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CPS investigation

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by camram, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    We were contacted late Friday afternoon by CPS that someone has reported our oldest son as a danger to our family. The CPS person that my husband spoke with on the phone Friday would not give him any information about the case except that she asked him if our son ever showed violent tendencies. We have a meeting Monday morning at the CPS office. We are very confused and scared.

    Our son is 17 and was diagnosed with AS in 5th grade by the school diagnostician. Nobody has reported anything to us about our son being violent or threatening to our family.

    All we can think of is that earlier this month he had a meltdown at the school and hit the librarian. They had separated him from everyone else to take a test and he got confused and then mad because he thought the whole school knew he had to take the test in the library all by himself. He was in the middle of a meltdown, and the librarian kept asking him if he wanted to sit down to wait for somebody else to come. She got too close, and he felt threatened and struck out at her.

    We get the feeling that the school doesn't want to deal with him anymore, and maybe they reported this incident to CPS to get rid of us. Hopefully we can get some details on Monday that will clue us into why somebody would have reported him.

    He is a sweet kid. Everybody we meet says they just love him. He doesn't talk to very many people, and he doesn't talk to anyone in public or at school not even me.

    We have two other sons, 15 and 13. They all get along well except when they disagree and do the typical sibling rivalry stuff....nothing unusual than any other family.

    Is there anybody out there who has had a similar situation? Any suggestions on what we do? Do we tell them about his AS?
     
  2. . . .

    . . . Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    What your son did obviously isn't right, but everyone with screws up from time to time. People with AS are no exception.

    I'd tell them about his AS to give them a better understanding as to why he did this. People on the spectrum sometimes do things they normally wouldn't when under lots of stress.

    If your son understands that what he did was wrong, he probably will try hard not to do something like this again. And hey - it could have been worse.

    How hard did he hit the librarian, if you don't mind me asking?
     
  3. Droopy

    Droopy Founder & Former Admin V.I.P Member

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    Given that he struck the librarian, I'm not surprised that they have reported this. I think it is very important that they understand why he struck the librarian and had a meltdown. It is important that the school are aware of his diagnosis and that they fully understand what the diagnosis means and how to "deal" with him (or help him in other words). Telling the school about his AS doesn't mean that his class would have to know - just the teachers. It would also be a good idea for your son to apologize for the attack, it would look good on your part if he did.
     
  4. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    I don't know who reported or what has been reported. I'm guessing at this point. This is the only incident that I know of. The librarian put her arms up and he hit her once in the arms. I don't think he hit her very hard.

    The school knows all about him...as does all of his teachers. They know not to get near him when he is having a meltdown and not to talk to him...especially saying the same thing more than once. They were not supposed to segregate him for this test. They did not follow ARD, and now they know why we told them not to do this. He does not like to be treated differently. He does not accept the diagnosis of AS, and he wants to be treated like everyone else in his classes.

    What I was hoping for with this post was some help with CPS. I've never dealt with CPS and I don't know anyone who has. Does anyone have experience with CPS?
     
  5. Firnafth

    Firnafth Mammalogist V.I.P Member

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    By CPS do you mean Child Protective Services, or something else? That's the most obvious meaning for the acronym in the U.S., but I'm not sure where you're from.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  6. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Child Protective Services. So had the meeting this morning. What was reported was that he stated that if his parents didn't leave him alone that he would kill them. Why do people report stuff like this to CPS and never say anything to the parents? So now we have to take the kids to them so they can ask them questions and take pictures of them.
     
  7. Firnafth

    Firnafth Mammalogist V.I.P Member

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    My family had one dealing with CPS. My little brother broke his arm by falling from a closet shelf (which he had been warned not to climb!). At the emergency room, the people there heard him say something which apparently suggested to them that his arm had been broken by assault by a parent. So they called CPS, who later came to our house to check things out. I wasn't actually there for their visit, because I was so upset about this that I left the house before they came to take a long, miserable walk. When I came back, they were gone. But they did decide there was nothing wrong. So to my family, at least, they were reasonable.

