Minister Randy Delorey,
Today I write an open letter for all to see. Rachel and I are proud Nova Scotians, happily married for 14 years, loving parents, but we are also suffering.
We are literally at a crisis point in our lives. We have two boys 12 and 7 (Sam and Alex). Sam is Autistic and has reached a severe boiling point and we are basically in the wind on our own in dealing with this.
I speak not only for us but for any other family with a child on the spectrum because I can guarantee you we’re not the only ones in this kind of situation. Sam is now hitting puberty and has become a completely changed person. Who was once loving, giggly and a generally well rounded special needs child has become, sad, unpredictable, angry and can be quite violent.
He’s becoming unmanageable at times for his school, leading to phone calls asking us to pick him up because he is so beside himself with rage or anger. While not an overly frequent occurrence yet, it will get worse and is going to become a problem in regards to maintaining a steady place of employment for one of us.
At home he attacks his mother nearly daily leaving actual bleeding wounds and bruises at time. These attacks come unprovoked and with zero notice which makes them very difficult to counter. His brother is scared at times to be around him and has to escape to his friends houses for periods of quiet.
Accompanying these attacks are literal rage-outs that can last from 30 minutes to 4 hours. These incidents include screaming, throwing of objects, slamming doors (hard enough to break walls and knock things off walls) stripping down all clothing, intense tears, tipping of furniture and scratches on himself.
We have access to the Autism division in Halifax including pediatrics, psychiatry and even a positive behavioural support specialist. The department called us a day ago after some messages and requests were left and they told us there is nothing else they can try or do. No new medications or ideas.
The plans we have been attempting to curb these incidents have gone nowhere. The IWK Children’s hospital has basically said your child can’t be helped. THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL.
I have chosen to put this in your lap. You are the minister of Health. Something has to be done for my family and many others who silently suffer daily with little to zero help with these situations.
Families like ours can’t always afford to have a parent stay at home to wait for the call to come get him or simply stay at home daily with them when school no longer wants him. Families become over stressed, overworked and even split over these issues.
Although my faith in the system is extremely low I hope you least read this and will consider looking into this. These kids are basically forgotten or abandoned when they reach pre-teen/teen years and that just can’t keep going. Please help us, all of us.
Mark and Rachel Lavallee, concerned run down parents at the end of our rope.
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