Sunday, April 25, 2010

Korbin Wants a New Family

He's been stuck on this delusion for a while and despite ours and the therapist's work, Korbin is only getting more insistent. He decided that he wanted a new family that will allow him to skip school, baths, healthy food, changing clothes, and will allow him to sleep, eat, and play whatever and whenever he wants. We got to the point in March where Korbin was attacking me because a voice told him to kill me so he could get a new family.

I understand that because of his autism he mostly sees other people as tools. I can drive him places and get him things. People are whatever they can do for him, not someone to know and socialize with. Anyway, he said that I needed to take him to the hospital so he could live there until they could find him a new home. I told him that if he wanted to go to the hospital I would take him. They took him in to acute and Korbin thought he won the ability to get a new family. Oops!

We had another pass yesterday and were able to bring him home so he can play his favorite PC game and go out for a meal. When I took him back he told me that he wants to live at the hospital forever or until he can get a new family. I reminded him that I'm his mom, I love him, and I will always be his family. He informed me that he's done loving me. Ouch. I tried to talk with him, but his roommate was coming back from a pass and they began talking.

Today we went for our 2 hour visit and Korbin freaked out. He came down the hall just to tell us that he didn't want to visit with us and to not come back or call unless it was for a pass for him to leave with us. I tried to talk to him or even get close, but he kept yelling. He wanted us to go away and kept screaming "I want a new family!" Now if I were just observing this I would think that this child must have been horribly abused or something, but if anything we've smothered him with love. He's always had every need and most of his wants met. He's spoiled with love, material things, family, friends, and everything a boy could ever want. The only trauma he's had is having to occasionally be restrained when he attacks.

I'm thinking that if all we are to him is his ride to the PC game and link to restaurants then we need to remove those things. Next Saturday we have a 12 hour pass so I'm thinking that we're going to have to spend some time away from home so he's not totally attached to the laptop, but then come home to cook. I'm just so confused. Before he went to the hospital he was overly attached to me and refused to go anywhere without me or me go anywhere without him. His autism leaves him without the desire for human relationships. His delusions are telling him that he can make his whole world different by somehow acquiring a new family. How to I re bond with a son who doesn't really want me?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What I Wished I'd Known

I recently had a mom with a 3 year old boy who has autism and similar behaviors to Korbin what advice I would give myself if I were starting over again. She also has an older son with ADHD. Here's what I told her:

For your 3 year old I highly recommend an early intervention program. Call your local DHS office and ask for the person who handles Early Intervention. Find out the names of the facilities in your area. He needs an OT, Speech, PT evaluation, and full psycho-educational testing. If he qualifies for 2 or more therapies he can receive the services inside an early intervention center. They are like a day care where the kids can receive their therapies, socialize with other children, and get all the help they need in a supportive setting. It's all paid for my early intervention funding and will also give you the break you need to help him nights and weekends. Korbin went to Pathfinder Preschool in Jacksonville and I can't imagine where he would be now without them.

Korbin responded very well to a gluten and casein free diet. The first time we did it he was 3 and I didn't know that he was eating gluten and casein at school. If you do the diet it's really all or nothing. The books that explain it are Children With Starving Brains by Jacqueline McCandless. It's hard to read because it's so scientific, but will totally change yours and his lives. The other is Unraveling the Mystery of Autism by Karyn Seroussi. We went back to the diet, hardcore, this last October. I kept a food and behavior journal, made most of our food from scratch, and packed food for when we left the house. It isn't easy, but after about 3 months of hard work on my part, it's become second nature.

To understand both sons' sensory issues you'll need to read The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz. She really helps us understand why our kids do the things they do and then how to help them. I've read her books, been to her conference when she came to Little Rock, and have to thank her for the understanding I have of my sons'.

I wish we had started the diet sooner. I also wish we had laid down the law with him when he was little. With Korbin being the youngest, most challenged, and so darn cute we let him rule our lives. I realize now that I wasn't doing him any favors. In fact, I think that's a lot of what lead to the trouble now.

Get a good behavior therapist to work with you so you can help him. Never stop learning. It's OK to try alternative therapies, but don't do anything that can put your child in danger and watch for scams.

I guess the best advice that I can give you is to love him. Hate the autism, but love the child. Every behavior has a meaning. If you just stop to see the world from his perspective you'll see the reason for his actions. They're not always easy to see, but they are there. And even though our special kids don't always hug and kiss us, they still love us. You are his link to the rest of the world and he appreciates you more than he can say.

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