    I've heard family members say things like what your son said, yet nobody has tried to kill anybody else. It seems that some people say things like that when they are angry, but they may not actually mean to act on it. On the other hand, I haven't heard of anybody saying anything like that in public.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2011
  8. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    This is a tough one. Yes, I definitely think you should be telling them about the AS. But, and I hope you don't take this the wrong way, be thankful that this happened when it did. What your son is experiencing is a wake-up call. No, the school people probably shouldn't have done what they did, and it could have been handled a lot better; however, it is better your son learn NOW that actions have consequences and that just because he has AS does not mean that society will automatically give him a free pass. He may be a sweet kid, but schools are justifiably jumpy about any kind of threats being made.

    When I was in school there was little or no provision made to accommodate to all my little whims and issues. Yes, it was rough, but let me tell you, that out there in the "real world" there is even less accommodation. Believe me, you do not want your son running afoul of the legal system when he is an adult. I can assure you they will be even less understanding and less willing to listen than CPS.

    I can say this because there for the grace of God or whatever go I. I pulled some pretty bad stunts in my day and I was damn lucky I didn't get sent to the juvenile home or the state hospital. From what I understand, there is even less tolerance today than there was back then.

    I hope for your son's sake that he learns that no matter how hard or painful it is, there are times when he simply is not going to have everything go his way and that he is going to have to learn to tolerate some things he doesn't like. Because the alternative is simply too unpleasant to contemplate.
     
  9. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    He doesn't even remember saying this. When we took the kids to talk with them, she asked the other two boys what he does when he gets mad at them. Both stated basically the same thing that he just tells them to go away. She laughed and said yea she remembers saying that to her siblings when she was growing up. She took pictures and we went home.

    Unfortunately this week we have an even bigger situation. A teacher was ignoring him so he said something to get her attention and what he said has now caused suspension, a police report, and possibly the rest of the year at the bad kids school. He does not understand that what he said was wrong.

    Now we are looking at him not even finishing school because he does not want to go back and he is scared to go back in that teacher's class because he knows she will treat him differently. He does not like being treated differently and it seems that most of his teachers this year are segregating him from the other students and we have specifically stated in ARD meetings that he gets upset when he gets treated differently or made to feel separated from the other students. He told me today that they don't even call his name when they take roll.

    We are probably going to have to home school him in order for him to get a diploma or move to another school district.

    He has never had any discipline problems until this year. I think he is going thru the teenage issues that most teenagers go thru when they are 13 or 14. I think he could also have brain damage from birth and it's not just AS...but I don't know how to go about finding this out. He has always been less mature than his age. He acts about 3-4 years younger than he is.

    We are so confused with all this that is going on.
     
  10. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Well, you have a real serious problem on your hands, and I don't know what to tell you. You say he is 17 but doesn't understand that what he did and said is wrong. I really, really feel for you, because time is running out. I don't know about where you live but in my state, Michigan, he would become a legal adult at 18. That means that the law will assume that he is capable of understanding these things as an adult and will treat him accordingly. He needs to learn fast. His life could be at stake.

    This morning when I drove to work I heard on the radio that a young man had been fatally shot by cops after he went for them with a knife. Now, apparently they had been called numerous times to this residence, indicating that there were serious on-going problems there. I don't know what they were, whether they were mental or drug related. At this point it doesn't matter. What is clear is that the police told him several times to put the knife down, he refused and started coming at them, they tried tear gas and taser, and in the end had to shoot him in self-defense. I do not blame the cops. It is a tragedy that this troubled young man lost his life, but when you are in a life-or-death situation--and this was--you do not have time to think or analyze. You can't say oh, he is autistic or whatever.

    This time it was school personnel. Put yourself in their shoes. Being struck at by an angry teenager is a frightening thing. I don't blame them for reacting the way they did. Now, what about next time? Will it be law enforcement personnel? Will he end up like the young man on the news because he didn't do what they said to do?

    I don't know what kind of mental health services there are in your community. You have much more serious problems than him not finishing school. He needs to understand that what he is doing is not acceptable. Will a judge be more lenient when he turns 18? I doubt it.
     
