"They should never get to the point where they have to call the police, because they should be able to access treatment, diagnosis, support — whatever they need," she says, admitting that "unfortunately, that is the way a lot of parents get their kids into the system. And once you get into the system that way, the parents pretty much lose all control."

Walton, who has three daughters who have suffered from mental illness, says her family was lucky enough to have the resources to pay for help. She says Alex never should have had to be arrested; his family never should have had to give up custody.

"At least," she adds, "he ought to be in the same city as the family."

Niki and baby Alex
Niki and baby Alex

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Niki Varlotta is just happy her son is safe. She says, "I look at Alex and think, 'How much more can my heart break?'"


For as long as she can remember, Niki wanted to be a mom. She and Greg met through a neighbor when she was 24 and he was 29. For 21 years, Greg played in the Disneyland band Sidestreet Strutters, after a jazz band he was in at Arizona State won a contest that catapulted them to relative fame. Greg plays the trumpet and tap-dances. After they married, Niki went to school and became a nurse. They were thrilled when she got pregnant.

Alexander Gregory Varlotta was born on March 27, 1995, three weeks late and with a broken arm. (His arm was wrapped around his head, pointing up.)

He arrived screaming and pretty much didn't stop, Niki recalls. He nursed every 90 minutes for 15 months. She tried different diets; he was diagnosed with colic and digestive issues. For a while, Niki drove the baby 80 miles round-trip for treatment by famous pediatric guru Dr. William Sears.

Nothing helped. When Andy arrived just about two years after Alex, Niki was surprised by the difference in her boys' dispositions. Andy was so mellow. Alex kept getting worse.

The first time Niki nursed Andy in front of Alex, the older boy slapped the baby's head and bit his toe.

By 31/2, Alex was so aggressive the Varlottas had him see a psychiatrist. When he was 4, he threw a fork across an IHOP. He bit, hit, pushed, and spit at Niki. It was no longer a phase.

The psychiatrist diagnosed Alex with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and prescribed Ritalin. That worked for a couple of hours at a time. Then the psychiatrist added an antipsychotic medication, and for the first time in his life, Alex showed some empathy.

Still, they'd show up at family functions, say hello, and leave. One day, Niki kissed Alex gently on the back of his head, and he threw his head backward with such force it fractured her eye socket.

"This eye?" she asks, pointing to the right side of her face. "See, it kind of droops."

At 6, Alex was diagnosed with a mild form of autism, pervasive developmental disorder. He was getting more aggressive and reported hearing voices. When he was 8, Alex tried to jump out of a moving car. He thought he could fly.

He was hospitalized at UCLA — for three weeks at a time, because insurance wouldn't cover a longer stay — then he was sent home. Then back to the hospital. UCLA's diagnosis: bipolar disorder.

When he was 9, the psychologist at Alex's school pushed for — and got — a placement for him in a residential-treatment facility about 60 miles from the Varlottas' home. The school district paid $6,900 a month for the treatment; there, Alex was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He lived at the facility for two years; his family was able to visit once a week.

The notes from that school are heartbreaking. Alex was put on large doses of antipsychotics. He wet himself frequently and drooled, Niki recalls. The school notes show that Alex slept most of the time.

And even at that, he was getting more aggressive. That school threatened that Alex's days there were numbered. It was around that time that the Varlottas decided to move to Phoenix, to be closer to Greg's family.

Even before they left California, Niki found a facility in Arizona that she thought would work for Alex — Devereux. When they arrived, she put Alex in the school's day program with the hope of getting him into the residential-treatment facility and quickly realized it wasn't the place for him. He was miserable and clearly not getting help; a teacher even pointed that out and advised the Varlottas to enroll him elsewhere, Niki says.

She then enrolled him in public school, but as had happened in California, it was obvious that he needed a more structured setting. The school district wasn't willing to pay. During one hospital visit, Alex drew a picture of the fireball in his head. "Sick cookie," a caseworker told Niki.

And then came the visit from the school resource officer.

Alex had no criminal record before Niki called the police, but he racked up more charges once he was in detention. True, the judge immediately ordered that Alex receive services — but with services inevitably comes a wait, and for several weeks, Alex was shuttled back and forth among the county's detention facilities, the behavioral health program at St. Luke's Hospital, and various group homes.

