers a solution and just seems like a condemnation of autism "a la 1955."

Kim, I just read some more on Cozad's predicament. This statement caught my eye:

"If doctors determine he can be made competent through treatment, they have three years to work with Cozad. A Bandon psychiatrist recently reported that Cozad has a mental defect considered to be mental retardation with moderate autism."

Wouldn't it be ironic if biomedical interventions were to used to recover Henry to the point he would be competent to be convicted of a crime that biomedical interventions might have prevented.

Just a thought.

http://www.theworldlink.com/articles/2009/04/07/news/doc49db8d603b20a893542675.txt?redirect=y

From "across the pond":-

Nessie, I've only just read your comment from last week. Don't print here who your MP is but please try to arrange to see him/her as a matter of urgency (they should hold constituents' clinics regularly but phone if you can). I've got an idea you can be registered as a "friend" somehow for prison visiting but I don't know about this personally. Was he on prescribed medication? If so, then it should be possible to contact the prison doctor (who won't talk to you but you could ask him/her to listen) to check that he's getting his medication. "There but for the Grace of God" applies to so many of our young people .....

What we need is a moment of silence for all of our children who are suffering...And prayer-I couldn't have made it this far with my child if not for my faith-He is so much better because I didn't give up on him.
I refuse to buy into the Bull Shit that our kids are "hopeless" It takes a lot of guts to keep trying when all seems hopeless-
Guts & Love... We must continue to see what is right in our world-Continue to remember those that truly care. Don't Give up HOPE!!!

I am the carer of a 23 year old man who has HFASD and schizophrenia. He came to live with me earlier this year as he is a friend of my son who is also autistic - his condition is DAMP.

This young man is currently locked up in prison having been suddenly arrested last week. During a schizophrenic panic attack he was forcibly restrained and he lashed out. This was classed as assault.

He should be, if anywhere, in hospital but instead he is in one of the most notorious prisons in Britain.

I have to say from experience, "they" (the authorities) sick of attacking the families of our autistic young, are now fighting back by attacking the young ASDs themselves.

I live in a rural isolated community. Even that could not protect this young man.

I'm not being alarmist - the reality is here.

We need to do all we can to get our children registered as disabled, we need to fight to get laws changed and we need to get ASD out into the wider community. Education is the key.

Yes, we are already fighting a battle to get the CAUSES of ASD recognised, to provide for specialist education, to provide for appropriate medical support, but believe me if they are imprisoned? Its game over.

I don't know how my ward is doing. I have been told that as Im not a blood relative I have no access to him.

He got 4 months.

Nessie, Norfolk, England


With such incidents taking place, i'm worried that that it might bring anout negative implications to children with autism. I'm afraid that the society might further ostracize them.

When I looked at the picture of this place they called home, "Chill's went down my back", this place looked like something I have seen in a movie. Maybe there is more to this story on what happened to this boy, I mean my child has Autism, but he is gentle as a giant. I don't believe people who are affected by autism or normal people just snap and strangle and then snap again and kill someone, something make's them a time bomb. I am sorry that our children regressive or not aggressive are going to get this kind of label when they get older...this is purely a tragedy!
I would hate that people would fear my child because of his label of Autism and his current ability not to be able to carry a conversation on, even after 2 years of biomedical therapy and many other therapy and permanent strict G/F C/F diet. You think this would be more reason for our Government, NIH and everyone else to get serious about stopping the vaccine damage that is continuing to go on everyday. More money needs to be pumped into the system for biomedical, all therapies to help bring these children back....
What a sad and disturbing story...

For years as the autism numbers exploded, officials didn't sound any alarm. It’s all been just better diagnosing of something that's always affected lots and lots of kids. No reason to worry or to take any action. For those of us who've followed the news stories for years and have seen the trivializing of a debilitating disorder into phrases like, "Autism is a lack of communication skills and an inability at social interaction." One autism dad I know says "This makes it sound like the kid just can't get a date."

Kim is so right. Our kids are aging fast. Their needs are going to take center stage. I don't know what things are like where you live, but there are no homes for autistic adults around here. There is no real need--but there will be. We'll have adults who will need constant care, who are a danger to themselves and to others, and who have nowhere to go.

No one seems to know they're coming. We're hearing stories of police using tasers against autistic kids in schools in several places in the country. With no understanding, the police respond with force. Parents can only shake their heads, knowing that an autistic child will hardly be intimidated into compliance. I dread to think of the tactics that will be routinely used when "an autistic adult is out of control" in a public place or at home.

