Me, My Autistic Son, And Meltdowns In Public

Alex is a sweet boy.

He’s happy all the time, and he’s rarely ever sad or unhappy. He has a glowing report at school, and if we were to write a report at home for him, it’d be a superior, glowing one too. Chances are, we’d not have much to say bad about him, because he does as he’s told, behaves most of the time and tries to please us as well as try and get his own way.

His relationship with us as parents is really good. He receives kisses and hugs from both Mummy and Daddy randomly and when he needs it. And we’re forever telling him that we love him. I was reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to him last night and out of the blue he came out with:

“Daddy, I love you very much.”

And that made my heart melt there and then. Because emotions are hard for Alex, he doesn’t process them like a neuro-typical child. I’d expect most of his classmates would be comfortable deciding what to do in the playground, and if it gets boring then they’d move onto something more satisfying. Not my son. He stops what he’s doing and then does nothing else. He has to actively be told that he can do other things and where they are, but that’s autism for you.

Yet, he’s very focused on himself, a young boy, inside his own world with his own thoughts that perceives the world entirely different to you and I. He often tells us that he’s been playing with Katie, or Iris, yet when they get bored it doesn’t occur to him that he can go off and change momentum with them. He’s happy, continuing playing with his hoops, on his own. But he’s content, and that’s the main thing.

It’s the same when he melts down. Usually it’s because he can’t see things from our point of view. We are trying to break the routine of what he is doing and that’s not good in his mind. And his breakdowns are often accompanied with violence. One day he threw something at me and nearly broke my nose. He hid for cover because I did scream loud, but I don’t think he realizes his actions when he’s in the middle of full meltdown.

And occasionally we will have a meltdown in the middle of public, sometimes the noises are too great, or the lights too bright, because a normal situation to us, for him, could be like flashing a bright light in your eye whilst someone is screaming at the top of their voice in your ear, and stabbing you with a thousand needles. We’ll never know. I’m lucky enough to not experience sensory overload, but I bet it’s not easy.

And it’s great sitting in the future looking back at a meltdown and analyzing it from all different angles and knowing it was the right thing to do, but it’s so much tougher in the moment. Social situations and cues mean nothing to him. He’ll break right down in the middle of a library if he has to, and it’s tough.

It’s tough while you’re trying to calm the situations between the onlookers and just the people that want to shove in their oar in, and it’s never positive.

I had one lady take my son’s legs without my permission and shove them in the supermarket trolley, and walked away shaking her head, saying:

“Men! Pah.”

And while she helped, it wouldn’t have been long before I was able to calm him down, give him a distraction and get him in. And obviously my situation fueled her negative perception of men. I’ve had people walk up to me in the past and tell me to control my spoiled brat, shoot me stares, give unwanted advice, even professionals shoving their unprofessional opinion in.

And while I’m really not one to give a hoot what anyone thinks, because I don’t, I’m just not invulnerable. I can say quite honestly that in the moment it doesn’t feel great to have people judge my wife and I when my son melts down. It makes me feel like a failure as a parent at times, and it does her. Because there’s always that self-doubt in the back of our minds asking us:

“Should we have handled that better? Could we have done anything else?”

Normally we’re quite supportive of one another, and we can get through life toughest of situations together, but when people judge without knowing the whole facts it can chip away at our esteem and cause us to over analyze.

But luckily it’s not something we dwell about too much. We’re fairly confident people, and, we don’t normally bother about people that judge. We just know this is an ongoing problem within the Autistic community, and a shout out from us,

Because you’re not alone.

Families struggle after autism treatment center closes

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WORTHINGTON, OH (WCMH) — Several Central Ohio families are still hurting after the Elijah Glen Center closed almost two months ago.

The center offered long-term treatment for 12- to 18-year-olds with moderate to severe autism.

Parent Tim Richardson said there’s no other 24-hour treatment facility like the Elijah Glen Center in Ohio.

His son 13-year-old son Sam has autism.

“It’s a full time job having a child with autism,” parent Tim Richardson said. “He sent me and my wife to urgent care with bites to our hands and arms.”

Richardson said Sam doesn’t mean to be violent, it’s a behavioral issue associated with his autism.

“There’s no where to send a kid like that right now. There’s not the funding for it. This place is perfect, but it’s closed.” Richardson said. “The next best place for Sam is in Baltimore, Maryland, which is seven hours away.”

