14/03/2008

Autism And Self Harm. Surely Parents Know Best

My youngest son has autism. When he was small he used to beat me up regularly. He would hit and kick me out of sheer frustration. I never knew why and he could never explain. He'd come in from school or being in the garden and would attack me for seemingly no obvious reason.

Luckly over the years he's found ways to communicate and I am no longer treated as a punch bag for which I am extremely grateful. Another thing I am grateful for is that my son never self-harmed. Many autistic individuals do, and I've just read an article about a seventeen-year-old autistic boy who was taken away from his loving parents and placed in a state-run mental institution because of it.

Of course no-one wants to see a child injured but clearly the Child Protection Services involved in the case have little understanding of autism and just made what was a bad situation even worse. They may have been genuinely concerned about the child and disagreed with his parents’holistic treatment choices, but taking him away from his loving home, placing him with the criminally insane, and then putting him on dangerous drugs is going too far.

Such ignorance, even if originally well motivated, should not be allowed.

Read the article for yourself and see what you think.

Child Abuse by the Government
Orange County Register – February 17 2008

Nate Tseglin, a 17-year-old autistic boy, was removed from his home and placed in a state-run mental institution because Child Protective Services disagreed with his parents’ treatment choices.

A teacher called CPS after seeing self-inflicted scratches on Nate's body and complained about the doctor-approved arm restraints used by Nate’s parents to keep him from hurting himself. Soon the Tseglins found themselves at loggerheads with the government over Nate's proper treatment.

The parents are opposed to the use of psychotropic drugs and argue that Nate has had strong negative reactions to them. They have had success, however, with an alternative, holistic approach that focuses on diet and psychiatric counseling. CPS disagreed with the treatment and forcibly removed the boy from his home.

After he ran away from the group home where he was initially placed, the government transferred Nate to a mental hospital. The Tseglins say the drugs the hospital gave Nate caused him to have a grand mal seizure, and his health has continued to deteriorate. When the Tseglins visited Nate over the summer, they found his face swollen, and he faded in and out of consciousness and suffered from convulsions.

The Tseglins claim Child Protective Services has told them they have the “wrong set of beliefs” and even threatened to force them to undergo a court-ordered psychological evaluation.

It makes me realise just how lucky I am!


3 comments:

pool-billiards-game said...

Nice post. Sad story. The government should butt out and let the parents raise their child as they see fit. The government should butt out of many things.

Ted Mauro

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Thanks for this story. I have two children with Autism. My son is severe and my daughter is moderate. Both non verbal. My son has been going through the self injurious stage for over a month. He just breaks my husbands and my heart to see him harm himself. We have had him to the doctor, dentist, phyciatrist, and even the hospital for answers to why he may want to hurt himself or to see if they're is anything pysically making him uncomfortable. So far no luck. I do know that it would kill our son to be away from his routine and home life as it would my husband and me if the state came in and took him from us. I can't imagine that families frustration and hope someone with some intelligence that knows about Autism will finally see the light and reunite them.

Mom of two dolls

Anonymous said...

As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you