On Page 3 of todays Sun Herald (Sydney) there is an article about the push from parents / schools to have children diagnosed as having autistic type traits so that they can get access to special needs schools and help for their children.
However the paper says that many of these students are being wrongly diagnosed. This is an issue that is close to home. My ex-wife has pushed with the help of the public school to have my 8-year-old son be diagnosed as being autistic. To the doctors credit he has refused to do so.
Yes I admit there are behavioural issues with my son at school. Some of these behaviours can seem to be an autistic or ODD (oppositional defiance disorder) and ADD origin. However when at a school meeting with both my ex and a member of Doc’s I said that I don’t believe his issues fell into any of these categories, rather his behavior was stemming from issues at home and named those issues. I was told they didn’t want to know about that, that I needed to stick to the issues at hand which was his behavior at school.
Hmmmm I really felt like saying to them @^#$&@# ^&*& but didn’t.
Some of the things I mentioned was my sons behavior being linked to certain people having adult conversations with him (8)
- Such as one particular time I was asked by the school to come and get him from sick bay… before we even got out the school gate he asked me about why I was being really mean to mummy in making her give me what at the time we were discussing for property settlement the measly sum of $10k.
- The other night he said on the phone…Daddy I’m too distressed to talk to you because you did this…. another time in discussing how long he would spend with me during school holidays said….its not fair that you have us longer… we think its better that we spend 50/50 % of the time with you and mummy (this from a 7 year old boy)
- During a time of suspension I was looking after him during the day making him do his school work. One day he didn’t want to do it and I made him do so. The next day my ex brings him, tells me in front of me that he didn’t want to do his school work and that she had told him don’t worry..daddy wont make you do your school work..Will you daddy. My reply was that indeed I was going to make him do his school work, to which she made him get in the car for she would take him to work…then ranted about me being a bad father making her take him to work… then she told my son to get out of the car after I stood my ground telling her that she could take him to work, but if he stayed with me he would do his school work… My son was 6 at the time, about to turn 7. He had a paddy screaming about not wanting to stay with dad and wanted to go with mummy…her reply was see what such a bad father you are… I calmly told my son that I would count to three..then if he wasn’t up off the floor and sitting at his desk I would smack his bottom as he was too old to have such a tantrum… he got off the floor, went and did his work and we had no more problems.
- Other times he has said, Mummy says your just lazy and mentally ill daddy…and not really sick at all. Which was her catch cry when I came home from hospital where I had spent 52 days recovering from Viral Encephalitis, which had paralysed my right side resulting in my need of both walking stick and wheel chair.
- There are too many situations to share where my sons behavior has been linked to stuff that is going on at home. There are financial benefits also if he is diagnosed as having special needs… however when I contacted the pediatrician about what was going behind the scenes with my son, he said to me…”Now its all making sense and he has refused to diagnose my son with having autistic tendencies… especially after hearing that he had none of the tendencies before I became chronically ill….
I applaud these researchers who have come out with this research… I feel validated in that the problem is not my son. I decried the teachers and the system who are too quick to want to drug the kids, put a band-aid on their behavior and not really deal with the root problems…shame shame shame.