Spoke to a friend, an autism mom from Kochi today. Was shocked to hear that her 6 year old son’s arm (the bone above the wrist) broke in two, while he was being forced to do the OT (occupational therapy) exercises. She was in tears and asked “Will our misery never end chechi?”
Autism, in terms of money, is diabetes/weight-loss/plastic surgery businesses combined. The “industry” aims at minting money using the parents’ fear, aspirations and guilt. Offering fixes, therapies and pipe dreams. What the child might want is never asked. It churns out disgruntled, over treated, exhausted and negative children, who are told to try harder every day and put on doozer doses of suspect meds.
As a been there-done that person, I say this to anyone who calls me about this subject.
Take therapy from people who are confident enough to have you in the room, or at least watching from a window.
Ask for references. Ask people for first-hand experience (not the friendly friends/neighbours who say I’ve heard about this place…)
Any brain bridges/fixes and places where one person -be it a doctor, magician or anyone – who will cure or treat the child using “patented, secret” techniques, is a fraud.
Think of therapy as treatment. It is as important in autism (or more) than medicines when you are sick.
Use your brains -read, discuss, travel. The CARS/DSM rating scales can sometimes give wrong verdicts to normal kids. Don’t fall for teachers who say your kid is hyper. Try every diet that claims to work, without compromising your sanity or the child’s health.
Use your brains- When meds are prescribed, ask what the meds are for. Ask them about the side effects, long term effects. Check the prescription with a paediatrician/general physician. Think as a family, if you are strong enough to try it, or use it for the benefits and then stop.
And the most important … you child inherited bits and pieces of this autism jigsaw from you, your spouse and your family. That means you too, are dysfunctional at many levels. Take treatment, visit a shrink frequently, and ask for meds/crutches if you need them. Don’t beat yourself to death if you can’t do everything perfectly, in therapy or in life
It is like a boon now that I see someone willing to take up the fight for us. The fact that the initiator is someone I know personally and professionally makes me an advocate of the movement. Seema Lal has been my son’s only behaviour therapist and has single-handedly shaped how he and I work around any obstacle. And, like I mentioned here, she allows(encourages and then insists) that the parent/ caregiver be present while she works with the child.