Brenty Boy - dealing with autism and violence

by Cindy Stocco
(Waikiki, WA, Australia)

Our son Brent is 7 (eight in 7 days). He can be the most adorable, loving little boy then there is his "OTHER" side. Brent loses complete control, from destroying rooms, throwing things, hurting himself, to pummeling me (I wont let him hurt anyone else I get in between and isolate him to a locked room with me). He punches, kicks, bite, headbutts, throws things at me, screams horrific things and generally does anything he can to cause harm and distress. He does not seem to know what he is doing and anfew occasions he has got bad enough that we have had to call and ambulance and actually take Brent to hospital. We spent 2weeks in the pysch ward at our childrens hospital, he was a lot better there but every thing is calm and strictly organised but even then he screamed and yelled and hit out at me. That is where I learnt all about properly restraining Brent so that he can't hurt me or himself.

Brent was officially diagnosed as Autistic and also Epileptic when he was 5, we saw a peadiatrician, child pyshciatrist (speciallising in Autism), speech therapist and a nuerologist. We have had the Pyschologist actually even come out to our school (at our expense) to explain Brents condition yet still the school fight us, they want to change everything that works. To avoid a violent episode at school in the mornings all we ask is that Brent go to his class 10mins before the other kids and he asks "Is there a fire drill" (they had one at school one day and has left him totally traumatised) and "Are you here all day". After which he goes down and waits with all the other kids until time to go to class. 2 little questions to avoid me and the principles at the school coping a beating and they do not want to even do that.

Brent is the youngest of 5 and has a neice who lives at home with her Mum, one of my children has already moved out because she can not cope being around Brent she is only 15, but is living with good people. There is not much assistance for people in Australia once your Autistic child turns 6, it all has to be at your own expense. Violence is the theme of our days, 2 lots of his Epilepsy meds have made him worse but the 3 he is on now have helped a little bit but as there effectiveness wears off he is starting to get worse again. We can not go anywhere or do anything because we know what could happen, I can not go out and leave Brent with anyone else as we know what will happen and I will not allow anyone besides me to be hurt by Brent. He is my son and my responsibility.

We love our Brent totally and completely and my husband and I have changed everything in our lives to suit Brent and keep our other children safe and happy.

Comments for Brenty Boy - dealing with autism and violence

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Wow - Brent 10
by: Anonymous

Well what difference a school can make. I am really proud to say that Brent is attending school 5 days a week with hardly any problems. He catches the bus in the morning from home and it drops him home after school. Rockingham education support school are absolute miracle workers. In fact I am really proud to announce that Brent has even started to read (per-primary level but that is fantastic).
Brent's violence in the home is almost non existent, he only really get mad at times that other kids would.
Besides getting Brent onto the right medications the best thing we ever did for him was fight for him...As his parent we knew how he was being treated was wrong so we fought for him and found a school to help us and then they got him the help he needed, which got him into RBE school.
Remember that our children can't help themselves they need us to do it for and with them.

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Brenty Boy Update
by: Anonymous

Just a quick update on Brent now 9. Brent is going to a special school now and attends 3 days a week with no restraining at all. He is learning at his level and treated the way his needs require.
The drs are talking about checking him for BiPolar as he gets older but we will worry about that later.
Please keep fighting for your children they need you to be honest and get them what they need.
Thank you for your interest in our Brenty Boy.

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All schools are different
by: Anonymous

You are welcome to your opinion and I agree with you that a majority of schools are well equipped to deal with Brent but, his old school was not. We changed schools and they received all the paper work from our previous school stating that Brent had never run away or shown any signs of anxiety, yet I have the police reports of them calling the police to go and find Brent on numerous occasions. But that is all in the past. Brent started at a new school and they quickly notice a lot of other issues with Brent and got their school psychologist involved. Brent now attends a special school, due to the help from his 2nd school they discovered that we were telling the truth and that he needed to have further testing and has an iq of only 52. The original school said he was doing just fine and he passed year 3 when he can not even read or write and probably never will.
Everyone is entitled to their opinions but please do not judge my comments unless you were a part of this situation.
For the record my older son still attends the first school (my 4th to go through this school) and is receiving a fantastic education.