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59 comments
katgal1232
katgal1232

she is lucky they did not kill him, any arrest can turn into a murder with so many juice head cops.

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lovespelltemple1

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JeannieD
JeannieD

WTH happened back in the day when people didn't unlimited have access to $millions of other people's money to handle their problems?

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pabyang
pabyang

i have a cousin who is autistic but i get all the help we need to stop him from being a threat to anybody. i think you should do the same and not resort to having him arrested like a criminal.

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Kim Jantzen Schmidt
Kim Jantzen Schmidt

In response to Vanessa, Jennifer is right on the money. Until you walk in some of our shoes, maybe you should just mind your business. The guilt is horrific concerning many things when you have a child with special needs, the last thing parents in this situation need is an ignorant person like you making insensitive comments.

Vanessa
Vanessa

this story is so sad. and it also maddens me that she would give up her son for custody because of his problem. Having an interest in holistic health and an organic lifestyle if baffles me this kid was taken all these drugs that all and all might make things worse. I see a naturopathic doctor and never would take prescription meds. I dont understand why parents or people would want to research on a natural way to heal using homeopathic and natural cures that rids what someones feeling. Seeing a naturopathic doctor has given me so much insight on health and how meds not only makes things worse it does not fix the problem. which is why taking the meds at times causes him to end up in the E.R or made him more aggressive.. so saddening. do some research about natural health and homeopathy and maybe you wouldnt be in the situation you are

Mandem
Mandem

This just breaks my heart. My son showed similar signs of aggression at a very young age and by age 6 was talking to his teachers about wanting to kill himself. The teachers and counselors felt that he had ADHD but his pediatrician refused to diagnose him due to his age and felt it was just a phase. When I finally took the step to seek out a psychiatrist and get him officially diagnosed, I was pregnant and feared that my son might hurt the baby if we don't get help. The psychiatrist said he was a cut and dried case, prescribed medication, and we now have a well-behaved and happy child. I was so hesitant to do the medication because I thought it might turn him into a zombie, but I now have no regrets. You have to be persisitent and don't stop when doctors turn you away.

PC
PC

Skepticallady39 thinks the illegal aliens who work hard long hours at the fast food restaurant that she orders her Big Macs from are apparently having it better than this kid whose family got the State of Arizona to shoulder the $250,000 expenses of plane tickets, residential and psychiatric treatment, etc. in just the past 2.5 years.

Skepticallady39
Skepticallady39

I find it appalling in this country in this day and time, that a hard working family like this has to go to such extremes to get their child help, especially when welfare whores and illegals get it for free. I am saddened and ashamed by this. The government and insurance companies better do something about austism coverage because 1 in 110 children have this, that is scary.

Caty
Caty

It is obvious that this boy will never be able to live in society without being a danger to himself or others. There are many, many people just like him out there on the streets now. Why are they on the streets? Because eventually their families cannot control them and they either wander off, are thrown out or because they are over 18 cannot be controlled by the courts or their families. Large state run institutions meant for long-term care were in the past were sometimes poorly run. That was mostly because the knowledge of mental disorders was so poor and our society did not have much understanding. That being said, the biggest mistake we have made is closing *all* of them. Let's get real and admit that there are some people that are (for now) beyond our capacity to help medically or therapeutically. They need to be safe, their families need to be safe and we need to be safe from them. I suspect this mother would not mind his being institutionalized nearly as much if her son was at least in the state of Arizona so that she could visit more freely. Especially if she knew that he was safe and (within the limits of his illness) happy.

steph
steph

How absolutely horrible that she has to give up her rights to her son in order to get him the help he needs. Thank God that she has a decent network of judge/caseworker that allows her to participate in decisions and plans. @ Lilypie in the article Niki stated that they made too much money to qualify for medicaid. @Marmitist, the only "retard" on this page is you, ignorant opinions like yours harm society more than Alex ever could. He is getting proper help and treatment, and has a family who cares about his well being..... why am I even bothering responding to you, you're an ass. Kudos to Niki for doing whatever it takes to get the best for your son, even the hardest road most parents could imagine.

Lilypie
Lilypie

What government insurance (AHCCCS (Arizona's version of Medicaid) wouldn't cover him?

