Brice, autism, and thoughts of the road ahead
My story is as a step mom of Brice, who is now 8 years old. When Brice was three I noticed Brice’s unusual behavior with other children and in large crowds. He also was a tippy toe and finger soother child. When he started pre-K, Brice was thought to be ADHD by his teachers and asked we get him tested. So we did. His IQ was very high but showed signs of "the umbrella" of autism and bipolar. He has had a lot of trouble in regular school classes. He has been kicked out for extreme violent behavior to not wanting to do anything at all to avoid conflict. Brice has since been diagnosed with Aspergers, Bipolar, Rad, ADHD, Oppositional Defiance. That is a hand full!! The Rad is Reactive Attachment Disorder.
So far, in this one year program in house we have him with, the doctors have only seen three other cases like Brice. He is a genius when it comes to building things. Legos, models, connects etc he can build with GREAT detail. His social skills and empathy or almost non-existent. Now we are working on the RAD issue. He takes 90% of his anger out on women and girls. The medications they have him on – five meds - seem to help most of the time; two of the meds have stayed the same for the last three years.
To all the parents out there just getting started: stay strong, go to group therapy, with and without your child. Parents have to be on the same page as far as treatment and discipline goes. I have seen many families torn apart. Including the one I was VERY FORTUNATE TO CALL MINE NOW!! I love Brice and will not leave him. As he says, we are a puzzle that just fits.
I can only imagine the road ahead as a teenager. I have seen some cities that have facilities that teach kids with autism to live together in an apartment environment and cook and clean together. I think this is great and hope Tulsa OK will think about this. These kids do not like to be made fun of or stared at. However they do, at some point, have to function in the "real world." So to the mom of "Life with Brian,” let him go. But keep your arms open and the door. It will be tough for you both, but he is trying and you have to support his place in life right now. YOU HAVE DONE GREAT!!! Let him see what mom has taught him as far as being a grown up. He will stumble and he will fall, but with your support he will do just fine. There may not be the greatest support systems out there for ADULT AUTISM SPECTRUM KIDS, but we as parents will be there as long as they need us.
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