The Dark Tunnel

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

I want to paint a true picture of what Autism is like, and in order for you have some sort of understanding, you need to hear about the bad as well as the good.

In no way do I want to paint a negative picture of my son.  In no way do I want to make him look like a bad kid.  But, I want to paint a true picture of what Autism is like, and in order for you have some sort of understanding, you need to hear about the bad as well as the good.  

So, please know that this is unbelievably hard to share………but here it goes.

Tyler has meltdowns.  He gets overwhelmed and lashes out; he doesn’t know any other way to deal with the million little things that happen during the day. Sometimes, I feel like I am walking on eggshells because I never know what will set him off. He tries to hurt me. He tries to hurt his sister. He yells hateful things. He tries to destroy whatever is near him. He is a different child, not someone I recognize, not my sweet loving little boy.

The last time was in June. I went to pick him up at daycare, and he was upset because someone wasn’t following the rules.  He hid from me; I got him and managed to get in the hallway.  He lost it, and started lashing out. I had to wrestle him to the floor, wrap my arms around him and hold on. He tried to bite me, he kicked me, he hit me. He screamed about how much he hated me, that he wished I would die. He screamed that he wanted to die, and asked me to just kill him. This went on for half an hour, the same thing over and over and over again. And I just kept holding him and asking, “Are you ready?”  Then he stopped, laid his head on my lap and closed his eyes.

We put his shoes on, walked to the car, and left. He said he was sorry, but he still doesn’t remember half the things he did.

My mother wonders what will happen when he’s bigger than I am. I honestly don’t know.  He didn’t come with instructions.  I just have to believe that eventually he will learn how to cope appropriately, he’s already started.  He never said he was sorry before.

So, there you have it folks; one of the dark tunnels on the roller coaster that is Autism.