Violent behaviors...par for the course.

by Kathryn
(Pennsylvania )

I have worked as a therapist with several children with Autism from age 3 to 18. As a therapist, being slapped, hit, choked, bitten, and scratched is par for the course. I came home with bruises and scratches on a regular basis. It is my job to help reduce these behaviors and I honestly think they have less aggressions with therapies in place. I witnessed fathers getting beaten and bit to the point of needing stitches. It can be quite scary trying to restrain a 200 pound kid aggressing like that. I used to drive a child home from school and his parents assured me he was safe in the car...never got out of his seat. One day while driving him he took off his seat belt, lunged at me and began mauling my face. With my eyes covered and blood dripping from my cheek, I slowly hit the breaks in order to protect him from flying through the windshield. Even though I was completely blinded, somehow I made it to a safe stop. My coworker had then restrained him and we were able to get him back to his seat safely. My heart goes out to all parents of children with Autism. You would think therapists would get paid a decent salary for working in such dangerous conditions but they don't. The government hardly forks out 14 dollars an hour for most therapists with no sick days or compensation when their clients are sick. Parents wonder why their child's aba therapist or TSS workers have such a high attrition rate. (I assume it's better in some states) Perhaps the government carries the same misconceptions about Autism created by the Media. Most people have no idea what they go through on a daily basis. The media paints a completely different picture of children with Autism than what the majority are actually like. Only a small percentage of people with Autism have genius IQs or have some exceedingly gifted talent in something like piano or calculus. Most children with Autism are actually low functioning and have intellectual disabilities, but the media shows only the small percentage of talented individuals, creating these misconceptions. In my experience, these parents are the strongest people I know. Through all the aggressions and difficult behaviors, they love their children unconditionally and they will do anything to help their children. . This is truly amazing and inspiring to me and hopefully to others as well.

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