There is hope of the center re-opening. Franklin County Residential Services is stepping in to find a more long-term solution.

However, parents are still facing the issue of finding the money themselves to pay for treatment.

Parent, Ronald Reth said he tried to get his son into the Elijah Glen Center, but didn’t have the money to cover the cost. He was told he could give up custody of his son to get access to treatment services.

“I think all parents love their kids and I don’t think any parents wants to give up custody and for a government to say yes I’ll give you help if you give up custody of your kid is terrible,” parent Ronald Reth said.

The Public Children Services Association of Ohio wrote a letter to Senator Randy Gardner, the Chair of the Joint Legislative Committee on Multi-System Youth.

The stakeholders asked Senator Gardner to focus on decreasing or eliminating the need for custody relinquishment in order to access services.

The 10 important things you learn when you’re an autism parent

The 10 important things you learn when you're a autism parent

Danielle from Someone’s Mum was selected by our BISS July panel and in her guest blog opens up about what it’s really like to be an autism parent …

1. You are constantly scanning the area for potential sensory triggers and loud noises. Heaven help the person who sets off a hand dryer or a car alarm just as you are walking past with your child.

2. You know the details your child’s current obsession almost as well as they do – whether that’s the name of every character in Cars or the plot of every episode of Thomas the Tank Engine ever made.

3. There are some objects that you always have to hand. Leaving the house without them would be as unthinkable as leaving naked. Whether that’s headphones, weighted blankets, ear defenders or other sensory toys or aids – you know exactly the things that can sometimes help to calm your child and the special objects that they simply must have.

4. You develop lightning quick reflexes for averting possible meltdowns. You can spot a sandwich that is a millimetre off being perfectly square from fifty paces. You can hear the slightest nuance in a turn of phrase or action that could distress your child and you often stop or correct people before they have finished the sentence.

5. You have learned a whole new language of stims and noises and know exactly when a shout and a flap of the arms means they are delighted and when it means they are a second away from becoming too overwhelmed to function.

6. You never, EVER, go anywhere without the chargers – whether for MP3 players, tablets or DVDs. A dead battery is a fate that cannot be contemplated.

7. You learn not to judge others. When your child is behaving differently to their peers you learn to embrace and love each eccentricity that makes them unique – and to accept the same in others.

8. Some days are tough. Very tough. Some days you see the things that other children can do so easily and it sits like a weight on your heart. There are moments when that envy will engulf you, knowing that those parents, that child, will never experience the hardships that your child will.

9. But other days are filled with joy. When your child does something new or unexpected, develops a skill they have previously struggled with, takes delight in simple things – then you realise that those experiences are at the heart of parenting and, in reality, you are deprived of nothing.

10. You know that special children aren’t given to special parents – special children MAKE special parents.

Continued below…

Video of the Week : Picture frame shoebox craft

Hope Still Races Ahead Of Evidence In Magnet Treatment For Autism

The story is a familiar one: the saga of a loving parent’s quest to save a child. This time it’s about the mother of a boy with autism. The mother scours the medical literature in search of any kind of treatment, however far-fetched and experimental. She finds one that seems promising, something involving magnetic fields, and moves mountains to get it for her son as part of a research protocol.

Then, seeing that it helps, she devotes herself to getting more of it. Ultimately the mother starts a foundation to promote research into the new treatment, hoping to prove its value and one day make it part of standard care, not just for her son but for other children with autism, too.

This particular version of the story, though, is tinged with irony. The treatment in this case is transcranial magnetic stimulation, and the mother is a Minneapolis woman named Kim Hollingsworth Taylor. In 2012, Taylor’s son, age 14 at the time and on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, was part of a trial of TMS that seemed to relieve a few of his autism symptoms for several days, making him able to read social cues more accurately and to complete cognitive tasks in far less time than before.

Pleased with the results, Taylor found a way the following year for her son to get more treatments in Boston, twice a week over the course of 10 weeks, even though TMS had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for autism symptoms (and still has not).

During this time, Taylor says, her son’s autism symptoms disappeared, and he went from being a boy with no friends to being a boy who was asked to the homecoming dance by four different girls. The change thrilled her so much that she started a small nonprofit to advance research into the use of TMS for autism. Taylor, who has a background as a financial analyst in the medical technology industry, called the foundation Clearly Present, the phrase her son used to describe how he felt after treatment. “It’s like there’s more of me here now,” he told her.

