Tag Archives: Dad

Question?: Schizophrenia Medication

Laura asks…

Is schizophrenia managable without medication or therapy?

My Girlfriend has Schizophrenia, she says she will never take medication for it or go get therapy. (her dad has convinced her that medications are not for mental illness) As for therapy, she doesn’t want to pay for it. Apparently she has had something telling her to hurt ME a couple times before. I love her very much but I don’t want to live the rest of my life worrying about my safety. Is it possible to control the symptoms without medication or therapy?

admin answers:

Sorry, but diet and exercise aren’t usually effective for controlling mental illness. Unless there is an “alternative” treatment that would be effective (do some research) then no…her illness cannot be controlled by doing nothing.

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Question?: Adhd Test

Mandy asks…

Does AD-HD get passed down generation to generation or can it just happen?

I just took a adhd test like thing, and so far im getting tested positive, does adhd just get passed down from generation to generation, or can it just happen like oh look you have adhd but not alot of people in your family have it.

admin answers:

Well, It depends. If people in your family have ADD or ADHD, you are more likely to get it.

My grandfather has ADD, my dad has ADHD, and I have ADHD.

ADHD is a mental issue, you can’t just tell by looking at a person that they have it.

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Question?: Autism Signs In Children

John asks…

What age did your child put together jigsaw puzzles?

My son is 4 and loves to put together 150-200 piece puzzles. He will sit for hours on end and focus only on his puzzle. He was treated for speech problems at age 2-3. Is this normal for a four year old to concentrate so long? Do you think he is on the autism spectrum? Thanks.

admin answers:

This one sign alone would not cause me to think he might be on the spectrum, although it is very unusual for a 4 year old to be interested in 200 pc puzzles for hours without wanting help/getting frustrated. I have an almost 5 year old who happens to be ahead of her peers intellectually, but she would NEVER spend hours on one puzzle. However, her sister who is 2 years younger and not nearly as ahead at this age, is MUCH better at puzzles than she is!

Have you googled it and looked for other signs of autism or autism spectrum disorder? I understand your concern, but he could just be a very cognitive little boy! Apparently, my brother was playing chess with my dad by age 5 and was very good at it! He’s not at all autistic, just very, very intelligent and very in to “mind” games (AKA the intellectual type). Maybe you just have a little “genius” on your hands!

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Question?: Autism Signs In Children

Ruth asks…

How do you tell someone to get their child evaluted?

This family has one 5 year old with PDD a 18 month old who can’t sit up and rocks back and forth while on the floor, Dad wants him evaluated, but also has a 3 year old who has deffinate signs of autism too. Dad thinks he’s a genious bacause he is so drilled. How can we get Dad to see the light?

admin answers:

Try putting it to him like this since , since the other two do and seem to have autism It is a precautionary thing to have the middle child evaluated too. Explain that there are various degrees of autism and that some people w/ as are brilliant. Advise him that it is more likely for his middle child to have autism because his siblings do than some one who’s siblings don’t. As a parent of autistic children he should understand how important early intervention is. If all else fails ask him this. If there were even the slightest chance that his child had a life threatening disease like cancer he would have the child tested wouldn’t he ? The eval is just a test If the child doesn’t have autism what will it hurt?

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Question?: Rett Syndrome Pictures

Mandy asks…

I need to know more about autism, my little sister who i never see?

Ok, im 16 and my little sister Lexie lives with her real mom , we both have the same dad but different moms. I havent seen her since she was like 3 or 4 and shes now 8. shes very tiny and underdeveloped, but adorable., her mom told me she has learning disabilities and mild autism, i was gonna see if she would let Lexie come stay with me for a week so i can get to know her, but i just wonder how shes like.
any info??

admin answers:

My son has PDD-NOS which is on the Autism Spectrum. The Autism Spectrum is what they call a Spectrum because the severity and symptoms that children have differs greatly. There are five diagnoses that are under the Autism Spectrum Umbrella. These are Autism, PDD-NOS, Asperger’s, childhood disintegrative disorder, and Rett syndrome. PDD-NOS is the most common diagnoses. Asperger’s is the highest functioning of the Autism Spectrum Disorders which are also called Pervasive Development Disorders. Autism is more common in boys than girls, except for Rett Syndrome which affects mostly girls. I have been told by specialists that they have a saying that “If you have seen one child with Autism you have seen one child with Autism”. By that saying they mean that no two children with autism present the same.

