Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Dear Liam Turley

I left you a message in my blogger shout box in response to your comments to me about an old post from 2004 where I paddled Noah on the butt....which was actually 2 swats via his diapered butt......but I am not sure you will go there to see it.

I don't know who you are.....and I am not making any excuses. We all screw up. Parents of special needs children are not perfect. We all get tired and frustrated. I am not sure how much you have read in my blog/diary to my son. If you had bothered to read it all......you would find Noah is the most protected and loved child. He has never been abused. I do not HIT him...a swat on the butt via a diaper is not hitting as I know it....like in the face or on the arms or legs or bare body......I barely even swatted him back in 2004. I have not done it since...I do not believe in HITTING as an answer to anything.

I find it interesting however that you come along and tell me......without being in my world..my life......my shoes for even 1 day...what YOU think is or is not appropriate, right, or wrong. If you are against hitting/paddling....that is YOUR opinion. While I agree in this case...I do not have to...and I could just as easily have not agreed with you.

I hope you have a healthy child......one who has no disability. I hope you get more than 4 hours of sleep each night. I hope you have time to work and homeschool your child if you have one that requires it....and take care of the home....all on 4 hours of sleep. I hope you can pay your bills on part-time wages. I would like to hope if you had a child diagnosed with autism......among other things...that during the "initial" period of adjustment in all your lives......that you would handle things perfectly......you would not be frustrated to the point where you purposefully swat a child on the butt via a diaper to see if that at least gets their attention.

If you can do all these things and so well....you will be another God. I am trying to do all those things and more......and I am far from being GOD.

I have since uncovered that Liam Turley is a social worker student who is apparently a supporter of the ban proposed in CA against paddling (for parents even...for children 3 years of age or younger)......I have no idea yet if they even have a child......let alone an autistic child....and/or has ever experienced some of the frustrations that can go along with it......I again am not justifying my swatting Noah on the butt...but he was 5-1/2 years old at the time......and I SWATTED him not paddled....even though I called it paddling in my post back in 2004.

I understand this young social worker student is all GUNG HO and ready to take on anything to fight for the rights of children being abused and mistreated. I am all for that too. They are going at it with their eyes still virginalized as they have yet to witness the reality of what truly exists in the world. I wish someone were around when I was little to stop some of those things from happening to me.

However....swatting Noah on the butt via a diaper did not hurt him and while I did not want to do it....it did indeed get his attention and the behavior I wanted to change....DID indeed change immediately from that point on. TRUE.....since that time I have found BETTER ways to alter Noah's bad behavior for good behavior. That only comes by getting my feet wet and being in the midst of it all day after day and learning myself what works and what does not.

AND I made the mistake here of addressing this as it being a time in our lives when Noah had already been diagnosed with autism. This was before he was officially diagnosed.....so we were even more frustrated not understanding why he was not doing things he should be doing for his age, etc. As far as we knew...there were no reasons why he should not be doing what he was supposed to do, other than just being disobedient.


anyway......I will shut up now.....because the purpose of this blog is to be a diary to my son about our lives and our trials and tribulations. I am thankful we have more tribulations than trials....

4 comments:

Keith said...

In response: to Liam Turkey:

Pretty obvious that the Turkey part of the name is appropriate. one can attempt to "learn" from classwork and books, BUT the real key is actual life. Being Noah's father I can and WILL attest that Noah has never in his life been abused, on the contrary, He is the most loved, most charished, and most delightful child one can imagine.

Turkey, you may take your soapbox, of "liberal, social injustice" and attempt to help those who are in REAL need, those who are abandonded, those who's parents ARE proven to be unfit. BUT to attack Melinda (and myself for that matter) is irresponsible, DO YOUR home work (which we know social workers hardly ever do) and you will understand that.
Keith (Noah's daddy)

nq said...

it's such a hard line- i've seen a lot of kids in terrible abuse situations, but the thing i've learned from it is that each kid is different, each situation is different, and each parent is different. that never justifies abusing a child, but it definitely rules out blanketing all negative contact as full-on abuse. to put it another way, i spent years training horses, who have the attention span and learning capabilities of two to three year old humans. and i've made my mistakes, although there are no laws there to punish me for slapping a horse with the end of his lead. i've also accidentally hit myself w/ the lead, and it hurts like hell. the horses reaction? all different, yes, but all along the lines of fear of me. now, you don't get to teach anyone anything when they're afraid of you- learning is based on trust- and i think you of all parents understand that. autistic children especially seem to need that trust, from my very limited contact.
i suppose the horse thing is a different example, because i have only once hit a horse who wasn't threatening me directly, and they can be too big and too unaware of themselves sometimes. but if that's not abuse, patting a child via a diaper is certainly a simple learning experience for both of you. and we all need to "get our feet wet" somehow...
you clearly love and are there for noah more than most of the parents i work with love and are there for their kids, and some of them are great parents. (which makes you an excelent parent)
hopefully once Turly gets some experience in the "field" he'll understand that everyone makes mistakes, and some, like yours, are microscopic compared to most.
sorry this is so long...

Melinda, mom of Noah said...

nq: don't apologize for the length of your comment! thanks for coming by and commenting too!

YES....hitting only works via fear.....and that is not good. With AUTISTIC children especially it does not work.....not that it does with anyone....but Noah responds better to gentle soothing talking....not getting angry...etc. As we all would. :)

Anonymous said...

For those of us who read your blog regularly, no explanation on your part was needed.

You shouldn't dignify this simpleton with an acknowledgment.

Just keep on truckin'.