How to explain a restraining order to your Autistic child

Kevin painted this of Deputy Powers and him when he was 14. Kevin likes the Sheriff's.
Kevin painted this of Deputy Powers and him when he was 14. Kevin likes the Sheriff's.

When Kevin was in the psychiatric facility he didn’t receive the correct combination of meds. The nurse didn’t have his anti-psychotic on the list. They messed up the dosages on his other meds as well. On his birthday, he had a psychotic break and yelled out he was going to hurt several people. The psychiatrist reported Kevin to the Sheriff’s Office. There is a law that was passed in the 1970’s about mandatory reporting.

I leave the Sheriff’s Office with Kevin.

“Why can’t I say hi to them, Mom?” Kevin asks me.

“Because when you were in the hospital you threatened them.”

“I don’t feel like hurting them now,” he says.

“They don’t know that,” I say.

“What if I see them in the store?”

“You’re to walk the other way and don’t walk past the middle school anymore with Nick.” Nick is the social facilitator who works with Kevin twice a week. They often walk downtown and practice purchasing items from local stores.

“Are you going to tell Nick? What if you don’t remember? Sometimes you forget to tell him things.”

“I’ll remember to tell Nick, Kevin.”

“Where do they live?”

I tell Kevin the addresses he’s to stay away from. We live in a small town. He needs to change his route. We live across from the school he’s to stay away from.

He’s to stay away from their cars as well. I guess I need to email his transition teacher about what type of cars they drive. I also need a photo of her son. She put him on the restraining order as well. Kevin is to stay away from the Farm Stand where I buy my produce. Because Jose works there.

“Go behind our condominium when walking downtown and don’t walk on the streets by the beach. If you want go to Albertson’s walk across the bridge and go that way,” I explain.

“Are they going to call the Police if they see me?”

“I don’t know Kevin.” I’m becoming weary of this conversation and oh so tired.

“I don’t want to go to jail, Mom.”

I’m thankful the Sheriff’s have compassion.

“He doesn’t seem to be a threat. I’m recommending this be reduced to an incident,” he says, “When we found out he had autism, we realized he shouldn’t be in jail.”

“Thank you,” I say. I’m grateful someone in this town has our backs.

I wonder about autism and privacy laws. We live in litigious times. People are so influenced by happenings in the media.

“What about the Down Syndrome Association parties?” I ask the Sheriff. “These people are at those parties. This is the only dances Kevin gets to go to each year.”

“If you’re there first, it’s okay,” the Sheriff says. They can’t tell you to leave.”

“Well, Kevin the good thing is, Eric still wants to work with you.” Eric is Kevin’s full-time aide. Thank God for Eric. It seems each year one person steps us and is a true friend and advocate for Kevin.

“Am I going to be able to go to City College next semester?” Kevin asks.

“I don’t know Kevin. Maybe Ventura College.” Now I know Carpinteria wants Kevin far away in another state.

“Think about a residential placement. There’s a good one in Ohio.”

“I don’t want to go to Ventura College. I want to go to City College. Ryan’s going to be there,” Kevin says.

We have a meeting on Friday to discuss Kevin’s placement.

“Am I a bad person, mom?”

“No Kevin, you’re a good person. I’m taking care of this for you.”

The good thing is this entire incident is making us reconnect with wonderful people from our past. Yesterday the preschool owner Marilyn Discoveries contacted us, his old teacher Amber reached out in support, and I receive dozens of emails from around the country. Deputy Powers, who now is working at UCSB reached out as well.

Kevin painted this of Deputy Powers and him when he was 14. Kevin likes the Sheriff's.

Kevin painted this of Deputy Powers and him when he was 14. Kevin likes the Sheriff’s.

6 Comments

  • Thanks for continuing to share this Deb. I have been following your posts. I imagine this is beyond exhausting for you. You have my full support.

  • Nine times out of ten a person gets a restraining order because they have been advised to. I think that was probably the advise given to this teacher. If you were fearful someone might hurt you or your son, I believe you would have done the same. You can not blame teachers for being so worried. Sandy Hook, the Colorado shooting just the other day, there was even one in Arizona the other day. Teachers are people too. My child says things off the wall, it happens, but if there was a threat to kill, we’ll I’m not sure how my neighbors or the other parents in the school would react. These are new times, new situations, it is not as simple to say “we’ll, he didn’t mean it”. I know my child, but I don’t expect everyone else to concede that I am right. To many teachers and children killed within the schools gives way to worry on everyone’s part. As I said in another forum, I think there is some sort of history of violence that set this all into action.
    It is only FAIR to here both sides. I tell my kids all the time “I’ll here your side, then your brother’s, and then I’ll decide…”

    • To another parent. I am an educated individual. I will declare my interests as being the Mother of a child with Autism. I do not live in Carpinteria or personally know anyone that does. I would very much like to hear both sides of the story but your anonymity on here, Facebook and everywhere else you post leads me to the assumption that you are either not clear on the facts or worse you are intent on victimising and bullying this family until they are all forced to move away from your community. Have the courage to stand up and be counted. Declare your interests and it will be easier to hear your voice.

    • Neville Ross says:

      Lady, please turn off Faux Noise and Corporate News Network, and get the frack out of the teaching profession (if you are the person responsible for what happened to Kevin.) Better yet, please find a shrink or a therapist to get your shit together-your paranoia’s getting too extreme.

  • Neville Ross says:

    The said think about all of this is the possibility that somebody could so the same thing to him again (I’m referring to your current status and Kevin’s as of 2014), and he could end up like this other young man in Newfoundland back in 2012-as a person with Asperger’s (diagnosed in 2006 in my mid-30’s), I feel your pain.

    I hope that things are better for you and your son, and that incidents like this don’t happen in his future (but you have to make sure that he’s careful around the cops, or to not do anything that will get the cops to act against him in the area where you are now, because most cops don’t care about people with disabilities like Kevin’s, and if an incident happens, will most likely do something similar to the incident I’ve mentioned above, or something worse.)

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