Tag Archives | caregiver

Do what you need to do, I won’t sue

I often hear horror stories in the news, from other teachers and all over the internet about parents being in some epic battle with their child’s school or day care because their child had to be restrained, separated from others or other cases like that.

Most of the time, everyone sides with the parent in a unanimous cry of outrage in the complete and total mistreatment of their child. Most of the time, that comes with very little information as the schools are often unable to comment on the situation, same with any enforcement personnel. This means that we only have the parent’s information to go on.

I won’t argue however that most of the time, that’s all we really need. What’s wrong is wrong.

Still though, this creates a situation in society that basically ties the hands of those teachers and care givers should they truly have the right or need to handle a situation where those circumstances arise.

Dear care givers

What I’m trying to say is, if you care for my child and he is in danger of hurting himself or someone else, please do restrain him. Please do send him for a time out, even to some other room if need be.

I won’t sue. I won’t call the media.

If my son hurts himself… in a private area… please do check it out. He’s hurt, he needs attention, give it to him. I understand that it’s not sexual, I understand that you have his and my best interests at heart.

I won’t sue. I won’t call the media.

But be warned

If my trust is abused or my understanding is taken advantage of, I will hunt down the person and make sure that no one finds them until skyscrapers start going up in remote parts of northern Canada.

My children are that important to me… but they’re also that important to me that I don’t want to see his care givers afraid to touch them for fear of me being the type of parent to make it a national news story.

time out chairThe reality

The reality is that when my son completely loses it and hurts himself or his little brother, or is breaking things, or is just generally out of control… I will put him in his room. I will drag him there if I have to.

And I fully understand… no, I expect… that anyone else that I have entrusted with the responsibility of watching him would do the same.

I won’t call it barbarism when someone does the exact same thing that I would have done in the same situation. I won’t give my story to the first reporter that will listen to me.

The reality is that I understand how it’s come to this but I also feel disappointed that it has.

Somewhere, lines have blurred… and it’s often due to those who take advantage of the situation or react too harshly to the situation. Those care givers who go overboard and actually hit a child, or do something else that is completely inappropriate.

There’s also the “not knowing” that we must face… since our children aren’t great at relaying the details, we have to just hope that the teacher’s telling the truth. And if they did do something wrong, what would be the likelihood of that?

In a perfect society, every person that comes into contact with a child would be certified do-gooders with halos and wings that could never do any harm… but there is no perfect society and that leaves us skeptical¬†and scared.

But I refuse to hand cuff those who care for my children by never letting them do what I would do myself to ensure their safety.

If I wouldn’t do it, damn straight I won’t let them do it. But if I would take an action, such as dragging my kid, kicking and screaming to a time out… then I fully support his teachers/care givers doing the same.

I know a lot of parents won’t agree with me, or simply aren’t willing to let “strangers” do those sorts of things… I can understand that. But it is how I am and how I feel about it. If I don’t trust the person that my son is with, he won’t be with that person. It’s that simple.

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Recognition for the caregivers in the Autism community

There are a lot of discussions all over the place about non-disabled parents of disabled children, disabled parents of disabled children and those that are disabled without disabled children… who can and can’t understand what, who can and can’t advocate what, who’s voice holds more weight… on and on and on.

These things will be worked out over time, hopefully all mutually agreeable and beneficial… a world of peace, love and happiness for all on the horizon.

However, those not being discussed, and I think really should be, are the care givers.

Not part of a community?

caregiverOne day, discussing Autism related issues on Twitter, a woman replied with a rather insightful comment and then was quick to apologize, as she really had no place to get involved in such a discussion.

You see, she is not autistic nor does she have any children with Autism.

What she does have is an amazing amount of love and wisdom within her that had, for the most part up, until that point, been quiet.

As a woman who has cared for many children with Autism and continues to care for children with Autism, she does not feel as though she is a part of the Autism community.

She reads all of the books, the studies, blog posts, she attends seminars and even went to school specifically to do what she does… but she feels that she has no voice because it’s not her place.

To me, that’s not just a shame, that’s a tragedy.

What one has vs what one does not

You see, I have a great deal of respect for those with Autism and those who have children with Autism because they have a lot thrust on them against their will. They are kind of thrown into the deep end of a life that they likely didn’t expect and may not even want (some of them).

They are forced to educate themselves, to research everything they can… they even have to learn to love themselves in ways that many people don’t.

I’m talking about both the parents and the autistics themselves. It’s a struggle for both. It’s big, it’s scary and it’s wonderful too… it’s different for everyone but it’s big all the same.

Care givers (most of them) don’t have that. They don’t have the life changing diagnosis for themselves or their children. They don’t have that cycle of denial, acceptance and all the other emotions and epiphanies that many of us have.

A care giver has to want it, they have to love and they have to need it.

For many parents and even autistics, this will likely be a very foreign concept as most people would never want it, much less need it.

But these care givers do. They do the research and the seminars, they do the schooling and the reading because it is what they want to do and it’s what they love to do.

When it’s not you…

For me, personally, when I really stop and think about it, I’m in awe. Because I know that I wouldn’t have the same patience level for other people’s children… especially if I didn’t already have an autistic child myself. I also know how I feel when I meet other parents that not only parent differently but do things I simply can not agree with, do things that are detrimental to their child’s development…. these care givers face that almost daily.

Care givers have to work with those parents, they have to deal with the non-verbal, aggressive, non-toilet trained children that are not their own and that have parents that either don’t understand, don’t know what to do, don’t care or… hopefully, do all the right things but simply need help.

And yes, I know you’re going to hate the “deal with” part of my last statement but remember, this is a care giver who loves¬†those children. But it’s still something they have to deal with. It’s not their children, it’s not a life that was thrust on them.

I often write about how much patience I have thanks to my son, how we all become such better people thanks to our children and all of the wonderful things that having an autistic child can teach you…

But these care givers have more patience than I do… and they already knew all of those wonderful things before I did… it’s in them. It’s always been in them. They always were the better person that I’ve been working at becoming.

What’s in a voice?

I am very proud that woman spoke up and I am very happy she did too.

No, she is not autistic and not a parent with an autistic child, she’ll never “truly know” what it’s like to have Autism or a child with Autism… but that’s what makes her perspective an important one. One that I value.

Perhaps she will never blog about having Autism nor will she blog about what it’s like to raise an autistic child but when she does talk about Autism, in what ever form she does…. I’ll be sure to listen.

Because she came to us… and because she loves it. And without her and people like her, we wouldn’t have come as far as we have.

She sees children learn to speak, she sees children do amazing things! She works with them, she plays with them, she hurts when they get hurt and she celebrates their victories.

In conclusion

What I’m trying to say is, if you’re a care giver but feel it’s not your place to give any input or an opinion… I’ll listen to you.

Even if we end up disagreeing on something, I’ll listen to you.

Chances are though, I’ll likely learn something and I’d hate to miss it.

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