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autism
by: Anonymous

It always makes me wonder if there are hidden agendas with some parents? The Education Department of WA and it's schools do a wonderful job dealing with all special needs children. They have been dealing with special needs children for many years not just eight. Teachers in many schools have been dealing with children in schools who bite, kick and punch them and guess what? they do not have to put up with it. This may come as a suprise but they are more experienced then this parent as they have delt with autism with many different children for many years. Maybe this parent needs to take advice when given and think how do others cope. Strange, they seem to deal with autism quite well when working in partnerships with the school. I am disgusted at the comments written on this website and if this is deleted then it shows that this parent only wants one side of the story to be told.

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Brent update
by: Anonymous

Well I am pleased to say after a very long struggle with red tape and having to prove a certain school was lying, (thanks to police reports I was able to do this) Brent starts at his special school next term. His IQ was tested and came back at only 52 so much for it just being bad parenting.

I have learnt one very important thing throughout this ordeal...you have to fight for your children because not everyone has their best interests at heart.

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Brent update
by: Anonymous

Well I am pleased to say after a very long struggle with red tape and having to prove a certain school was lying, (thanks to police reports I was able to do this) Brent starts at his special school next term. His IQ was tested and came back at only 52 so much for it just being bad parenting.

I have learnt one very important thing throughout this ordeal...you have to fight for your children because not everyone has their best interests at heart.

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Brent Update
by: Anonymous

Ok so the new school has not really worked out for Brent but thanks to their persistance to try to help we have made a few more discoveries about Brent.
We had meetings almost daily with the new school to try and work out how best to help Brent and nothing seemed to work based on everything we knew so the school psychologist organised to come to our home to give Brent his Intellectual Disability test, well surprise surprise he failed miserably his IQ is only 69 and he now has a recognised Intellectual Disability. We also organised (at the schools suggestion) to do a Sensory Processing Disorder test and guess what he has lots and lots of problems with that too.
So now we know that Brent needs to be in a special needs school with a lot of extra help around him.
Thank you to East Waikiki Primary School for all the wonderful help they gave us, we recieved more help in a month than we had in the previous 4 years at our other school.
So now Brents life starts again we are placing him now in his new school where they will teach him at his level and also teach him the main thing life skills.
Our lesson from this is to trust your instinct you know your child better than anyone else so fight for what they need.

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For the love of Brent
by: G.ma

Yes, I am The Grandmother of this special, but difficult Brenty Boy. I have watched my dear daughter being beaten, spat at, things thrown at her, sworn at and hit with various objects. Believe me it is a very painful experience as her mother. Both Cindy and Frank are the most caring and devoted parents.
Cindys only reason for writing the first page on this site was to maybe help other parents a little. Yes it has been hard to addapt their lives, and believe me they have had to make a lot of changes. At times to the exclusion of the other kids. Cindy at ne time has named or shamed the school involved, so whoever could put the awful things about her needs to live just a couple of hours in her shoes. Be fair. She has.

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Reply to Pinch of Salt
by: Anonymous

I do not know who posted on this page but I can tell you that the school psychologist did not even once meet with my son, the teacher had a problem with answering 2 questions in the morning (are you here and is there a fire drill) the teacher did not want to answer these questions which caused Brent a lot more anxieties. The school constantly changed things without thinking of the consequences that it caused Brent (these changes were directly for Brent).
Brent was a run away child that the schools solution was to call me his Mum and the police really good duty of care. He had an aide but she was only used how they ssaw fit and watching him at recess and lunch as they do another autistic boy at the school was not one of them.
Brents diagnosis was done privately paid for by myself and my husband, the school stopped us from having access to the old school psychologist. Brent is under the care of another psychologist, he has seen a speech therapist, a peadiatrician and a nuerologist (all of whom we see regularly)all paid for by us his parents.
The school has never paid for any of Brents Drs in fact they stone walled us completely the whole way along. We even had to pay for our Pyschologist to come to the school as they would not acknowledge his diagnosis.
We have been advised by the education department, Brents Psychologist and SIDE that the care he recieved at the school was inadequate and we should look elsewhere for a new school.
Please anyone reading this understand that I have been at this school for 17 years and have until the last couple of years had a wonderful experience but with change of senior staff comes new changes and attitudes and not always for the better. I in fact still have another child at the school who is doing wonderfully and the school has never had any reason to complain about any of my other 4 childrens behaviour or attitudes to school work. It just did not work out there for Brent.
Everyone will make up there own minds about this and I hope that in some way this helps someone else out there, I did not write on here to vilify the school but to let people know what it can be like dealing with a special child and the problems that you can face in the school system.