Will the stereotype of autism change from the Rainman to violent criminal?

Anne Dachel
Media editor

The bitter irony for many seeking behavioral therapy benefits is that you must present your child in the worst possible light so agencies deem them "autistic enough" (my words) to receive services.

I don't consider my son to be dangerous however I must highlight the fact that he can be self-injurous when frustrated, that he has struck others when frustrated and that he bit a peer when they wanted a preferred item of my son's. So in order to get needed services, I play this up. Will this bite me and my son in the butt 10 years from now if he happens to have an outburst? It's all documented that he has difficulty containing his anger and frustration physically.... Will he eventually lose the long-term war in order to win this short-term battle?

I have an effected son, Kim, so I'm very grateful to see you taking charge of the issue rather than letting the other side have free reign to twist everything until it's FUBAR (f***ed up beyond all recognition).

In the end, "violent criminal mentality" only describes the people poisoning our kids, covering it up and trying to profit from the damage by doing more damage. It certainly doesn't describe autism.

You're so spot on. With news of the school/mass shootings in the press at the same time, pharma and their mangy pet, the American Psychiatric Association, are going to have a fine time blurring the lines between separate categories of violent behavior in an effort to create drug mandates for autism to "prophylactically" protect the public against "potential violence". Of course, never mind the fact that virtually all the mass shooters-- many of whom started NT and even "nice" or "normal"-- were on the very same drugs being foisted on children with autism.

The mom who commented that her son is reacting to seizures meds is providing one strong clue here about behaviors which are supposedly "inherant" in autism. Seizures are so tragically common in this "wonderful, quirky" condition but its rarely mentioned in mainstream resources. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that many behaviors commonly linked to autism are frequently exascerbated or fully caused by the seizure medications that families are forced to use to save their children's lives (which they would never have had to use if not for the "gift" of vaccine injury). These mainstream news stories also rarely report those details-- the black box warnings on seizure meds (which don't mean that parents can avoid giving them to their children with seizures).

As for the "irritability" found in some children with autism or the elevated testosterone that the Geiers discovered, what's needed is more research on our side of the fence. Biomed has already helped my son enormously and has removed countless risks from his future. We need to know more to take down ALL the risks, but the other side is not going to provide that information. Thank you again for opening the information gates, Kim.

I wonder why most of us just don't snap one day and beat the living hell out of someone for not treating us with respect. Certainly people, autistic or not, have a tipping point where enough is enough. Hell, I get angry a lot for stupid reasons, because I'm late and someone in front of me is driving under the speed limit and I want to push them out of my way, throwing my finger up in the air, yelling at them, stupid stuff like that. And think of a kid, a teen, a mature autistic male suffering God knows what sort of pain and suffering under some external or environmental pressure that causes anger and frustration, where is his tipping point, when is enough is enough for him? How does he communicate, he can't sip a glass of scotch and pour out his frustrations to a bartender? Go out and spend money, lose himself in the soft cushions of a shrinks office or lay out on a beach in Hawaii. He is locked in his own head. I know a 265 pound teenager frustrated is a bit intimidating, all of them are, typical or not. Ask any parent whose teenager slams a door shouting, "I hate you" what goes through their mind.

The Columbine kids weren't autistic, neither are 99.9% of all other teenage murderers.

I guess I know how the African American community feels when the 6 o'clock news says, "... and the suspect is a black man."

Does it matter who these people really are? What matters is that unless someone starts getting to the bottom of this epidemic by recognizing successful therapies, working to fund healthy respite centers, etc AND to come to the grips of the causes of autism, they won't have to worry about the kids, they will have to deal with 265 pound parents with one too many straws on their backs ready to snap when one more lie makes it to the headlines.

It's heart-breaking to know that most children with autism have difficulty communicating what's bothering them, whether it's chronic gut pain from ulcers or the deterioration of their intestinal lining or from a severe headache caused by brain swelling.

Put a clothes pin on the tail of a cat and see what happens when you try to take it off after about 2 minutes. Did the cat bite and scratch because it is a cat or did it do so because of the clothes pin hurting it's tail?