But the benefits began to fade after just a few months. Three years after his last treatment, Taylor’s now 18-year-old son is back to where he was before he started on TMS. And he says he doesn’t want to try it again if it means again disrupting the family life and moving to Boston with his father for another three-month stretch.

So here is Taylor, committed to organizing scientific conferences and soliciting research funding through the Clearly Present Foundation, with the personal impetus for her labors having disappeared.

“Like most people I would crawl on broken glass to make things a little better for my kid,” Taylor said in a recent phone interview. So she finds it “profoundly sad” that there’s no place closer to home that could offer TMS to her son — and frustrating to be in the midst of a demanding volunteer project that, for now at least, doesn’t seem likely to help her own child.

In an article on TMS for Spectrum, a Web magazine about autism science, the writer Lydia Denworth called the story of the Clearly Present Foundation “a cautionary tale for anyone who reads too much into TMS’ benefits.” Another cautionary tale is featured in the latest episode of NPR’s podcast and program Invisibilia, about a middle-aged physician on the autism spectrum who also tried TMS. The treatment, which the woman (also named Kim, but not related to Taylor) underwent twice, enabled her to perceive subtle emotions in others for the first time in her life. Then, after less than an hour, that insight disappeared.

How did she feel about getting this brief insight into how most people experience feelings? “It could be that you would get a glimpse of this and you couldn’t have it, and it would be completely heartbreaking and you couldn’t get over it,” she told Invisibilia host Alix Spiegel. But after reflection, the physician told Spiegel, her feelings were mixed — depression, yes, but also gratitude that she’d had a chance to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be human.

Autism is a developmental disorder that can be disabling, and there’s no cure. That makes families uniquely vulnerable to the potential of untested treatment. The fear is that TMS could turn out to be the latest in a long string of untested or off-label treatments for autism, from chelation therapy to hyperbaric oxygen chambers to gluten-free diets, that desperate parents have been spending money on for decades.

None of these treatments has proven beneficial in clinical trials, and some have actually caused harm. FDA officials worry that even if a treatment is relatively safe, it could still divert precious resources away from proven treatments, such as behavioral interventions and certain drugs.

Companies promoting untested approaches face “possible legal action if they continue to make false or misleading claims about products and therapies claiming to treat or cure autism,” the FDA wrote in a consumer bulletin in 2014. “Some of these so-called therapies carry significant health risks.”

It’s easy to understand the enthusiasm for a treatment like TMS, which is noninvasive, nonpharmacological and already has FDA clearance for one condition — severe depression that doesn’t respond to other treatments. It has few known side effects, though it has been shown, in very rare cases, to cause seizures.

The treatment involves placing a relatively small and very powerful electromagnet on the scalp, and sending pulses of magnetic waves directly into the brain to activate or deactivate particular neurons. It has been used experimentally in autism, mostly in hopes of developing a better diagnostic tool. But as news percolates of this research application, more and more people want to try it for themselves or their children.

But for autism, the science of TMS treatment is, according to researcher Lindsay Oberman, “still in its infancy.”

“I know it’s easy to get overly optimistic given the media coverage and web posts about the remarkable responses some people with autism have reported after participating in a TMS study,” Oberman, a research psychologist at Brown University and Bradley Hospital in Rhode Island, wrote last March in a blog post for the advocacy group Autism Speaks.

But those studies have been very few — just 13 in the medical literature to date — and they tend to focus on only a select group of subjects: adults, generally male, who are high-functioning and do not have epilepsy. It’s risky, then, to generalize to how TMS would affect women or children with autism, or people with more severe symptoms.

Author and autism activist John Elder Robison took part in a study of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital in March.

Keith Bedford/Boston Globe via Getty Images

“I caution against drawing conclusions from the preliminary results of the TMS studies that I and others have conducted,” wrote Oberman in her blog post.

Among those 13 trials of TMS for autism, which involve fewer than 200 people altogether, only one is a double-blind, randomized trial — the type of trial designed to rule out the so-called placebo effect (improvements that occur because subjects expect them to).

In the double-blind study, conducted in Australia on 28 high-functioning adults diagnosed with autism or Asperger’s syndrome, the 15 people in the treatment group showed some improvement, compared with the 13 controls, in terms of better social skills and reduced anxiety, both immediately after the treatment and at the one-month follow-up.

The real excitement over TMS for autism, however, does not come from the medical literature. It comes from popular testimonials of people on the autism spectrum who credit TMS for heightening their emotional sensitivity and leading to fewer obsessions, fewer repetitive actions and improved social skills.

