Can you hear the cries?
Looking for help
Children are exposed to so much more today then I can remember when I was a child. I believe that it is the sign of the times and the continuing evolution of technology. The internet is a resource of great value but it can also be detrimental to kids in what they see and are exposed to. I feel kids are struggling with their adolescence at a much younger age than earlier generations did. Coming of age is a big deal and it requires a level of maturity and a proper mental outlook. I truly believe that kids who struggle with behavior and act out are seeking attention and their maladaptive behaviors are the result of personal crisis. No one knows for sure why a young child would have emotional problems in their pre-teen years but I believe they face a lot more pressures and are forced to grow up far too soon. Their age of innocence is becoming lost as they explore life and try to live up to societal standards. For kids it sometimes is hard to conform and act in a certain way so it is with a rebellious tone they struggle and cause disruption at school and in their personal life.
With the rise in Autism there are more and more children facing behavioral and emotional difficulties and the schools they attend are having a difficult time managing their problem behaviors and are suspending them more frequently. It really is a major crisis that these kids are suffering and losing out on a proper education. It is necessary to find ways to help these children who have such struggles and try to find a way to get through to them. I believe when a child acts out and says they wish they could die it is something that has to be taken very seriously. I believe more and more kids are having emotional problems and dealing with depression. It is unfortunate but it is not a complete surprise given the times we live in today and all the depressing news around us.
My son has been struggling with behavior and emotions since he was young and has been suspended from school many times. He is on the autism spectrum with Asperger's and is ADHD and has epilepsy and a mood disorder. He is a good kid but he can not focus or control himself in a traditional school setting. He needs more structure and one on one attention and a favorable behavioral plan that can help him get through the rough times. He is dealing with so many challenges that he can not be blamed for. I truly hurt for my son when I see him in so much pain. He often says he knows not why he behaves poorly and feels he can not control his emotions when he is agitated. I have tried to speak to him many times but it seems to not register with him. He is seen by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, a social worker and a neurologist and he is only 11 years old. The sad reality is that more and more kids are suffering like my son and they are in desperate need of medical help in reaching them and helping them try to find a sense of hope and balance in their autistic ways.
If I could trade with my son to have a normal life and I have the condition of autism and epilepsy I would do it in a heartbeat but the reality is my son has a lifelong condition that will most likely be a part of his life from childhood and will continue throughout his adulthood. It is with a heavy heart I write and express my feelings about his condition and situation to shed light on autism and to try to gain a better understanding and find a way to help him to find his way and to have faith, confidence and hope that he can still have dreams and desires and a fulfilling life. I am not sure what the chances are that there will be a cure for autism and epilepsy in the future but I know that action has to be taken to help kids on the spectrum so they can have a chance like everyone else in living and accomplishing their hopes and dreams.
When I see my son I still see that cute little baby my wife and I held in our arms with such great pride and anticipation and I still look at our son with the same pride and hope I always felt. I will always expect the best from my son and look forward to sharing in his happy moments and accomplishments despite his struggles. If he knows he is loved, supported and cared for then he will have the courage and determination to always try his best no matter what. This is what I expect from him and as I have always said I will always be his biggest supporter and advocate throughout his life for as long as I walk the earth with him and my wife.
I have a special place in my heart for my son and all kids who struggle with autism, epilepsy and other disabling conditions. They are special and deserve to be loved and encouraged each and every day.
Matty, May you always have courage to face each day and optimism to get through them and always know that you have your mom and dad in your corner everyday.
Your mom and dad.
Edward D. Iannielli III
Tears for autism
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