Nikki
Nikki

I remember when Niki and Greg lived in California (I went to nursing school with Niki) and Alex was still a little boy. He was aggressive already but luckily he was still a little boy. Niki and Greg often feared for Andy's safety since he was the little brother. As a mom myself, I can't imagine the anguish Niki felt having to give up her rights as a mother to protect her child...from himself. Niki, you have always been my hero...I thank God that you had to strength to do what Alex needed in order to save him from himself....or worse, to save someone else from him later in life if he hadn't gotten the help he needed. Many sons and daughters in the jail system now could've used a great mom like you!

Marmitist
Marmitist

What a waste of money. This little retard is going to grow up, get out of the loony bin, and hurt someone. Then they're just going to throw him right back in.

Lock him in a rubber room and throw away the key. He can have all the autistic freakouts he wants then.

Darla
Darla

I can't believe you are condemning this family to do all in their power to get their child help. As far as the taxpayers paying for it, how many of the children NOW are on some sort of Medical insurance paid by the state? The guidelines are wide and can include many working parents who cannot afford $700 premium each month just for insurance...let alone the medications this child needed. It was an extreme decision but I feel it was the right step in getting this child some help. I could sympathize with this mother's feelings to watch her son sit there in handcuffs! But to know that in the end this child was going to get the help they no longer could give him..that is satisfaction. Please do not judge this family for this decision because many of us have never been in that situation (and i hope we don't have to). I feel that if this child was allowed to continue on this destructive path, that he would end up in the justice system as a criminal..and NEVER receive the needed help. Many of the felons that are in our prison systems are just that...mentally handicapped individuals that have slipped through the cracks and ended up as violent offenders. Thank you Niki Varlotta for sharing your story with us. God Bless you and your family. My thoughts and prayers go out to your son. I hope the best outcome for him!

Ryan
Ryan

I truly feel for the family of this mentally ill child, HOWEVER, I agree with Dave on the $ issue. I find it ridiculous and almost robbed that we (taxpayers) have spent over $250,000 on ONE child for only 2 years worth of 'therapy'!! They (family) have already done so much for this child, BUT its a crapshoot that this child will ever develop into a 'functioning adult that gives back to society'. I have liberal tendencies but there has to be a limit on how much we spend on cases like this! The ONLY reason I have a little empathy with regards to the $ spent is the fact that this is a child. If we were discussing an adult, I would be appalled and furious that they spent that amount of $ on a 'broken' human being!!

alanna
alanna

I have spent the last 7 years and all of my savings trying to get my youngest child help. He is violent, and has been suicidal since he could speak. I have other (non-violent, "normal", happy children). Like Alex, it was apparent from day 1 that he was not happy, and he had no way of calming himself down. It got worse as he got older. He's been evaluated and re-evaluated and everyone he's seen has had a different diagnosis. His pediatrician seriously delayed us getting any help at all by failing to recognize the problem. Our private insurance (which I've been paying into for the last 15 years) has decided to stop covering all of my son's treatment, because according to them his case is "chronic". Most mental illnesses are. I can't get state medical assistance unless both my husband & I lose our jobs (which would leave us, and other children homeless). As it is, I've had to change jobs so I can work from home, so I can "be there" for my son. No babysitter in the world could handle him. So for now, we pay for what we can out of pocket, and treatment is slow, since we can't pay for much.

Joan
Joan

I feel for this family, but I have to say I don't know why being "closer to Greg's family" is a good enough reason to move from where you are getting great services through your insurance and the school district, to a state that puts you on the tax payer's shoulders because you chose to "give you your kid to the state". I would like to know why you didn't just move back to California, where the services were available?

