I remember it like it was yesterday though it happened in 2004 and it was a very frightening experience as Matthew had been running around the mall a great deal like he usually does. We tried to get him to slow down and relax and by the time we managed to get to the food court he was in trouble. His nose was completely covered in blood and we grabbed as many tissues from the counter as we could and he managed to go through all of them. He was wearing a white t-shirt that was completely soaked in blood and my wife and mother-in-law could not control the bleeding. My wife started to scream “Please Help Us!” as my mother-in-law was praying and trying her best to stop the bleeding. There was a good samaritan right there who came over to us and asked if we had called 911 and we said no so she proceeded to make the call for us and arranged for an ambulance. She stayed by our side until the paramedics came. She was very special and we thanked her and then the paramedics tried to control his bleeding and put him carefully on the stretcher making sure the blood flow would not leak back and they then transported him and my wife to Brunswick Hospital and I followed behind. The nurses in emergency immediately changed his shirt and washed him down and corterized his nose to stop the bleeding and calm him and my wife down. It was quite a scary experience but once the bleeding stopped and he was calm we felt much better. After the doctor observed him and we signed all the paperwork he was free to go and the nurses said how brave Matthew was and gave him a lollipop for being so good. We thanked them and we went on our way feeling much better now. We asked if there were any special precautions we needed to take and the nurses said to just have Matthew be careful not to touch or scratch his nose and not to jump or run around as that could cause further bleeding.
We spoke to him about running around too much and what can happen and we told him to walk and not get all excited so this can be prevented in the future. He said he understood and agreed that he would be more careful.
My son has difficulty in establishing friendships and acting appropriately in social situations and has had difficulty in the classroom and has suffered by it as he was forced to miss school thru suspension. I have grown frustrated with some of the school officials who seem to have no patience and have no clue in providing proper care for autistic children. As a taxpayer I feel it is Matthew’s entitlement to get an appropriate education and to have staff adequately trained to assist children with such difficulties.
Autistic children usually have difficulties in expressing themselves and acting appropriately and participating in activities that require structure. Matthew has a difficult time following direction and needs a lot of reinforcement. He struggles with change and is very highly active so sometimes getting him to sit can be a challenge. He is under a doctor’s care and administered medication to help him with his seizures, his ADHD and his inappropriate behavior. It wears on us but as parents we wish to help Matthew and we rely on his psychiatrist and Pediatric Neurologist for answers. It is at times very frustrating and we are constantly battling with him as he never wants to sleep at a reasonable hour. We have to implement incentives to try to help him understand our rules and to abide by them. As he gets older our job becomes more difficult and this is why we need to provide him with the discipline that he so desparately needs. We are in touch with the parent training counselor, Rebecca and her assistant, Liza who are very helpful and have given us wonderful suggestions and helped us implement a reward system that is helping.
Matthew is planning to write stories about his own experiences and will enjoy sharing them with others as he loves to write what he feels and if this will help him and maybe help a chld who feels the same then Matthew will be doing a wonderful thing. By simply writing about his feelings he is making positive steps and I encourage him to write and express all that is on his mind as I consider this a breakthrough that I am all for. I look forward to his next entries and I will help him in any way I can and most of all I will encourage him to write and be his biggest supporter and do his proofreading. Keep on writing Matthew! You have a lot to say and share!
Edward D. Iannielli III