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A Decision To Make Essay

1140 words - 5 pages

What do you do if there is a difficult decision to make, and this decision will effect your entire family and even what people think of you? Add the fact that no matter what decision you make, it will feel like a mistake. These are the things I am dealing with when trying to decide whether or not to put my son in a group home.My son is nine years old and suffers from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and mental retardation. He was born prematurely and critically ill. Though odds were very much against him, he made it. A year later, after his first MRI, we first heard the words Cerebral Palsy. By the age of two I knew he was Autistic but we could not get a diagnosis until he was seven. He was put on medication to help his self-abusive behaviors and self-stimulation.Self-stimulation is a behavior that my son enjoys and can feel, but I do not care for them. My son would bang his head continuously, slap himself, and vomit. It is hard to imagine enjoying these behaviors but he does, and I certainly do not. We do not go on trips or in public unless my husband and myself are present to help control his behavior and our two other children's behavior.He has been known to bite and scratch strangers, steal food from other's plates while eating out, and pour drinks right on top of his head. My other children have no extra-curricular activities because I can not control him alone. He can be violent, to himself or others. On the other hand, he can be so sweet for a child who does not need hugs or kisses, though we give them anyway.The strain of caring for him can be exhausting and the responsibility is tremendous. He knows no fear and has no concept for his own safety so he must be watched constantly. He will not perform any activities of daily living, so we bathe him, brush his teeth, dress him, and change his diapers. Every door in our home has a lock that he can't reach, except the front door, which has four.Many people we have contact with mentioned group homes, but for a long time I refused to even consider it.One day, as I was cleaning up vomit for the second time that day and after I changed the fifth dirty diaper of the day, I broke down, sobbing. I realized I had just yelled at my other two children because I was aggravated with my son's disabilities. I realized I always said no when they asked to go somewhere. I realized why they wanted to spend the night away from home as often as possible. They felt the strain,as well, and I was not helping.I knew something had to be done, and soon. He was nine years old and exhibited the same exact behaviors he had when he was two. If he did not learn to be independent he would forever be a baby. I feel as if each month that passes, a small chance for him to be the best person he can be has passed, as well. Time is not on our side and as science tells us, the older we are, the harder it is to learn.I figured out that WE were holding him back and not the other way around. He needed things we could not provide for...

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