Megan
Megan

right, and this works in iowa too, only don't expect to get your child back. mine was hiding butcher knives in her bedroom, threatening to kill her little sister, acting out at school, becoming violent with teachers, and when i took her to the ER in the midst of an outbreak, i was told she'd be admitted. i went home to get her some things for her stay, and when i got back about an hour later, i was informed i wasn't allowed to see her. the next day, her psychiatrist called me and said I could pick her up, she was fine. i told him i thought he was wrong, and i wasn't convinced she wouldn't try to kill her little sister. they placed her in a shelter (?) and the next day i went to pick her up from school once i learned this was a SHELTER placement done by DHS-when i got to the school, her teacher and the principal informed me "they" came and got her. i was livid they let someone take my child! i found out they had CHINA'ed her. (child in need of assistance.) she was placed in foster care, my rights were terminated, and she was adopted by her foster family. of course there's so much more to this story than space will allow here...but don't trust ANYONE to do what's right for your kids. YOU have to do it. follow behind everyone. trust NO ONE. to this day, she doesn't talk to me and is as unhealthy as she was 15 years ago. a complete failure of "the system."

Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson

The poster "Charlie" sounds like someone that would pick up and beat up a kid he didn't know. Worse is that special needs kids are referred to as "anchor babies", describing them as burdens? My son is a special needs kid, he is no burden. When you lump people as burdens, then you make way for hate propaganda. Hmm, does this sound like the holocaust to anyone else?

Jennifer Johnson
Jennifer Johnson

What I find most appalling about this story is not that this family had to make such a difficult decision by giving up their child, but all of the judgmental comments I read on this page. It's really easy to point fingers and badmouth people when you have no experience in their situation. Autism is NOT something that most insurance companies will pay for services for. I am a mom who happens to be mildly autistic (was diagnosed as a child) and my 7 yr old son has it as well. My son is very affectionate and social, almost to a fault. These people must be going through pain that most people couldn't even begin to fathom. Those of you who would insult this family would probably also insult those who have to put their loved ones in a nursing home because their family member(s) require more care than can be given to them at home. How about it? Would they also be labeled as uncaring, or worse yet, selfish?

Tom
Tom

Well, at least the mother didn't call the MCSO to have her son arrested. The kid would have probably died in the custody of Arpaio's goons!

John
John

Your right TommyC I am sick, In a world where personal responisbitily is more horrible then having sex with a corpse I'm on of the sickest guys out there

And I'm still waiting on your fainacial statements, or are you no longer willing to address my concerns

TommyC
TommyC

John from Queen Creek.

You are sick.

You need to move to a third world country where folks like you might just go around killing others you deem not worthy of yourselves.

john c.
john c.

I have been dealiig with Bi Polar since I was 21. I am now 34. Mental illness is a heartbreaking experiance. Your options are limited in Az. If you have not delt with someone with a mental Illness, then you have no business commenting on ones parenting skills. There are no right answers. Alex parents have done as much as they can. I never asked for this disiese to ruin my life, destroy my friendships,or cause my parents grief and heartache. My illness does not make me week minded. I am a survivor of this disease, and I hope it does not take my life.

John
John

First off TommyC, suck it, suck it long and suck it hard

Second lets recap shall we?

SHe wrote in the comments they had great insurance, yet the article implied it wasnt good enough. And if the insurance was so great why'd you all give it up?

Second, if california was shipping your son out of state what made you think AZ was going to be any different?

And why was he program he in the right one when CA officls sent him, but wrong once you got here?

Thrid phsyciatric proplems dont appear overnight, my guess is the signs were there and you failed to notice them.

Fourth what does society do with childrem like him. If I were incharge sterilization would be my first priority the last thing we need is the people so disturbed that they have to be wards of the state having kids of their own.

Quite frankly I think its a brilliant idea that children in this condition must be wards of the state, if they werent we'd have million of dollars in law suits evertime one of them hit another. But if they are all wards of the state you wont have that problem.

Fifth, you could have home shooled him a few hours a day around your work schedual, but something tells me that home schooling doesnt proved government paid for phsyciatric care.

Sixth the article says and i quote "Greg was out of town on tour" So how does he tour with and how much does it pay a year?

AS you feel you have a right to my money to pay for your sons care, I feel I have a right to know how much money you make

One last thing the article says the boy is 12, that would mean he was born in 97, did you have an pre natal genetic work done to see if he had and gentic markers that could have been warnig flags?

helentroy4
helentroy4

"Honor thy father and thy mother. Eye for an Eye, tooth for a tooth. Survival of the fitest left to take the land....Comment by Charlie Sutter from Phoenix on Oct 13th, 2009, 18:56 pm"

Charlie: Let's say you have a child who is in a classroom with a severely disturbed classmate. Say this classmate who has regular hallucinations perceives that your child has given him the "evil eye" and decides "an eye for an eye" and then attacks and disables your own child.

