Special Ed. teacher, here......

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Posted by Bill ( on October 18, 1999 at 19:40:26:

In Reply to: Need your advice for my autistic son with cluster headaches posted by Bill DeBauche on October 18, 1999 at 13:54:44:

I used to work with high school level students with MR, Autism and other various disabilities.

Several of the students with Autism that I worked with had severe outbursts, as you have described. I had very little to go on because of the lack of communication. They seemed to understand me, but the expressive language was not there. I worked very diligently to get the students electronic communication systems so they could let us know what was going on with them. I also worked on them verbalizing what they could. Many times, these "outbursts" were due to their anger or displeasure about something. They could not say they were "pissed off" and the result was the extreme behavior. I had one 300 pound student with autism who came after me with scissors, tore the shirt of his one on one assistant, threw things across the room, banged his fist on tables, cabinets, etc., knocked a computer to the floor, and on and on. Another Autistic student would lay on the floor, kick and scream, put his foot through the classroom door, punched me, pulled his hair, rocked, attempted to hit others (usually me), etc. The list goes on. After he would stop his "tirade", he would let me know what was wrong, either verbally (very short phrases) or through his communicator. It ranged from a stomach ache to "I am hungry" to "It's snowing outside." (This boy hated snowstorms because his father died in the winter.) What I am trying to say, without knowing your son, is that this type of behavior has been typical in my experiences. Very few times did the students' behavior have to do with an illness. I am not saying that your son doesn't have ch. Before I would start medicating him with anything,however, I would try and find out what the source of his difficulty it. Does he see a speech therapist in school? If so, I would definitely talk to him/her about communication systems. There is such a variety of kinds to match to his level, if it hasn't been tried, now is the time. He needs to be able to communicate. And, believe me, from experience, I know that he probably can. It will just take work.

Please e-mail me if you want to discuss anything further. I would be glad help. Also, are you a member of a parent's support group?

I hope to hear from you.


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