  11. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    I am very worried about this too. We live in a very small town, and there is not much in regards to services. There used to be a support group, but when I found out about it, it was no longer active. We don't know how to get him to understand that he can't say things like that even if he hears other people saying it. Luckily the police are not going to be involved, but an incident was still filed. He will be a legal adult at 18 like everyone in the states. It scares me to death that he could walk out the door and never come back.
     
  12. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would try to find me a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases because I think you are going to need it. Do you think that having an officer talk to him would help? Because if he does something and is tried as an adult, you might make a case for him being not competent or whatever the legal term is, but you need to be prepared for that. Otherwise, it is as you say, he could take off.

    I am also wondering if even though you live in a small town, is there a school or university nearby (like within a 100 mile radius) that has a special education department? I live not far from a city which has such a university, so there are associated services there even though there are none in the county where I do live. Also there is a major medical school within two hours drive. So while there might not be anything in your immediate area it might be worth the time to go outside.
     
  13. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    The school has decided that he had intent to cause fear by the statement he made and that AS was not a factor in the situation, but that they know he had no intent to harm and was only seeking attention. So they are putting him in an alternative school which is basically a jail within the school system....they call it lock down.

    We have called a lawyer, but have been told that if we take him out of school and home school that we can't file a complaint with TEA or appeal this decision. The lawyer said that some of the stuff we found out today that has been happening at the school is against the law and they are not following the IEP. But do we really want to drag him thru this when we can just home school him and be done with the school. But we also don't want the school doing this to another child.

    I just want to get him the help he needs so that he can succeed in life. I have looked for services in the nearby areas and have not found anything. We may have to go to a bigger city that is farther away...but I will find something. Thanks for your suggestions.
     
  14. Droopy

    Droopy Founder & Former Admin V.I.P Member

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    If the school are breaking the law and you can take legal action, then I would do it. Don't let it happen to another child with AS or learning difficulties. The school needs to be told that they are doing wrong.
     
  15. . . .

    . . . Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Your son is 17 and must only have a year left of school, right? Do both you and your husband work full-time? Would homeschooling him be too burdensome?

    If the school is in fact breaking laws, you could report them, but I doubt that would stop anything. All of the legal stuff would be time-consuming and could leave you empty-handed. If feasible, home-school him until he's done with high-school. Once he's done with that, university/college, if he wishes to get higher education, should be much easier for him. I can't see him having an aggressive outburst at college or university as people pretty much ignore you and don't care what you do there.

    For the record: I was quite aggressive when I was young, but I'm relatively calm now. Hopefully your son's aggressive will subside as he gets older. Most people calm down as they age.
     
  16. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    He actually has 2 years because the school talked us into holding him back in first grade. They said he was too immature to go to second grade. Looking back we should not have done that...we should have pressed for evaluations. But at the time we didn't even know the school did evaluations for autism/AS. They just kept telling us that he was just immature and that it wasn't autism.

    I have spent most of the day writing up our appeal/complaint. I do not want the school to do this to another child. It is so wrong what they have done. He is now barely eating, barely sleeping, and more withdrawn than usual. He hasn't talked to me since we found out the school decided to send him to the delinquent alternative school.

    I work full-time, but my husband does not. We will be home schooling him, but will continue to pursue the complaint....although they may dismiss the complaint once I tell them we are removing him from the school. It's hard for him because he only has about 40 days left, and he would have the second half of his Sophomore credits. But we think sending him to the school "jail" would be detrimental to his emotional stability...especially for something he doesn't even understand what he did.

    Most of his aggression seems to be related to how they treat him at the school. He hates being treated differently, and he says they ignore him. He also seems to be going thru the teenage issues that most teens go thru at 13/14. So that could be a factor as well. He did state that he wished they would leave him alone.

    I'm glad to hear that most calm down as they age...thank you for sharing.
     
  17. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Even if you home-school him, that is still not addressing the issue that brought this on in the first place, and that is that he does not recognize the seriousness of his actions. I am having a hard time understanding why he does not understand this at his age. Something is lacking here.