John Elder Robison, an author and autism activist, describes his own experience in hislatest book, Switched On: A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening. The alterations of TMS were life-affirming, he writes, but they were tinged with sadness, too, because his insights into others’ emotions showed him how troubled most people’s inner lives really are.

“Before the TMS, I had fantasized that the emotional cues I was missing in my autism would bring me closer to people,” Robison wrote earlier this year in The New York Times. “The reality was very different. The signals I now picked up about what my fellow humans were feeling overwhelmed me. They seemed scared, alarmed, worried and even greedy. The beauty I envisioned was nowhere to be found.”

But while Robison says his heightened emotions have generally persisted in the eight years since his first treatment, even his doctors say his response is unusually robust.

It’s easy to see why parents would grab at cures that promise to bring back their sons and daughters, to give their children a voice, stop them from self-harm, or offer them a chance at friendship and independence. But quite apart from the question of whether the traits of autism are symptoms to be treated or differences to be embraced — a debate at the heart of the neurodiversity movement — Oberman says it’s too soon to institute TMS as a treatment, especially for children, whose brains are still developing.

It’s difficult to predict the long-term consequences for children of routinely disrupting their brain activity. And it’s hard to know, for children and adults alike, the details of how best to offer TMS for autism: how often it should be used, for how long a period, in which regions of the brain, and for what purposes.

“There are still many things that we do not understand about how the developing brain responds to TMS or any form of neural intervention,” Oberman told me by email this week. “And if the goal with TMS is to ‘rewire’ or affect the connectivity of the brain in order to improve symptoms, we first have to understand what degree of connectivity and wiring is healthy at any given age, and what type of stimulation will improve the functioning of these areas.”

In other words, scientific evidence about the efficacy of TMS in autism is not in yet, and it’s accumulating the way most scientific evidence does: with painful slowness.

Among the still-unanswered questions about TMS is how it works and which autistic behaviors it best targets. Put 10 clinicians in a room, Oberman says, and you’re likely to get 10 different answers. Her own research interest is in social communication, she says, but other symptoms — poor executive functioning, depression, irritability, poor language skills — are just as likely to be affected.

“We’ve been using TMS for adults with autism who have other co-morbid conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression,” says Eric Hollander, director of the Autism and OCD Spectrum Program at Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. “And we’ve had good luck in terms of reducing the severity of some compulsive behaviors, as well as anxiety.”

Hollander has found TMS useful for relieving such autism symptoms as agitation, self-injury, and behavioral rigidity. But he says many questions about TMS for autism are still unanswered, including which brain regions to target, the optimal frequency and duration of treatment, and the best schedule for booster therapy for long-term maintenance.

In addition to all these questions about how TMS should be used, scientists don’t really know much about who the best candidates for TMS are. Is it best aimed at those on the high-functioning end of the spectrum? Only for adults? Only for those without epilepsy or other co-existing problems?

And what are the ethical implications of recommending TMS for a use not approved by the FDA? Even though it is legal (doctors can prescribe any FDA-approved drug or device for any purpose, not only the purpose for which it was originally approved), that does not make it the right thing to do.

One way to answer these questions is through a multicenter therapeutic trial of TMS for autism, something that Taylor and the Clearly Present Foundation have been trying to help organize. But clinical trials are expensive and would require a major grant, which members of the coalition of researchers Taylor has assembled, known as the TMS Therapy for Autism Consensus Group, have spent the past two years trying to obtain. They’re talking now about first coordinating a number of pilot studies at individual institutions, on the way to gearing up to a large-scale, multicenter clinical trial.

There are already a few studies of TMS and autism underway: One in Canada is looking for improvement in executive function in 50 adolescents and young adults; another in France is looking for changes in social cognition in 60 adults; and one in Israel (the one most relevant to children) is looking for changes in social interaction in 20 children and adolescents who have autism or an intellectual disability or both.

In the meantime, Oberman says the only safe way to receive TMS for autism, for adults and children alike, is by being part of a research trial — which means going to volunteer to be a study subject.

“I would not recommend receiving TMS ‘treatments’ from a clinician outside of a research study,” she says, “as there is no standard protocol, nor strong evidence that any given protocol is likely to lead to long-term improvements in symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Anyone who tells you otherwise is simply misleading you.”