Let me tell you a little about my son. When he was a baby I knew something was different. He was my third child so I just knew something was not right. He did not like to be held like my other kids did. He would let me feed him, but look at the ceiling fan while I did instead of into my eyes. When he was done eating he would want to get down. He did not like to be held much. As he got older I noticed that he did not play with toys like my other kids did. He liked to take them apart instead. He was a head banger and rocked side to side alot. When routines changed he always got very irritable and still does. He would play with his toys the same way all the time, and line them up. He began talking on time, but always talked about what he was thinking without holding proper conversations. His voice is monotone all in one high pitch. He does not understand others feelings, how his actions affect others, or facial expressions. He takes everything very seriously and does not understand sarcasm or jokes. He has high anxiety, gets frustrated easily, and has been agressive since he was two. He has sensory processing disorder which is very common with PDD. He has always had sensory issues and hated things too bright, too cold or hot, certain clothing, certain textures, etc. He has problems making friends, and does not play age appropriately.

What has worked for us: My son gets Sensory Integration therapy at his school where he has an IEP and is in a special classroom. He has been in counseling since he was three to help him understand his feelings, others feelings, and ways to better control his emotions. He is on medications to help him control his rages, anger, and sleep issues. I have found that schedules and routines are the most important things for us. I made him a picture schedule that works very well. If you want to email me I can send you more information and even pics of our picture schedule. I have gotten valuable information by getting my son several diagnostic tests such as a speeech evaluation, neuropsycological evaluation, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician Evaluation, an EEG, an EKG, and even genetics testing. I think that the two most important things to do are to see a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician because they are the doctors that most specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Also a neuropsych evaluation will help understand how she thinks and how her brain works.

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Question?: Pdd Nos Symptoms

Maria asks…

Autism when was the first case diagnosed? Did it start with Mercury exposure?

my daughter has autism and severe mercury poisoning!!!! WHY???

admin answers:

Two of my kids have a form of autism called PDD-NOS (pervasive developmental delay, not otherwise specified). One has mercury and aluminum poisoning, and my son has aluminum poisoning. We measured this in their hair, urine and blood. My older daughter with mercury poisoning and symptoms got shots with mercury as a baby before this was removed. I also got a flu shot containing mercury while I was pregnant. My young son is no longer autistic after treatment to remove aluminum (zinc supplements, elimination of aluminum in diet and melatonin). Both of my affected children became autistic overnight…stopped speaking completely for several weeks, not gradually as autistic specialists try to convince parents, my son stopped smiling, laughing, saying mama and cheering when his dad came home from work all the morning after he received shots at 15 months, coincidentally the most common time for children to develop symptoms of autism. My son was discharged by all of his therapists within 2 weeks of when we began treatment for aluminum poisoning; none of his therapists had ever seen a child recover so well or so quickly. They have shared this info with other parents, and so far, of 20 children tested, 18 have been found to have aluminum poisoning as well, and some also had mercury poisoning. This really does happen.

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Question?: Schizophrenia

Sandra asks…


ok im 13 and some of my friends are saying they think i have schizophrenia but then i heard that schizophrenia isn’t there until your in your old teens or early 20’s so is it even possible that i could have it?
is it something thats genetic cause my dad has it?
and im not really sure what exactly schizophrenia is either so could you please make that clearer to me?
is it only voices in your head telling you to die
or is it also schizophrenia when you hear voices in your head telling you to do things that aren’t always bad?

admin answers:

My guess is that you’re okay so far, because KIDS CAN BE CRUEL and they may just be saying it because they 1. Don’t understand what schizophrenia really is anyway, and 2. Might just want to hurt your feelings, and/or 3. Maybe there is something unique about your personality, so they blame it on schizophrenia.