Would you then describe the disturbed child as the "fitest" (your spelling, not mine) because he was "fitter" to physically disable your child, or worse? Everything you've posted here describes physical domination in regards to children.

Please re-read this article and especially read what Nikki has posted. If after that you still cannot understand the difference between 'unruly' kids and mentally ill kids, you aren't really reading or understanding what is going on here.

If you were to have a diabetic child would you beat the crap out of him or her to cure the diabetes or to 'wake them up' from a coma because they were 'ignoring' you? After all, diabetics certainly aren't the 'fitest' of people in this world but we still provide medical treatment to allow them to grow and live productive lives.

TommyC
TommyC

Ok, John from Queen Creek.

It appears you made incorrect assumptions and you were wrong. You had the 'courage' to lambaste these folks based on your wrong assumptions.

Now, John, do you have the courage to apologize?

I honestly doubt it.

Charlie Sutter
Charlie Sutter

Honor thy father and thy mother. Eye for an Eye, tooth for a tooth. Survival of the fitest left to take the land....

helentroy4
helentroy4

To Nikki: Thank you for coming on to this thread and further explaining your family situation.

As you can see from some of the comments, many people here have absolutely no experience with dealing with a child with severe psychiatric problems. The poster "Charlie" thinks you should beat the crap out of your child to 'cure' him. Others are complaining about the societal cost of truly taking care of a mentally ill or handicapped child once they are born and breathing. Others prefer to compare him with 'anchor babies' to excuse their anger at the reality of what many legitimate American families face everyday when caring for a child born imperfect.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: For many people, children aren't a valuable political commodity once they are born. If this article was about you learning, before he was born, that Alex would be facing these severe problems, probably many of these same people would be screaming holy hell at you if you were considering abortion.

Once born, they prefer to scream holy hell about the money it costs, the 'irresponsibility' of the parents, and on and on and on.

They can't have it both ways. If children are born to mental illness and mental and/or physical handicaps then they should be as quick to support the child in every way possible so that the life they insisted should be brought into the world will be taken care of, no matter what it takes, to the enth degree.

I hope that Alex continues to improve and flourish. With the right care he has a fighting chance to do so.

Charlie
Charlie

Perhaps if Fathers were still allowed to physically discipline their children they would never even think of hitting their mothers. Oh, but then some screaming bleeding heart liberal would have dad arrested for child abuse. All of these "programs" could be replaced by a good old fashioned ass beating and everyone knows it. If that does not work, throw these little punks in jail and let them rot. I have seen enough of making these children think they are special by having "issues" that must be corrected with my tax dollars in programs that do not work anyway. Drugs do not work. Drugs ware off. In Europe or Asia, children like this would be corrected with canes or floggings in a public square. I can't wait to see what this child becomes as a man. But then again, men do not hit their mothers with closed fists so this boy will never become a man. If he does become a man, sooner or later a real man will squelch this "child with issues" in about 5 seconds.

Maurice Friedman
Maurice Friedman

Violence against other people is the greatest crime and insanity. What is more important to be protected against? SO lets just take 10% of the National Defense Budget and divert it to programs to treat anyone that unjustifiedly hurts another. You say that would be too much money for the problem? Then use the surplus to help past victims of abuse and to train more therapists and all teachers in working with them pro actively. Then go after the people in our government that authorized torture and treat them. When they get out. As a victorious victim of abuse I feel I have a right to suggest all this.

Niki Varlotta
Niki Varlotta

Thank you for your words of support and encouragement. And to those of you who are angry with us, I wonder if my comments can help you to understand the situation better or if my words will be wasted?

When Greg and I had Alex we had owned a home for four years and were 28 and 34 years old. Far from a slacker, Greg, an ASU college graduate, had worked full-time and then some as a musician for Disney. Greg's job provided awesome insurance coverage. When Alex was 18 months old and long before any professional deemed him other than "terrible twos" is when we conceived our second son.

By the time Alex was 9 he'd been hospitalized 7 times for psychosis. This little boy thought he could fly, or heard voices telling him to kill himself or saw people crawling in the window. To see your child terrified and you can do little to help is something I hope you never experience.