A year later, how Microsoft’s jobs program for people with autism is working

It has been more than a year since Microsoft announced a pilot jobs program to specifically accommodate people on the autism spectrum. In an effort to improve the company’s “neurodiversity,” the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant began targeting people living with the disorder. Apart from seeking to be more inclusive, the company said teams with employees who think differently ultimately function better and can identify with a wider range of customers.

“It’s simple, Microsoft is stronger when we expand opportunity and we have a diverse workforce that represents our customers,” Mary Ellen Smith, Microsoft’s VP of Worldwide Operations, blog post at the time. “People with autism bring strengths that we need at Microsoft, each individual is different, some have amazing ability to retain information, think at a level of detail and depth or excel in math or code.”

But accommodating employees with neurodevelopmental disorders, rather than physical limitations, poses unique challenges. That’s why Microsoft launched the special pilot program for people on the spectrum in May 2015.

A year later, Fast Company today looked at how the program was faring through the experience of Blake Adickman. After struggling to hold down a job since college, the 26-year-old is now a high-paid software engineer for Microsoft with his own office and resources designed to help him thrive.

Adickman and the other employees in his cohort escaped Microsoft’s notorious hiring process, which includes a day of grueling interviews and on-the-spot puzzles.

That kind of system just doesn’t work for autistic people and it’s the reason many of them struggle to land a job, despite being intellectually qualified. People on the autism spectrum often struggle to make eye contact and get flustered by new environments and surprises. With that in mind, Microsoft invites candidates for the program to work on projects for several weeks at its Redmond, Wash., campus. Managers slowly get to know the applicants in a less-stressful environment.

That process helped Adickman land a job where other interviews had just ended in frustration and disappointment.

“I’ve been basically jumping from contract job to contract job,” he told Fast Company. “When I got invited out here, I was like, ‘Are you sure?’”

After graduating from college, Amazon flew Adickman out to interview but the meeting went poorly and he wasn’t offered a position.

Getting a foot in the door isn’t the only obstacle people with autism face in the working world. They often struggle to read social cues and their behavior can be misinterpreted by colleagues and managers. To address those issues, Microsoft assigns a mentor to each employee in its program. They provide support in a number of ways, from helping with the logistics of moving to demystifying in-office interactions.

Managers also undergo autism training so that they can be sensitive to challenges autistic people face and better understand employee behavior.

According to Fast Company, “all of those hired through the new program have performed at or above expectations. None have left Microsoft.”

Millionaire mom who killed autistic son gets 18 years in jail

The unrepentant pharmaceutical millionaire who force-fed her autistic son a fatal dose of prescription drugs insisted she did it for his own good Thursday in Manhattan court just before a judge sentenced her to 18 years in prison.

“I loved Jude more than anything in this world and I believed that he would live and die in unbelievable agony, and there’s no sadder person in this world than me over Jude’s death,” a sobbing Gigi Jordan, 54, whined to Justice Charles Solomon. “I can’t touch and smell his hair or see him smile. My only way of surviving is the hope that I can do good for other children that suffered Jude’s pain.”

Jordan claimed once again – as she had at trial – that she murdered her son February 5 of 2010 at the luxury Peninsula hotel because she feared that her ex-husband Raymond Mirra would kill her.

And then her son Jude Mirra would be condemned to a life of sexual abuse at the hands of his biological father Emil Tzekov.

Jordan, wearing a beige pantsuit and sitting at the defense table beside her four lawyers, read a passage from the Bible about God affording King Solomon wisdom and compassion.

“I pray that like your namesake, you will find compassion,” she said without uttering a word of apology or contrition.

During the bizarre six-week trial, Jordan’s defense argued that she committed the horrific crime in a state of extreme emotional disturbance out of fear of her ex-husbands. The jury agreed finding her guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years. Had the panel convicted her of murder, she would have faced 25-to-life.

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Jude MirraPhoto: Gregory P. Mango.

The judge blasted Jordan for her lack of compunction, challenged her honesty and said that most of her claims had “no credible evidence.”

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Gigi Jordan shares a tender moment with Jude Mirra.

“You’d think the defendant would say, ‘What a terrible thing I did! How could I kill my own son? How could I do that to my own flesh and blood?’ Solomon said. “But she never said I’m sorry.”

He continued to lambast her, “The defendant attempted to portray this as a tragedy — there are tragedy’s here: first and foremost, is Jude Mirra, a smiling, happy 8-year-old boy that was killed by his mother. All the money and all her resources — she decided to kill him.”