OR…. You COULD possibly have it….. But only a doctor can tell you for sure. Since your dad has it, I’m sure any doctor will take you seriously.

Here is some info to help (click on the link to get more help):

Schizophrenia is diagnosed with a medical history, physical exam, and a mental health assessment.

If a health professional suspects that you may be depressed or considering suicide, a suicide assessment may also be taken.

Other tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI, and blood tests may be done to rule out other conditions that can cause symptoms similar to schizophrenia.

New evidence suggests that the structure of the brain may be different in those who develop schizophrenia.7 Brain imaging studies (such as a CT scan or an MRI) may be done to evaluate the size, structure, and functioning of the brain.

Schizophrenia is accurately diagnosed when:

* You have at least two of the following symptoms in the active phase of the disorder, each having lasted for at least 1 month:
o Hallucinations
o Delusions
o Disorganized speech
o Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior
o Negative symptoms (no emotion, inability to experience pleasure, difficulty concentrating)
* Problems functioning on the job or with other people.
* Continuous signs of schizophrenia that have been present for at least 6 months, with symptoms being active for at least 1 month.
* No other mental health or substance abuse problems.

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Many of you have asked for “tissue warnings” on my more emotional posts. This, my friends, is not one of those. Well, unless you’re a happy crier, like me. If you are, then consider yourself warned.

Oh, and one other thing. It’s long. I’m sorry about that. I tried to make it shorter, but I couldn’t. I’d like to think it’s worth the time.


In our school district, students in the fourth grade are invited to join the instrumental music program.

Brooke is a musical kid. Unlike her mom, she has damn near perfect pitch. Also unlike her mom, she sings like an angel.

Luau grew up playing the flute. Well. He also plays the piano, a little guitar and can essentially pick up anything that makes a sound and create music with it.

Throughout her childhood, he has quietly taught Katie to play just about anything too. They started with the piano. He didn’t just teach her how to play it, he taught her to listen to it too so that, given enough time, she can now, like her Dad, figure out how to play just about any song by ear. Same for the flute, which he was thrilled was her instrument of choice when fourth grade came around.

We wanted Brooke to have the same opportunity. There was just something in the way that she sings and the way that she listens to music (loudly, from inside it), that compelled us to ensure that she had a chance to explore how it’s made.

So we tried. We really, really tried. We had a music teacher (one who she already knew and loved) come to the house once a week. He brought anything in which she expressed an interest – a guitar, a violin, a recorder, a flute. He let her touch them and play (with) them. When she honed in on the violin, he tried to show her how to use a bow.

There were moments of magic. Moments when it looked like .. maybe .. just maybe .. but we finally had to acknowledge that it just wasn’t working. She finally just shut down and we decided that pushing wasn’t the answer.

Brooke is in fourth grade. At the beginning of the school year, the kids learned about the instrumental music program. They were encouraged to choose an instrument that appealed to them – that they would like to learn how to play. Somehow I hadn’t considered that she would choose something, but she did.

Now, please come a little closer, because this next part isn’t something that I want to say too loudly.

When I heard that Brooke had declared that she wanted to play the clarinet, I panicked.

I know, not cool. But the whole traveling instrument petting zoo just hadn’t worked. And it had pretty spectacularly not worked. And that was one-on-one. At home. So how the hell was it going to work in school? In a band room full of discordant sounds – and Jesus, do you know how much my kid hates discord? There’s a reason she tells me not to sing in front of her – off-key just ain’t okay to her discerning ear. Have you heard fourth graders play a bunch of musical instruments? Together? All at once? Off-key doesn’t even begin.

