Alyssa complains that she has no friends, that her friends boss her around. If at school she has a good time with her friends then it is a good day and if not it is not such a good day. She has verbalized wishing that she was dead although that doesn’t sound as much like a strong suicidal, but is just a statement of unhappiness. She has difficulty talking about what she is upset about. The family has encouraged her to talk to the school counselor, and she has used that time to some extent to complain about individual concerns and some of her disagreements with her mother that are fairly age normal. The differential, of course, to consider in Alyssa’s case is either psychologically based depression that may be related to some family issues or it should also include dietary difficulties. I believe that Alyssa is one of the children who is also identified in the family as having gluten tolerance and she is on a special diet. Bad feelings psychologically can also be secondary to that sort of difficulty or to essentially malnutrition. The syndrome that she presents with could be ascribable to either cause and the recommended course in Alyssa’s case is to see what turns up for her physiologically and after there is increased definition on the medical axis to reapproach psychological issues and see how those can then be dealt with. The family has some concerns that she is embarrassed that Matt is at her school. I would suggest that she continue seeing the school counselor who should feel free to bring up Alyssa’s feelings towards Matt. Frequently it is very hard on the siblings in the family when they have a developmentally disabled child and there are many issues that they have to deal with that social respectability, how it eats up the family energy, and such…..Matt is the second sibling.
Boy this guy is long winded! I think that he would probably have made it more user friendly by making shorter paragraphs since this is the second half of the second paragraph. In his defense, there is no way he could have guessed that his report could be viewed by countless people across the world over 30 years after he wrote it. I wonder if this doctor is even alive anymore.
For a short time in grade school I did see the school counselor. She was a wonderful person and really made a difference in my life. I remember her letting me pick out a small group of kids that would meet at recess time that she helped me to be friends with. Most of these kids were the popular kids. I remember that she hugged me when I was sad. Then she got really sick and had to quit her job. Before I was out of middle school, she died from cancer. I wish I could have told her what a great person she was. But as the report says, I was never good at talking about my feelings.
I remember at this age being a horrible friend. I had so much unexpressed rage inside of me that I took it out on my friends and the safe people in my life.For a short period of time, I was a little bully. I can’t even explain what it was like to carry around all of that anger.
I can’t say that I was embarrassed to have my brother at school with me. I gave up feelings of embarrassment a long time before this was written. Again, I felt anger. My brother had the same recess time as I did. Most of the time he would stand next to the building and flap. Flapping is a self stim activity where he would run in place and slap his hands together. If he went away from the school, and the supervision of adults, the other kids would mock or pick on him. As the oldest sibling it was my duty to stop other kids from picking on my younger brother. Damn it, I was the only one that could pick on him. If you are an oldest (or older) sibling you will understand! So I was constantly in a pissed off state because I had to do this all of the time.
Yes, my siblings and I were all on special diets. Some of us could eat school lunches, others had lunches packed for them. Funny story, my mom said that we couldn’t have milk for lunch at school. She sent me to school with a jug, cup, and a concentrated can of apple juice to give to the lunch ladies. When it came time to eat, I saw a lunch lady pour the concentrated apple juice right into my cup without diluting it with water. I said that it wasn’t the way my mom made it. They said it was right, so I drank it. I got very sick that day and I can’t stomach apple cider to this day.
I remember saying often that I wished I was dead. I would agree that this was just an expression of my unhappiness. I have never attempted suicide. Sure, at times I thought about it. But I would be willing to bet that almost anyone reading this, if you are completely honest with yourself, would admit to wishing you weren’t around during the darkest days of your life. If you haven’t been through dark days, count your blessings. I experienced the darkest days of my life before I really knew how to cope with the sorrow and anger I was feeling.
The good news is that I am finally able to talk about and face my feelings. So what if it took a couple of decades to finally be able to do it.
**Please note, I am using these report notes as a way to write about the early years growing up with an autistic sibling. If anything is too personal or not important for the purpose of writing, it will not be included. All of the names have been changed as an added privacy protection. Also, I find it rather interesting as a psychology major how autism was viewed over 30 years ago in regards to the DSM. In college I analyzed my own personal family case study against what I was learning to try to improve a situation that was baffling to us along with most professionals at the time. I think that is why my mom gave me this report decades ago. **