The judge told Jordan, who is worth an estimated $50 million, that he did not believe Jude had been abused – although he conceded she might have believed it to be true. And he challenged her claim that after she murdered her son, she tried to kill herself with a deadly concoction of pills and vodka.

Prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos asked Solomon to give little Jude justice by sentencing his mother to the maximum.

“As your honor well knows the true worth of any society is not by how it cares for its wealthy, its best and brightest, the real value of a society is how it protects its weakest, its most vulnerable,” he said. “Few if any, your honor, have come across this courtroom who have been as dependent, as vulnerable as worthy of our protection as Jude Mirra and we failed him…I’m asking this court to take care of him in death like we didn’t in life.”

Jordan’s defense lawyers blasted the prosecution’s request as “punitive” and “vindictive” and condemned the hefty sentence.

We are extremely disappointed,” said defense lawyer Norman Siegel. “She’s (Jordan) extremely disappointed.” He said that Jordan plans to appeal.

The Manhattan District Attorney applauded the lengthy prison term.

“No one – and particularly no child – deserves the type of death that Jude Mirra suffered at the hands of his mother,” said District Attorney Cy Vance. “The poisoning and killing of an 8-year-old boy is a premeditated act of child abuse. After five years, justice has finally been served with today’s sentence of 18 years in state prison.”

HOW COULD SHE? Mum forced her son to pretend he had AUTISM SPECTRUM for ten years in £375k benefits scam

Web of sick lies meant children even had SURGERY they didn’t need

A SICK mum is facing jail after getting her son to pretend he had AUTISM Spectrum, and tricking doctors into carrying out unnecessary medical procedures on her young kids so she could claim benefits.

The 48-year old also falsely claimed more than £375,000 in disability benefits during the decade-long case of Munchausen by proxy – which sees parents or carers fabricate or exaggerate medical conditions.

A mum has been found guilty of faking that her children had severe medical conditions in order to claim almost £400k in benefits

A mum has been found guilty at Croydon Crown Court of faking that her children had severe medical conditions in order to claim almost £400k in benefits

She was found guilty of fraud and child cruelty at Croydon Crown Court on Monday.

The jury heard that over the course of at least ten years, the mother took her young son and daughter to various doctors, health and education professionals.

She maintained that they suffered from serious health problems and a series of symptoms, which ranged from severe asthma, autism Spectrum, urology problems and gastric complications.

As a result her healthy children underwent invasive medical treatment, including SURGERY to have gastronomy tubes fitted to their stomachs, enabling them to be fed through a tube – despite the fact that both children were perfectly able to eat normally.

Steroids were also given to her son despite him not displaying the signs of “severe” asthma as the woman insisted and he did not have the chronic wheezing and breathlessness she reported to doctors when he was at school.

The vile woman also encouraged her son to pretend he had symptoms of autism Spectrum and stopped the child’s nursery from toilet training him.

But despite her description of behaviours he displayed at home, none of the traits were witnessed at school.

As a result of the fabricated illnesses she received £87,500 in Disability Living Allowance, between October 2003 and February 2014.

Despite living with her partner, who was earning up to £38,000 a year, she also falsely claimed Income Support benefit.

As a result she falsely claimed benefits of more than £375,000.

Detectives went to her home in May 2013 and arrested the woman and her partner for child cruelty and neglect.

During a search of the property, police discovered a large amount of unused prescribed medication including asthma drugs, nappies and gastro milk and feeding equipment – worth a whopping £146,000 to the taxpayer-funded NHS.

She was found guilty of four counts of cruelty to a person under 16, two counts of obtaining money transfer by deception, seven counts of making a false representation and two counts of fraud by false representation.

The conviction follows a three-year investigation by detectives from the Met’s Sexual Offences, Exploitation and Child Abuse Command.

Investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Stuart Parsons, said: “This truly was a complex investigation, where the evidence we painstaking gathered has resulted in the jury convicting a woman who committed cruelty against her own children for financial gain.

“The investigation was meticulous and detailed, and in order to prove the offences we looked at all aspects of the family, their lifestyle and their financial, medical and education history.

She will be sentenced for her crimes next month

She will be sentenced for her crimes next month

“The level of detail required would not have been possible if it were not for the multi-agency work that took place between the police and other partner agencies such as social services, the local education authority, the Department for Work and Pensions and a number of healthcare providers including local care at home teams.