So I panicked.

But, see, when I did, I forgot something. Something really big. I forgot that if we believe in our kids – really, really, REALLY believe in our kids, that hard things – even really, really, REALLY hard things – are possible.

And I forgot something else. I forgot that the WE in this story isn’t just us parents. I forgot that other people have skin in this game too. That, if we’re really, really lucky, then other people have FAITH in our kids too and BELIEVE in what they can do and will be damned if anything will stand in the way of them being able to TRY.

But see, the cool thing about having a whole team of people who care about your kid is that even when you forget, they’re still there carrying the flag. Kinda like a faith safety net. (This is when my friend Jeneil would pull out some scripture about faith safety nets and say something like, “Even when we forget, He doesn’t.”)

But well, that’s what happened. While I was panicking, Brooke’s aide, Ms J, was plotting.

She was talking to the music teacher and the instrumental teacher. She was making the team bigger. And the new teammates got together and decided that to make this work, Ms J would need a clarinet too. So they dug one up so that SHE could learn alongside Brooke so that she could help to teach her.

Can you imagine?

So to recap, while I was panicking, Ms J was believing.

Once she had it all in place, once she had worked out the logistics of what she BELIEVED was possible, she told us that Brooke wanted to learn to play the clarinet. And that she could.

I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Getting HER a clarinet? Who does that? But I was still afraid for my girl. A damned clarinet? For the love of Pete, why a clarinet? Have you ever tried to play one? She faces so much frustration every day, did it really makes sense to set her up for more?

But I didn’t say any of it out loud. It was in motion and my girl wanted to try.

I thanked Ms J up and down. She didn’t seem to understand why. I told her that I was grateful that she wasn’t balking at the challenge. She said, “Jess, she’s INTERESTED IN THIS. Why would I ever balk at something she’s interested in?”

Yeah, she actually said that. I know.

So Luau too Brooke to the local music store and they rented a clarinet. As soon as they came home, she wanted to put it together and give it a try. Luau did his best to show her how it worked – where to put her mouth, how to hold her lips, how to breathe, where her hands needed to be (just to hold on, not play notes on it.)

I watched her body tense up. I wondered again if we were doing the right thing.

Coordination disorder. Profound motor planning challenges. Needs intensive fine and gross motor therapies.

This was the kid who was frozen solid on playground equipment. Who couldn’t jump off a one-inch matt. Who couldn’t hold a crayon when she was four.

A God damned clarinet?

I stayed quiet and watched.

She tried. She asked Luau for help. She made one small sound but couldn’t replicate it. She grew more tense and more frustrated and more anxious. She yelled.

We told her that learning to play the clarinet would not be easy. That it would, in fact, be hard. Even really hard. But we reminded her that she can do hard things. Even really hard things.

We told her that it was time to put it away for the day and that she could try again at school.

I was afraid.


Yesterday, I had the following conversation with Ms J. For ease of reading, she’ll be PINK and I’ll be GREEN.

So proud of your daughter she made a sound with the clarinet. She said I can’t do it I said yes you can try again. she tried again and then surprised herself when the sound came out. ;)

Aaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!! That’s AWESOME!!!! Thank you SO much for encouraging her. I just .. Oh man. Thank you!!!!!!

Her being able to face and get through her fear made my day.

So beyond awesome!!!!!

I almost fell off the chair I was so proud lol

Ha!!! I would too. Was she psyched??

She WILL do this!!!! I have faith.

And that’s why she will. Because you know she can.

Ya I think the sound startled her because I think she thought it wasnt going to happen. Then she smiled when I obnoxiously yelped and said “See I told you you could do it I’m so proud!”

We kept talking about it all day and how it might be tough but just like other things that were tough for her that she was able to accomplish she will do it.

That’s so awesome. I can’t wait to ask her about it tonight!!! Thank you x a million!!!!!