In California, Alex was in residential treatment which was paid for by the county mental health department and the school district. Greg and I took care of his medical coverage. We saw Alex twice a week and brought him home once a month. Alex went to school and made progress. Unfortunately he was misdiagnosed and overmedicated by the psychiatrist at the facility. This was the reason for his increased agitation and the main reason we moved to Arizona.

If I can be faulted it is for not considering the incredible differences in care and services available to children from state to state. We moved to AZ because one of the facilities that CA was considering for Alex was a facility in Scottsdale. We thought we could move closer to the facility and have a more "normal" life. We came because our son was severely overmedicated and we were hoping to get him help - and be closer to Greg's relatives who all live in the Phoenix area. I never once thought Arizona would deny us the same services we'd received in California.

I was hired as a pediatric registered nurse at a local hospital, full-time. Greg continued to work at Disney for a while before transitioning to other work here. We even brought one of Alex's California caregivers to live with us to help - although we had every expectation that Alex would be in a great facility learning and learning to cope with his illness.

Turns out that the facility was not appropriate for Alex. The school district refused to offer residential placement. The only way Maricopa County would pay for ANY services was if our family was on AHCCCS. Really. NOTHING. I continued to work and Alex went to school at a great special education school in Phoenix. Until he didn't go.

What do you do when your child refuses to go to school because he can't stand the noise or the expectation that he'll sit still, or hears things that aren't there? Even this great school was ill equipped to handle such an ill child. I was notified that I'd have to go before the truancy board if Alex didn't go to school. Because I had to pick Alex up from school so many times and then he flat out refused to get on the bus is why I was forced to quit my job. I didn't set out to qualify for AHCCCS but it looked like we were on our way. We did not ever go on AHCCCS, however.

We never set out to have a disabled child. Alex is loving, smart and is growing up. He is well-liked by his friends and staff at his Texas facility. He hasn't hit anyone or tried to hurt himself in 2 years - because he's getting the right help. He hopes one day to care for animals and I can see him working in an animal shelter or at a veterinarian's office. His school counselors believe he may go on to college, I just want him to feel calm.

Alex's care is too expensive. Arizona should have a residential facility for children with neurological and behavioral problems. There are a handful of facilities here but none providing what Alex and many other children need. In the past 7 years at least 5 Arizona facilities for mentally ill children have closed because of lack of funding.

And guess what? Even if there were a terrific facility in Phoenix that cost a fraction of the Texas facility, we still couldn't get Alex into it. You see, we are not on AHCCCS. Arizona does not provide ANY residential services to ANY child that is not on AHCCCS. So if you have a severely mentally ill child and are not on AHCCCS or cannot afford 10K a month for residential treatment, the ONLY way to get services is to have your child made a ward of the state. There is no middle ground in AZ.

Greg and I get to see Alex six times per year (alternating months). We spend thousands dollars per year in motels, rental cars and food in Texas. We are doing the very best we can. And Alex is slowly improving. (And we can't move to Texas because Alex is a ward of Arizona...)

What does society do with a child like Alex? Is he worthless? It would be so easy to make that judgement were I not in this position. This is my child. He has hopes and dreams. He is generous, funny and really needs a lot of help to "keep it together". I thank God that he's getting the help he needs. For now.

The reason I agreed to the article is to give voice to the other families with desperately ill children who need help. I believe that voters are willing to spend at least the same amount of money on mentally ill children that they're willing to spend on incarcerating them, given the opportunity.

Someone out there is in a position to help. I want my son close to me. He should receive cost-effective help right here. As should so many other Arizona children.

Please know that we very much want our son at home. Residential was never a first choice. Alex has been hospitalized a total of 11 times now. Alex currently needs intensive behavioral feed-back and medication management. We were not offered in-home services, nor would they likely have been appropriate due to his level of impairment.

We are real people. I am a nurse manager for an oncology clinic. My husband is a successful professional musician. We love our children. We pay taxes and indeed we vote.

I appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Jennifer Waite
Jennifer Waite

My son is autistic. We use holistic and other alternative treatments and an anti-psychotic medication that he desperately needs to keep from being a danger to himself or others. Perhaps you should investigate ways to stop being such a busy-body.