And you are right, pretty soon all cats will seen as being dangerous when it is the pit bulls like me and some of you that they really need to watch out for.

http://bensmyson.wordpress.com

I am lucky that my ten year old daughter is very good natured and generally agreeable with most things... but sometimes her tactile defensiveness and sensory processing issues can cause her alarm during unfamiliar circumstances... at which point her size and strength become a challenge. When she's 20? I pray to God she's more independent by then... because nobody will be big enough to calm her during a tantrum. These stories about the grown boys & young men with violent outbursts sadden me, but they're not very surprising.

We have a lot of work to do to treat these kids... and make them healthy so they can develop more typically... learn life skills and communicate their wants and needs... as well as be able to socialize. Lack of social skills can create enormous frustrations and psychological issues, on top of any physical discomforts they experience with gut pain and sensory processing problems.

Wow. I cannot believe the comments on that article. My son has severe autism as well and if I left him up to the local public school system to deal with, then I'm sure this would be him. That educator saying that he is nonverbal so he can't communicate? What is this the 1950s? That public school system has failed him miserably if he's this age and cannot communicate his needs/wants. What have they been doing with him all these years? Our kids are citizens too- they are entitled to a public education.

When I read these morbid accounts my heart is totally grieved for the child and family.
By the same token, I want to fall on my face and thank God for the DAN doctors who have gone against the grain to treat our kids.
My son is healthy, verbal, in touch with us today. Life does not consist of "strategizing" on how to contain him.
Every child deserves to live life free from torment and pain.
Some of these kids have GI ulcers, food allergies, bacterias like Clostrida, latent strep, heavy metal poisonings.
5 years after DAN treatment my son is free from these trappings and functioning well in a normal classroom.

Boy, I think all Moms are worried as their kids age. Regardless of how much/how little/what sort of plans they set up for their younger kids. I sat in a high school planning meeting for Mia last week. Shell shocked. High School????

For those who preach that no treatment is needed, that autism is not a societal problem - whether a Mom, a sociologist, an MD or an autism advocate, I think these stories tend to drown their message pretty quickly. I hope they'll realize the damage their message does - because we will go from "do nothing" to "lock them up" or "abort them before they can do damage." That worries me a lot.

Kim

Where are all the ND moms now and what is their take on this tragedy? Perhaps the lady did not "enjoy" her "son" the way she should have. She should have celebrated his difference. She should not have tried to change him - perhaps she didn't. Guess we will never know now will we? Unless of course he blogs from his jail cell and lets us in on his little secret.

My son is 12. I can barely control him anymore. It's not so much his autism or puberty. Those, in and of themselves are manageable. But his seizure meds and making him violent.

This week has been one of me being punched, kicked, scratched, bit...

I spend every minute of every day trying to figure out what to do for him. I think I shall put up a sign up sheet for all the ND's out there to come over here and care for my "quirky" ND child so that I can take a bath. Bring some Kevlar... so you can survive the beatings while you appreciate him just being him!!

I just found another article with a bit more information on Henry Cozad from The Oregonian here:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1237087508133320.xml&coll=7

It also includes some comments from Henry's father.

What stood out in this article for me was:

"Woodruff said one staffer at the education service district who taught Cozad for years called him "a sweet boy."

The World Link article also stated this comment:

"One woman, who also lives nearby, weeped and seemed surprised when she learned that Cozad had been charged with murder.

“She raised that boy,” she said of Foley, “from the time he was a little tiny guy.”

And every local news channel online has this story reporting from World link or AP and reading the comments are a bit heated.

It's not just an assault on the "debunked" vaccine-autism debate that is being played out in the mass media right now. It's an assault on autism in general.

Rather than looking at the actual reasons behind what this boy did (simply having autism does NOT make you violent!), they will instead focus on how his severe autism drove him to kill. Is autism now going to be the media's new schizophrenia? Is there not enough bad press on autism? Is it starting to bore the average person that now the media and the judicial system feel they must take it up a notch and let the public see the 'true violent face of autism"? Goddamn....that's a chilling thought.

Do some blood work on this kid. Let's see where his lead and aluminum levels are. It makes me want to tear out my hair when I read about these things.

Also, if autism is considered a true mental disability, why the murder charge? I just don't get it.

Thank you for posting about this Kim and for your words. I've been busy and had not heard about the Oregon incident and I live in Oregon.

Like the Ohio murder, naturally I am greatly saddened about the Oregon murder. And what must the world that does not have or know a child with Autism think? *sigh*

I look at our son who's only 5 years old, but as big as a 6 to 7 year old and wonder if my big gentile giant who loves Thomas and Curious George might get so frustrated one day and harm another.

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