“One hundred and fourteen witnesses provided evidence for the prosecution, including a number of experts who interpreted complex medical and psychological information for the court to consider.

“It is staggering to think that the mother’s wilful actions resulted in the children undergoing unnecessary surgical and medical interventions.

“She lied at every opportunity, presenting herself as a lone parent coping with ill and vulnerable children.

“The reality was that she resided with her partner and fabricated her children’s conditions for personal financial gain.

“I am pleased she has been convicted today and now faces a considerable term of imprisonment.”

The woman will be sentenced on August 15 at the same court.

Boy with autism spectrum died after being bound to chair and showered in cold water

A boy with autism spectrum, who was often tied to a chair and expected to sleep upright, died after he was given a cold shower and allegedly put in very cold temperatures in a garden shed.

The boy’s death on august 1, 2016, came after his parents turned to using ties and packing tape to restrain the boy as they “were not coping” with his behaviour, a court has heard.

The 11-year-old’s mother is on trial in the Sydney District Court for the manslaughter of her son.

The garden shed where the boy was held.
The garden shed where the boy was held. Photo: NSW Police

The court heard that on the night, the boy, dressed in tracksuit pants, a T-shirt and jumper, was bound to a chair and placed in the shed of the family’s home in central west NSW.

His mother and stepfather had resorted to restraining him in response to his difficulties, which included throwing himself around, not sleeping and soiling himself, Crown prosecutor Peter McGrath, SC, said.

His legs and arms would be taped and “a belt or ratchet type tie” tied around his waist to a chair while his feet, which he had a problem of rubbing together, were sometimes bound to another chair.

There was evidence the boy, whose autism severely compromised his ability to express himself, struggled against the binds and they had to be tightened, Mr McGrath said.

A photograph from the interior of the shed where a young boy was tied to a chair in 2011.
A photograph from the interior of the shed where a young boy was tied to a chair in 2011. Photo: Supplied

On the night of his death, the boy was unsettled, the court heard.

His stepfather picked him up, while still bound in the chair, carried him to the bathroom and put him under a cold shower.

Ratchet ties found inside the shed where the boy was tied up.
Ratchet ties found inside the shed where the boy was tied up. Photo: NSW Police autism spectrum

The mother told police, in an interview played to the court on Wednesday, that the cold shower had been used in the past to settle the boy down or “snap him out of it”.

The mother, who was in bed on the night, later heard her husband call out “come quick”.

Items inside the shed.
Items inside the shed. Photo: NSW Police autism spectrum

She found him in the shed trying to take the restraints off her son, who was limp and had his tongue hanging out.

The Crown alleges the boy being taken into a cold environment, with wet clothes on his skin and unable to get dry contributed to his hypothermic condition.

He was pronounced dead in the early hours on august 1, 2016. autism spectrum

The reading from the nearest weather station – about 20 kilometres away – showed the temperature dropped to about five degrees that night, Mr McGrath told the trial. autism spectrum

“On the Crown case, it was a very cold night,” he said.

Consistent with his autistic condition, the boy was thin, weighed 24 kilograms, and had very little ability to retain heat, Mr McGrath said.

“He couldn’t warm himself,” he said.

“He couldn’t move to put any further clothing on. autism spectrum

“He was at the will and mercy of his mother and her husband, who was also in a position of parental responsibility to the boy.”

The Crown alleges the mother was jointly responsible for placing the boy in the shower as she was aware of it as a method that has been used before.

However, the mother’s barrister Ertunc Ozen said on that night, the mother was in bed as she was going to see a relative the next day and her husband was charged with looking after the boy.

“[She] told police she assumed he would be providing whatever care he needed,” Mr Ozen told the court.

At some point in the evening, the woman told police, her husband came into the room where she was sleeping to tell her that he had wet the child, he said. autism spectrum

“So the defence case is that the first [she] is aware of this form of punishment being used in these circumstances is after it occurred,” Mr Ozen said.

The court heard the boy started presenting difficulties for his mother and her husband in 2016.

The mother and stepfather at night started placing him in a sleeping bag with his arms restrained in plastic pipes so he couldn’t hurt himself.

It was expected the boy sleep upright in a chair, Mr McGrath said .autism spectrum

The mother had tried to move him around different rooms in the house and from “time to time” he was housed in the shed at night.

