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  1. #1
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    Suspected Autism - Parents in serious denial

    I have worked with children in all different capacities fo over 12 years. Most of that time was as a child and youth worked and I have worked extensively with children who have mental illnesses and are exceptional (disabilities)

    I have a little girl who is turning three in January

    This is the second time I've had her. The first time was just after she turned two. She was behind but me and the parents attributed it to learning two languages (English with me and russian at home) as well as the fact that they babied her to the point of disabling her.

    She progressed a lot in her time with me. Then her grandmother came over to help with care and she left me.

    She was brought back two months ago after grandma left. She is at the same point mentally now as when she left.

    I've done extensive screening and she is functioning at about a 22 month to 2 year level. Zero speech other than repeating, no interest in other children, it took me a lot of work to get out eye contact back, I could go on.

    I know what is going on here. the child is in desperate need of testing. If they caught it now this child could live a normal life. I would help with her treatment. I'm trained.

    I had a meeting with parents and tried everything other than saying the word . . . autism . . . they wouldn't hear me and kept making excuses as to why she is the way she is.

    The other day I caught the child self abusing . . . she rubbed her face in the dirt until her nose was all scratched up . . . she laughed while she was doing it.

    I told her parents . . . frig. . . I even started tearing up a bit . . .

    They think I'm crazy and asked if I was able to keep caring for the girl

    I really don't know . . . I cant watch a child deteriorate and watch her parents do NOTHING!!!!

    thoughts?

  2. #2
    Expansive... Other Mummy's Avatar
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    The parents are probably in denial. She needs intervention therapy, but probably won't get anything done until school starts and the school steps in and suggest an evaluation.

    In the meantime, if you feel you cannot care for her or if it takes away from the care the other children are receiving then you might want to rethink keeping this family on as clients.

    How old is this child now?

  3. #3
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    I can care for her just fine. I just cant run intervention therapy and a daycare program. she will be three in early January. she is a just over a year behind mentally.

    I don't know whether I can care for a child that I know needs more than she is getting. it hurts my heart

  4. #4
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    The other way to look at it is that at least with you, you understand what is going on. What happens when she goes somewhere else and they chalk the issues up to behaviour and punish her for non-compliance and that is exactly what is going to happen. By keeping her and doing the best you can do you are doing the best for the child even if it doesn't seem like that. The road to get services is so long that the sooner she gets her name on the list the better I get that. What did the parents say when you showed them the assessment you did.

    Can you drop other less subtle hints such as having some signs of autism and what to do brochures handy and show them that you identified an issue and found a way to deal with it using this same technique. Again you didn't say the word just used the treatment plan. Hopefully when they see the brochure they will realize she has all of the signs on it.

    Sometimes there comes a time when honest and blunt needs to happen and it is not diagnosing to put the bee in their bonnet that on many days she reacts the same as a child that has autism and I have been using this brochure for information on how to handle the issues and then hand it to them.

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  6. #5
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    Sometimes the parents just won't hear it. You have told them and now I'd leave it alone. Part of the problem is that we are just "babysitters". My only other suggestion is the next time they have a doctors appt for the child suggest that they mention it. Sometimes parents just can't see problems in their own child. I have been through this twice, and both times after being ignored the child was eventually diagnosed with autism. Being a dcp can be so hard sometimes

  7. #6
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    I have no experience with children with special needs. I can't imagine how hard it is to watch a child not progress and know nothings being done about it.

    Something I've learned in this business is that I can only control what I can control. If the parents aren't doing anything and you feel that you've done everything you can then you either need to make the choice to continue caring for the child, or not.

  8. #7
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    Why not be blunt about it and say the word...AUTISM. You have the qualifications. If it were me, I probably wouldn't go that far because I have zero experience with special needs but someone like you I think could get a bit more " in their face" about it, and I think you should. Stress the importance of early intervention and what could happen if they DONT do something about it. Just my two cents.

  9. #8
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    Thanks everyone!

    I feel better

    need to think more. I'll probably just let it go

    Her doctor suggested she begin tests (always start with hearing tests) and the parents shot it down because she can hear . . . sigh . .. .

    I'll continue what I'm doing which is using techniques for autism intervention and she is slowly progressing. I just have to realize that I cant 'treat her' the way I want and its not up to me

    thanks again

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  11. #9
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    I would also tell parents that I suspect their child has autism. You have nothing to loose if you are considering terming the family and maybe by being open with them could make the difference for the girl.

  12. #10
    Euphoric ! mimi's Avatar
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    I think even if you do say Autism, the parents will ignore and leave your care.

    Would children services be able to help? I am not thinking about the child being removed from parental care, but could this agency help with a diagnosis and subsequent assistance for these parents? Their denial that there may be a problem is further disabling this child.

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