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Pinch of salt
by: Anonymous

I would ask people reading this to think if a school would really do this to a child? I understand this is not the case and find these comments very upsetting and distressing as Brent's school did their very best and worked with the Departments paid (not parent) school psychologist and numerous members from the Autism society.
Really unfair comments.

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Brenty Boy 2011
by: Anonymous

Brent is now home schooled. At the end of last year he was granted 6months of distance education,
the education department acknowledged that he had been mistreated at his Primary School and needed time out from school so that we could pay for a Psychologist to help through the new issues that the school had caused.
Home schooling is hard puts a huge strain on me but he is where he needs to be and being taught at the level he is at which is grade 1.
Brent needs me to sit next to him every step of the way to assist with understanding what he needs to do, his aide at school spent less than half an hour a day with him even though she was in his class all day everyday.
The education department and society do not and can never understand Autism until they have lived it. I know that we never understood it until our son Brent.

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Another child similar
by: Anonymous

Hi there
wow a child that sounds so much like my Nicholas, he is 12yo boy with autism, has had epilepsy, cortical dysplaysia and has just started high school was too good to be true 7 good days and then it hit, has hit and bitten the teacher and now suspended, Nic attends a support unit in a main stream high school, and as far as I am concerned with other parents of autistic children in a small country town in NSW that the education system does not want to know an autistic child with violent behaviours, why are there no large male support aids in our schools that could be trained in autism and our childrens special needs so our children were getting something from the education department, they say that all children with disabilities are entitled to an education in the system but they are not prepared to see outside their square they expect these children to sit in a class room for 5 hours a day and follow other disabled children but that is not AUTISM and it is so different from other disabilities, hey not that we dont acknowlegde how unusual this disability is and how distructive it is on all family members, why cant they see our families need some form of normal function for our child with a disability and seeing he or she is entitled to an education as much as that might be, please make this easier for us families with a special needs child and dont make every aspect of their life a fight, a personally dont believe home schooling these children is the answer they need the stimulas of other people, other support systems, and back up so the family unit does not crumble, but there just seems to be nothing and no answers, not looking forward to the meeting with the school tomorrow, lets see if they let him go back, glad I found your site hope Brenty boy is going well xx

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Follow up on Brent.
by: Anonymous

Well Brent is 8 now and heading into year 4. He has missed the last 12weeks of school as his anxieties have grown so very much (not helped by the school). They kept changing everything on him and when we would find something that worked to get him to school happy they would change it. Well they have what we believe is their wish, Brent will be home schooled next year. At least now he will get to work at his level and not the schools, he can be happy and we can get his anxieties under control. The biggest thing we have learnt is that we have to fight for what Brent needs as we are all he has got.

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Could lead be affecting behavior?
by: Anna

Hi Cindy. Wow. You deal with so much. I'm so grateful that you've taken the time to explain what it is like to live with a violent child that can't control themselves.

As more parents speak out, it will help educate people in schools and other organizations. Hopefully, then you'll get more support from your school.

I am curious though. Has your child ever been tested for lead poisoning, or perhaps other heavy metals?

This could be clutching at straws, but I have read of kids that become violent after accidentally ingesting lead.

In one of the stories I read, the child had a habit of sucking on their necklace, and it turned out that the paint on the necklace contained lead.

Cadmium is another highly toxic substance that I've read will change behavior.

Both of these substances are often found in the paint of kids toys - look for anything with a shiny finish.

If it is lead poisoning, then there are steps you can take to try to remove it from the body.

Hope that you find techniques that work for you and your situation.

Good luck.

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