He would be tied to a garden chair and a baby monitor was attached to the shed with another in the house.

The mother told police in a recorded interview she had been trying to find a solution to the problem.

“I am always trying to do the right thing,” she told police in 2016 .autism spectrum

“We have had to restrain him time and time again with tape so he doesn’t get up and hurt himself. We are trying to prevent him from hurting himself.”

The mother told police the shed was “quite warm”.

However, the Crown submitted the structure had no insulation and although there was a heater, it wasn’t connected.

Philly Mom Gets Nasty Anonymous Letter About Her Son With Autism

Bonnie Moran has been through it. The 32-year-old Mayfair mom suffers from spina bifida, and two of her three sons are autistic. Still, she says that most of the time, she’s able to hold her head high and enjoy life. But last week was a bit rougher than normal.

Moran says that when she went downstairs to get the mail the other day, among the bills and junk was a handwritten note about her three-year-old son Ryan, who has been diagnosed with autism, pica and ADHD, among other things.

Here is how the letter reads (we didn’t copy edit it):

To the parent of the small child at this house,

The weather is getting nicer and like normal people I open my windows for fresh air. NOT to hear some BRAT screaming his head off as he flaps his hands like a bird. I don’t care if its the way you raised him or if he is retarded. But the screaming and carring on needs to stop. No one wants to hear him act like a wild animal it’s utterly nerve wracking, not to mention its scaring my Normal children. By you just standing there talking to him don’t do anything. Besides you look like a moron as he walks all over you. Give him some old fashioned discipline a few times and he will behave. If that child needs fresh air … take him to the park not in out back or out front where other people are coming home from work, have a day off, or just relaxing. No one needs to hear that high pitched voice for hours. Do something about that Child!

One of your neighbors

“I was so angry,” says Moran, a graduate of Northeast High School. “I was all red. And then I just sat down and cried for hours. How can somebody be that mean?”

In the days that preceded her receipt of the anonymous letter, the weather had been warm, so Ryan had been playing outside. His father had him in the backyard playing soccer one day, and Ryan was on the sliding board out front the next.

“He was so excited,” says the mom. “And when he gets excited, he flaps his hands together real fast and squeals. It can be pretty high-pitched some times. You know how it is. Kids can be noisy.”

Moran is used to dealing with dirty looks and comments. Ryan gets frustrated very easily, in part because he has a difficult time communicating what he wants, what he needs, or how he is feeling, and he acts out. He was completely non-verbal until just before he turned three. Moran says he was once so upset on a crowded SEPTA bus — some children with the diagnosis cannot tolerate crowds — that the driver insisted she take him off the bus.

IMPORTANT NOTEThis article frequently gets stolen by copy-paste websites, who try tricking you into thinking they wrote it. This was written by Chris Bonnello from Health Feeds, and if you’re reading this anywhere other than , you’ve been tricked by an article thief who hasn’t even bothered to read enough of it to see this message!

“The stares really eat me up,” she says. “He can see you. He can hear your comments. He’s not deaf. He knows what you’re saying. He knows you are pointing at him. That’s not cool. He’s not stupid. He’s a little human.”

The looks and snide remarks are one thing. But the letter shocked her.

“My family has been in this home since it was built in the ’30s,” Moran explains. “We were the first ones on the block. We know everybody. When there’s a problem, we go to each other and work it out. So this, I just don’t understand it.”

But she was equally shocked by the response she received after posting a photo of the letter on the community Facebook group Mayfair Uncensored.

“I’ve got so many playdates lined up for him now,” she says, choking up a bit. “I was approached by parents in the area who have children with disabilities, and they all understand. I used to feel so alone before this. It’s great to know you’re not the only one out there. Turns out that people on my block are going through similar things.”

As for the writer of the anonymous letter, Moran is not ready to forgive and forget just yet.

“If I knew who it was, I’d find a few choice words,” she says. “I don’t know. Try to educate yourself before you judge somebody. You never know what somebody is going through. He’s not a brat. … He’s just like anyone else, but he has issues. I’d invite them to come and meet him and spend time with him and see what a caring, loving, beautiful child he can be.”


Giving adults with autism the skills to build independent lives

Before Josh, 36, arrived at First Place Transition Academy, he had never taken public transportation on his own, much less held down a paying job. But a new pilot program is empowering adults with autism to overcome hurdles to independence. Special correspondent John Donvan, co-author with Caren Zucker of “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” reports from Phoenix.