Zack
Zack

Homeopathy is nonsense.... pure nonsense. It is a placebo. It is bullshit for a price. Whether you like it or not, some people HAVE to have pharmaceutical medicines. It's true that our society is over-medicated, but that goes the same for antibiotics as it does anti-depressents. However, you shouldn't go promoting "remedies and treatments' that clinically have NO VALUE. Homeopathy has been shown EVERY TIME in clinical studies to have no more of an affect than a placebo, or what would be expected of chance. Do you know what they call Alternative Medicine that works? They call it medicine.

Kat_aug
Kat_aug

You must be an illegal as well to make a comment like that. Our school districts (yes, any school district in this country) are not equipped to educate children with severe disabilities and/or emotional disturbances. So much money is wasted in this country; I do not begrudge anyone who needs it to get the treatment that their child needs even if it costs me, the taxpayer, because ALL children are the future of this country and they all need to be educated. Just because it costs more to educate the disabled is not a reason to not provide the education (and yes, this is ultimately about education. Residential treatment centers provide education as well as treatment). So go sip your latte and cash your government check while you complain that others should receive no empathy or help from you...selfish ass. (Oh, and, while you're at it, why don't you sit and think about how you would feel if you had to give up your rights to your child and make your child a ward of the court just to get him the treatment you know he needs...an act far more selfless than you are obviously capable of).

julia
julia

Many of the comments here are brutal and ignorant. I think the sterilization and killing of people who have mental/developmental problems was tried in the dark ages and during Nazi times. If you want to go back to the dark ages i would move to another country. Even Arizona tries to be civilized and has learned that the things tried in the dark ages were a mistake. People with autism have various levels of being affected, a "spectrum". With care and help i grew up to pay taxes myself as an autistic person [mild]. So, those who have kids w real problems please do not feel like you have to give in to the lowest common denominator comments or people. Arizona can overcome the new vocal confidence of those stuck in the dark ages after the elections. The Republicans just want to be re-elected and are desperate for ANY vote.

Steven
Steven

You do realize there ARE cures for autism, right?

Marmitist
Marmitist

Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with you?

You're ruining your other childrens' lives by indulging the youngest one in his nonsense. If a car part goes bad, you don't adjust every other part of the car trying to make the bad part work, you get rid of it!

I suggest that you tell him that if he acts violently again, you're giving him away. And then FOLLOW THROUGH ON IT!

JeannieD
JeannieD

@Niki Varlotta How could you move somewhere without researching the care that is available? I am disabled and want to move to Key West but the closest medical care for my condition is Miami, a few hours away. You just picked up and moved without investigating the resources that are available to your kid? For someone with an education you sure don't have any common sense. You should have checked it out before you moved rather than put your kid through all that and cost a whole new set of people (taxpayers) a shit ton of $$. Not impressed.

Marmitist
Marmitist

I almost forgot, Niki, do you want to see what your son's future is going to be if he manages to keep his temper in check and stay out of prison?

http://cogsdev.org/cwcki/Chris

Your son will end up a pants-shitting, 30 year old virgin who fucks love dolls on camera and drinks his own semen.

This is what happens when you don't get autistics the care that they need as soon as it becomes apparent that they have a serious problem. By ignoring the fact that your kid was retarded for so long, you most likely have put him on a path that will not end well.

Marmitist
Marmitist

"What does society do with a child like Alex?

Well, apparently we warehouse him at taxpayer expense. Thanks, by the way.

"Is he worthless?"

In a word, yes. He will never grow up to be a normal person. Autistics should be euthanized, and you and your husband should be sterilized in order to ensure that you don't bring any more retards into the world.

richardpieeater
richardpieeater

Vanessa and Jennifer, you are fuckwits, you are killing your kids with this bullshit. I hope you get AIDs.

Rabid Anti-Marmitist
Rabid Anti-Marmitist

My thoughts are, at the very least he will not end up a socially maladjusted sociopath with a false sense of bravado brought on by internet anonymity. Congratulations, you have successfully demonstrated why we should be thankful that Alex so clearly deviates from the "norm". He was able to get help, it is clearly MUCH too late to get you help. Please do the world a favor and limit your contact with the outside world. Thank You.

 
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