How do you explain mental illness to a child with Autism? Are you blunt in your explanations? Should it be explained? In our family, we have a child with severe mental illness. He is currently in the hospital. At home we have his siblings, how do we explain to the siblings the depth of the their brother’s illness? Or do we just not talk about it? In our house, everyone knows that David has needs that can’t be cared for at home. They understand that life at home is better without the constant stress of having David here. They understand lots of things, such as they don’t have to barricade themselves in their rooms. They can leave their stuff unhidden because David isn’t here to steal anything. They know that the animals are healthy because David isn’t here to poison them. Yet. They miss David.
I hate going there. Absolutely do not like it. Spent about 2 hours with David this evening in Psych. We watched television. We didn’t talk. If I asked him a question, I got a one syllable response. He said he is sleeping at night. I was told that he stole a couple of telephones and a staff persons cell phone. My thought was, at least he is consistent in showing his behaviors to others. People are less likely to think we are making things up. The staff there, when I started to talk into the intercom to pass security and get on the floor, said, “oh I recognize you…” Because I always say “the super secret code is: ” I don’t sleep very well, and the last couple of days have made things worse with a regular barrage of phone calls about David. Before I told David I loved him,
David has been really struggling lately with his mental illnesses. I use plural for a reason. Today, a lot happened. He became combative. It took four adults to restrain this 80 pound boy. He becomes very strong when he is on this part of his “cycle”. Meds don’t work, calming techniques don’t work. The only solution is to put him in psych until he is stable again. I applaud his care team for taking this step. They didn’t do it without talking to his parents first. In fact, it was our idea based on what they told me he was doing. It is not a healthy thing for him to continue on this path, so we need to make some changes. A major reason that we did determine to place him in psych was that he took his shoe laces and wrapped them around his neck. tightly. He has scars