The Depths of Despair

April 12, 2006

March 8 was a dark day, and March 22 was even worse.

Our son was very angry at us on March 8. He had lied to his teachers about us and lied to us about his teachers and we all found out so he was in 'trouble'.

He had also been OCD'ish for several days leading up to the 8th. One thing he'll often do when OCD'ish is he'll wear his backpack non-stop, taking it off only for bed and wearing it literally all other minutes of the day.

The other thing he does when OCD'ish is he transfers all of his schoolwork from one binder to another, and then to another, and then to another.

So anyhow, he was in 'trouble', sent to his room until dinner with the plan of he'd be going to bed once dinner was over and the kitchen was clean.

When we called him for dinner he responded that he was in the bathroom and not hungry. Fifteen minutes into dinner he was still in the bathroom and refused to come out.

After I insisted a couple times he finally came out and had his left wrist wrapped with toilet paper.

He walked up to me, laid his head on my chest, started crying and told me "Mom you need to call 911 because I attempted suicide".

I immediately flashed back to when I myself attempted suicide when I was younger than my son is now. My mother was physically abusive, and even more so verbally, and I'd had enough of it. One night I filled the bathroom cup with water and took it to my bedroom.

I climbed under my electric blanket, plugged it in and turned it on, made sure it was wrapped around me well and then I poured that cup of water on my blanket. Being as naive as I was, I believed that I would be electrocuted and killed. Needless to say, I wasn't.

I never told anyone about this until I was in my thirties. When I eventually told my mother, she laughed at me. I realize now that that was her way of dealing with such sad information, especially knowing she was directly responsible for much of my depression with her physical and verbal abuse of me.

Anyhow, my son had taken a push-pin and dug it into his wrist and dragged it in the direction of his vein several times, enough to make a shallow cut into his wrist.

Although I knew as soon as I saw it that he wasn't in any immediate danger, he didn't know this. He was thoroughly convinced that he was dying. He's never seen anything that would show him how terribly bloody things would be if he was dying. He just knew that he had 'cut his wrists' and therefore he was dying.

He was very remorseful and Kaiser told us that since he was so remorseful that all they would do is release him back into our custody if we took him to the hospital.

We met with his private psychologist the next morning and our son signed a contract with us and his doctor that he would never do anything like this again.

Unfortunately the problems were not resolved and exactly two weeks to the date, on March 22, he grabbed a butcher knife in the kitchen and said "Nobody move!".

He'd had a stretch of bad days at school with a particularly bad day on Wednesday and gotten himself into a bit more trouble. We'd also had a session with his psychologist where the issue at school was discussed with him.

When he grabbed the knife Shelby (our 14 year old daughter and Cameron's sister) ran upstairs to me, my husband wrestled the knife from Cameron, we called his doctor then 911 and he was admitted to the psychiatric ward.

He spent several days in the hospital and came home Monday the 27th.

His medication was changed during his stay. He was taken off of the Trazodone (which they told us causes voices in 1 in 10,000 and is something Cameron was complaining about) and he was started on Zyprexa.

We took him out of school, his doctor wrote a prescription that puts him on a "home medical" study where a teacher comes into our home for a short time every day to teach Cameron.

He really does seem to be doing so much better right now. There are small flare-ups in attitude but we're quicker to try to defuse rather than argue with him.

Currently the plan is to keep him on home medical through the end of the school year and then begin home schooling for 7th grade.

We've also hired my sister to take Cameron for about three hours three days per week and he goes with her on her errands and then to pick up her kids from their schools and then he spends a couple hours with them before coming home.

He loves his cousins and they love him and it really seems to be working and doing some good for Cameron. He gets to get out of the house, he gets to go to several different places (with her on her errands) and he gets social time with a very small number of children in a closely supervised and loving environment.

Unfortunately he and his sister do not have a good relationship, it's something we're working on but it's hard because of Cameron's problems, Shelby's problems, etc. They're constantly at each others throats. So it's wonderful that Cameron can feel and experience this love with his cousins.

It's costly though and I don't know how long we'll be able to keep it going. That's another reason for this website, to help us pay for Cameron's needs. I'm so afraid for the future, I'm so afraid it's going to get more and more expensive to take care of his needs and I'm so afraid that we're going to come to a point where we don't have the funds to take care of him.

Wonderful Autism Apps / Applications ... and ... some of my favorite books and other goodies

autism apps applications

Books that I'm currently reading

I'm so tickled that authors have been contacting me and asking me to review their new books for them!

For as much time as I spend researching Asperger's Syndrome this website should have thousands of pages but because my son has Asperger's Syndrome I find that the things I want to work on very often are not the things that I have to work on so I'm still not able to spend as much time on it as I'd like to.

As he heads into adulthood (he turned 18 on Dec 13 and yes I need to update some things at my website such as my home page that says he's 17) I'm finding that I have even less time on my hands as I spend more time trying to master the puzzle of how to help him transition into "life after high school".

That's where Autism Tomorrow: The Complete Guide To Help Your Child Thrive In The Real World comes in. It's a guide to help your kids after high school. You'll find parts of the book will be applicable and some won't depending on your child's current age. Although the title implies "Autism after high school" there is still quite a bit in there about what to do before your child hits "real life". But overall a helpful book.

Please contact me if you'd like to send a copy of your book to me for review. I would absolutely love it!

Fiction, Non-fiction, Auto-Biographies, Instructional books, etc. I'm interested in them all. :) And if you autograph it that would be SUPER cool! ;)