You don’t have to thank me. I love watching her succeed. It is a pleasure to me. It makes everything worth it to see her accomplish things that others may not think she can.

I adore you, lady. She’s a lucky lucky kid.

No, I’m the lucky one.

All right woman, you’re already in the will, ok? Lol

I say that because I get to see her accomplish what she does. And I get to see the smile on her face when she does something she never thought she could do.

I know. And I say what I did because it’s completely awesome that you treasure that. And because I thank God every day that you are there with her, believing in her and pushing her and loving her. EVERY DAY.

I have to tell you it is so hard sometimes controlling my emotions when she works on something so hard and then is able to do it. Sometimes I have to hold back tears I’m so proud. Lol I’m such a baby.

Nope. You’re an awesome teacher taking pride in your joint accomplishment. That’s the way it’s supposed to be!!!

I’m so tempted to ask if I can share this whole damn conversation on my blog so that parents can see what’s possible when the people in their kids lives believe in them. Cause it’s just so friggin awesome. And I know so many people just don’t have [people like you in their kid’s lives]. Or believe that they (you!) exist.

I have to say she works WAY harder than I do.

She works harder than all of us!!!

You can.

Really??? You don’t mind?? Cause I’d so love to do that.

You can. I don’t mind. Cause it will give parents faith and sometimes you need that.

Yes!!!! Thank you!!!!


“ … it will give parents faith and sometimes you need that.”

I forgot.

She didn’t.

The thing that sometimes, in the middle of the day-to-day, is easiest to lose. The thing that in the day-to-day, we really need the most.


Thank you, Ms J.

Thank you.

Ed note: This is why I advocate for Special Education funding. Because EVERY child should have a Ms J in their lives.

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all good


~ Diary’s Facebook status, Saturday afternoon


It started with this ..

Mama said no.

Which might have come out sounding a little bit like “Over my dead body, child.”

Then there was this ..

Mama said, “What’s that, love? I’m not familiar with dip dye.”

Which might have come out sounding a little bit like, “Huh? What the hell is that?”

Then there was the persuasion phase.

With words like “Self-expression” and “A harmless way to be who I am in a world that makes everybody try to be the same” and “It’s only the ends so if you hate it, we can just cut it off.”

Then there was a conversation with Daddy.

With words like “Wait four weeks and if you still want it, we can talk about it then” and “FOUR WEEKS?” and “That’s kind of a long time in middle school, babe” And “Fine, two weeks and we’ll revisit it.”

Then there was a conversation with Marisa.

With words like “non-toxic products” and “totally harmless” and “I’m thinking of doing it at home” and “Um, NO. I’ll do it here” and “I can’t afford that” and “No charge” and “Are you serious? Why would you do that?” and “Because I love her” and “Oh my God, I love YOU.” And, “Okay, we’re still in the waiting period; I’ll let you know.”

And then there was this …

Which started as tripping over a ball in a soccerish sort of game in PE to torn cartilage in her foot to “You might need a cast” to a walking boot.

Which might have sounded a little bit like, “This totally stinks” and “Nobody can even sign this stupid thing” and “It’s ugly and black and I’M MAD.”

Which might possibly have led her Mom to convince her Dad to forgo the waiting period and then maybe, just maybe, do this on Saturday ..

Which is a gentle, non-toxic primer for this ..

After which she finally got to see it and that’s why her face looked like this

And after all that, there was this ..

Which made someone’s face light up like this ..

Which suddenly made this ..

.. a whole lot less important.

And that, my friends is the story of how this mother became the coolest mom ever OR the biggest sucker that ever walked the earth. All depends on who you ask.

Last night, I asked Katie if she was okay with me posting these photos. She shrugged and said, “Sure,” Then she thought for a moment and added, “There may be some haters, Mama. But that’s okay; let em hate. Cause it’s not about them. It’s about me. It’s about my self-expression and my confidence and my happiness. And I’m happy and I’m confident and I’m expressing myself. So it’s all good.”

