A Decision To Make

Essay by ameldedic March 2006

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What do you do if there is a difficult decision to make, and this decision will effect your entire family and even what people think of you? Add the fact that no matter what decision you make, it will feel like a mistake. These are the things I am dealing with when trying to decide whether or not to put my son in a group home.

My son is nine years old and suffers from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and mental retardation. He was born prematurely and critically ill. Though odds were very much against him, he made it. A year later, after his first MRI, we first heard the words Cerebral Palsy. By the age of two I knew he was Autistic but we could not get a diagnosis until he was seven. He was put on medication to help his self-abusive behaviors and self-stimulation.

Self-stimulation is a behavior that my son enjoys and can feel, but I do not care for them.

My son would bang his head continuously, slap himself, and vomit. It is hard to imagine enjoying these behaviors but he does, and I certainly do not. We do not go on trips or in public unless my husband and myself are present to help control his behavior and our two other children's behavior.

He has been known to bite and scratch strangers, steal food from other's plates while eating out, and pour drinks right on top of his head. My other children have no extra-curricular activities because I can not control him alone. He can be violent, to himself or others. On the other hand, he can be so sweet for a child who does not need hugs or kisses, though we give them anyway.

The strain of caring for him can be exhausting...