To The Editor,

My son has autism.  He is now 11 years old.  He has been violent and aggressive since 2016.  He started being violent and agressive in school after mimicking other students.  It really hit home during the summer.

When he is in crisis he kicks, screams, bites, vandalize a room, tries to strangle people, threatens verbally to kill, will try to turn the kitchen table upside down, will attack the cat or anything or anybody within range. He often tried to strangle me from behind while driving, at school he peed on an educator, he constantly tries to escape school or the house, sometimes I am awakened and his hands are around my throat….sometimes he grabs a knife from the kitchen to threaten me.

I called the Valoris crisis line tonight. It is a crisis line 24hr 7h for parents who need help with their children.  I was told you can’t call us every time their is a crisis.  You have to deal on your own with it.  Even though I was threatened with a knife by my son, they refused to help.  Police have no idea how to deal with a child with autism.

Police say call CAS (locally, the Children’s Aid Society is part of Valoris).  CAS says call police.  It’s crazy.  Nobody does anything any more to help folks.  I am a very peaceful mother, kind and good-hearted.  About a month ago, I tried to commit suicide because I had enough to be constantly walking on eggs…trying to manage my son’s violent and aggressive behaviour.  I also struggle financially.  I have been dealing with violence and abuse from my son since 2016.  The pediatrician prescribed medications.  He also tried to kill the pediatrician and destroyed his office and yet that’s all this system has for a solution.  School and CAS blame it on the parents for not being disciplinary enough.  Hey.  I’m a single mother and second: autism is neurological.  It’s not my fault.  And every time I threaten my son to put him in the corner he threatens to call CAS on me or tell everything to the school on how I am not a nice mother.  I’m sorry but I’m now suffering from deep anxiety and depression due to the fact that every day my son threatens me or hits me.  And no one bats an eye.  They just seem to wait till I’m dead or something.  And yet they say: oh, we care; we want to help.  Blah blah blah.  I’m always alone dealing with this. Don’t judge me.  Instead, be compassionate and help me.

A very tired mother from dealing with autism and violence.
Name withheld,
Vankleek Hill

Note from The Review

In response to this letter, The Review contacted the writer, Valoris, and the Ontario Provincial Police.  So far, only Valoris has responded.

According to Valoris Director of Services Pierre-Louis Lefebvre, if parents in violent situations feel there is an imminent risk to safety, they should call 9-1-1.

Parents requiring services and an investigation of the risks in their home should contact Valoris.

Lefebvre said the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa also has a regional mandate to provide autism services in eastern Ontario.

He further explained that Valoris will help parents navigate their way through the children’s services and health care system.

Parents can always call Valoris’ toll-free, 24-hour emergency support line at 1-800-675-6168.

Lefebvre said Valoris will also notify emergency services if a situation in a home is a threat to safety.

He added that if parents contact Valoris about safety concerns, its mobile team will visit the home “on a punctual basis” and assess what the needs are.