All good.

Yes indeed, kiddo.

It’s all good.

Marisa, ain’t enough words for thank you, but hopefully “happy,” “confident,” and “expressing herself” are a pretty good start. Love you, girl.

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Learning to Wait

Many aggressive and challenging behaviors can stem from a child’s inability to wait. You might wonder why is it so important to teach a child with Autism to wait. The reason why this is such an important skill is because its a pivotal skill, meaning it impacts the success of learning more advanced skills. Children have to wait, because adults have to wait. As a child matures and starts interacting with society they will have to wait in the classroom, at the park, at the grocery store, inside the home, at the airport, etc. If your child or client is regularly engaging in problem behaviors it may be stemming from an issue around waiting.

Here’s a few examples of what difficulty with waiting can look like:

-Whenever the teacher tells the class to line up to go outside, Doug gets very excited. Doug loves playing outside. Doug gets so excited and impatient while waiting in line that he regularly pushes, bumps into, and steps on the feet of children near him in line.

– Iyanna is at the mall with her dad. Iyanna makes the sign “eat” to her dad to signify she is hungry. Her dad tells her they are leaving the mall in 15 minutes, and and she can eat then. Iyanna begins to cry, and a few minutes later bolts away from her dad and runs to the food court where she starts eating leftover food off of tables.

A child who doesn’t know how to wait may become aggressive, defiant, and may eventually have a meltdown. Most people just see the behavior as the problem and try things such as blocking the aggression, telling the child to stop pushing, or putting the child in Time Out for throwing chairs. The problem with that approach is that in all of these situations the behavior was the by-product of a skill deficit. These children did not know how to wait. When put in situations where they didn’t get a desired item or activity “right now” they engaged in problem behaviors. In order to effectively terminate these problem behaviors you have to target the skill deficit, not just the outcome behavior.

Teaching a Child to Wait: ABA Approach-

For a Waiting program you will need activities or objects the child enjoys. You will also need a timer. Before beginning to teach the skill you need to determine the child s current ability to wait appropriately. Appropriate just means the child doesn’t try to reach for or grab at the item they are waiting for, and if the child is verbal they don’t whine or plead for the item. If its an activity, the child doesn’t try to run past you to access the item. If you determine the child can wait about 20 seconds before they grab at the item, set your first target at 10 seconds. You always want to start a little below what the child can currently do to ensure they contact reinforcement. Slowly build up the amount of time using small increments. Select a simple SD. Typically “Wait” is the SD used. Allow the child to access the preferred item for a few seconds. For example, give them a highly preferred doll to play with for a few seconds. Then take the doll away, say “Wait” and set your timer. Place the doll where the child can clearly see it but slightly out of their reach. Once the timer goes off praise the child for waiting and give them the doll back. If the child does not wait appropriately use prompting to get compliance and ignore any inappropriate behaviors, such as crying. Do not provide praise or reinforcement if the child didn’t wait appropriately.

Lastly, be careful about allowing the child to almost touch the item. Many kids like to play the “I’m almost touching it, but not quite” game. If you reinforce or allow the child to put their hand above or close to the item before they are done waiting then over time that behavior will get engrained and will be hard to get rid of. The child should wait to access the item with Quiet Hands.

Visuals can also be a great way to help teach waiting. For children who don’t understand the passage of time using a visual makes time much more tangible and real. What kind of visual you use will depend on the age and cognitive ability of the child. You could use a stoplight sign where red means “wait”, yellow means “almost”, and green means the child can access the item. For an older child try number cards. Flip through the cards starting at number 10 working down to 0. Once you get to 0 give the child your full attention and praise them for good waiting. This gives the child a much more concrete understanding of time rather than you saying “Hold on” over and over. When using visuals always pair language with the visual so you can eventually just use language and fade out the visual.

View the original article here