    Granted, I was brought up in a harsher time, where physical punishment wasn't considered child abuse, but I knew by the time I was 7 that there simply were lines you didn't cross. I am not saying I didn't have meltdowns, I had plenty. But the kind of training I received was very much fear-based. It was black and white. If you don't control your actions, some one else will and you won't like how they do it. Yes, by today's standards it was very much abusive and I'm not recommending it. But my point is, I learned the lessons your son still needs to learn before I reached my teen years. If he isn't capable of learning this, then maybe for his own sake he shouldn't be out in society but in some safe haven somewhere for people like him. Because what the legal system has in store will make what I went through look like Sunday School. I'm not trying to be harsh. I don't know how you can get this through to him, but get it through to him you must.
     
  18. jaws

    jaws Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In my opinion, the most important part of what I have read is that He does NOT accept his AS diagnosis. I think perhaps some individual therapy on that issue and a clear understanding of meltdowns and how we think differently than other people, but we're not "in charge" and often have to listen to less knowledgeable people because it is the way society works...would do a world of good for him.

    At that age, I too got into trouble with teachers, as they would get very upset by my calling them out on their mistakes (even when done in private after class), and I would often get blamed for things I had not done and no one would believe me, as I was either mistaken for another student or had been set up by another student (even set up by a teacher once). I was unaware of AS then, and martial arts and meditation helped me release a lot of aggression, forgive other peoples acts, and stay more focused on the goal (graduating for example) than the particulars of a situation.

    I might also recommend that you see if you can find a recommended officer talk to your son (casually) about what things they are called about and what the differences are between a disagreement and a threat or assault. I'm thinking a friend or family member in law enforcement.

    Most aspies can have violent outbursts (especially in a meltdown) but very few are "aggressive". I tend to throw or break things, scream, and have been told that others feel threatened (even when they just overhear my meltdown) when I have done nothing to directly threaten them...this is a very scary situation for me, as it could lead to the things you are facing...but I just try to be aware of my surroundings and if I need to scream, I do it into a pillow, or if I need to punch, I hit a punching bag, or if I need to break something I do it near a garbage can and clean it up...once you learn some of the rules of how people react you can still do what you need without causing as much fear in others.

    I wish you luck and hope this suggestions may help.
     
  19. Spinning Compass

    Spinning Compass Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Have you considered looking into his medications as a source of his anger/aggression? I know that when I was put on phenobarbital it made me fly into uncontrollable rages. So now I have it on all my charts, no phenobarbital. I also was on Ritalin for about 5 years. You might want to research these drugs.

    I work in the pharmaceutical research industry (preclinical-animal testing) and I can tell you that the system is not perfect or foolproof. The FDA can monitor only so much. Once a compound makes it past preclinical testing, it is then tested on humans in several stages before being approved. But these tests are limited by nature. They are not generally long-term (the longest animal studies run only about 2 years) and there are a lot of things that don't show up until the drug is on the market. In the advertisement for Vyvanse that is currently scrolling on my computer, it says at the bottom of the fine print, that it is "suggested" that you report adverse effects to the FDA. Not mandated. Suggested. So doctors may not know all the side effects. They only know what the pharmaceutical company has chosen to tell them. Therefore, it's important to do your homework regarding these and any other drugs. At my company we do our best to make sure that no harmful products are put on the market, and there are quite a few you will never hear about because we caught them, but in the end it is up to the consumer to look out for their own safety.
     
  20. camram

    camram Well-Known Member

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    He doesn't take medications. He won't swallow pills anyway. We do have some stomach medicine that we have to pop open the pills and dump em in applesauce so he will take it. He has complained quit a bit about his stomach hurting lately. But we also found out that he hadn't been eating lunch at school. So most likely his moods were affected by hunger as well as his stomach issues. I know I can get a bit cranky when I'm hungry. He seems to be doing better now that we are homeschooling him and we can remind him to eat. He forgets to eat and is starting to get really picky about what he will eat.

    Thanks everyone for your help. We still haven't heard anything else from CPS since the initial meeting. We are staying hopeful that the case gets closed soon.