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Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:36 AM

Violent video games?

I have been thinking about this more since they have come out and said he had some mental issues. My son has autism, and schizophrenia, with a couple other social disorders. He is higher functioning autism so he is able to play video games.

I let him play any game he wanted to with the exception of Grand Theft Auto due to the over the top violence and language. Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor, etc. I noticed one thing almost immediately, he was not able to difientriate between real life and these games. Needless to say these games were removed immediately and I won't even play any of these games if he is awake. It was something we talked about with his Dr. and she agreed that he should never play these games. It was pretty frightening.

I know my son will be with me and my wife probably until we die, and will probably have to go into a home when that happens. This is just one advantage that my son has over this other kid. Both of us in the household giving our son the support and love that he requires.

Any thoughts on this from other special needs parents? What are your thoughts on the violent video games, and having both parents being in the household. It's hard with both of us, I don't even want to think if we had to do this separately.

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Response to Separation (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 01:19 AM

1. I would recommend that you think about transitioning your son to a group home WAY before you think

you might die. As soon as he's an "adult," he should do what adult kids do--go get their "own" place, even if it's in a group home with oversight.

He'll be unprepared otherwise to cope if you keep him close by your side and he wakes up one morning and you're gone. Far better that he transition now, while you are there to encourage him and help him settle in. It doesn't mean he can't come home at the weekend or see you, but he'll be settled in a place where he has a routine and friends and associates. When you and your wife do shuffle off this mortal coil, he'll have that security and routine to fall back on.

You should talk to his doctor about this and start examining your options.

Interesting movie on this topic, that deals with an adult child who was a mentally retarded adult, is called BEST BOY. It's old (1979) but it does a good job of showing the anxiety of separation and the issues that are involved with transitioning (in the case of BEST BOY, the parents had a more difficult time than the son did).

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:19 AM

2. Will definitely check out the video.

one of our "hopes" is that he will be able to move into a group home way prior to us moving on. He is 14 now, so we have looked into the group style homes for the future.

Because of the decisions made by Ronnie Raygun back in the 80's it's a pretty depressing outlook. Trying to find a place soley for mental handicapped issues is daunting. Most places we have looked into seem like halfway houses for criminals and drug addicts. These people more than likely have mental issues, but have slipped through the cracks and gone down the criminal path and are there now because of a lack of help that should have kept them out of it in the first place. We have had the same problem finding a school, but after years of fighting the system we found one. Hopefully we will find a place one day.

As far as the sheltering thing goes...I hear ya. I'm guilty, so is mom, and that is something we have both identified and are working on.

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Response to Separation (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:31 AM

3. I imagine it is very hard to find a home for someone with mental problems.

At least outside of mental hospitals and as someone who spent a night in one of those places I wouldn't wish to send anyone there permanently. I've never been to prison, but I get the feeling that the two are similar in terms of restrictions and such.

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Response to Separation (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:45 AM

6. I'm so sorry. My cousin was in some group homes in the 80's and 90's and they were dangerous

and frightening. Very difficult situation. It appears my nephew has a similar combination of issues as your son. I am frightened for him. This country is ignorant and uncaring about mental illness. It's truly a disgrace.

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Response to Separation (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 07:08 PM

8. You need to reach out to social services in your community--see what's available at the state level,

too.

I think it would be a good idea if you thought about sending your child to summer camp next year. A two week "adventure" away from Maw and Paw might be the first step in independence for him. He needs to feel as though he has something of his own--he's at the age where children start to separate from their parents, and that's no different even if there are cognitive issues or other mental impairments.

Here's a place to start, anyway: http://www.mysummercamps.com/camps/Special_Needs_Camps/

If money is an issue, don't give up--some of these places have scholarships and reduced "tuitions"--you know what I tell folks? It can't hurt to ask...the worst thing anyone can tell you is NO, and that's where you're at before you do anything at all.

Do you think he'd be suitable at a Camphill location? They have three "villages" in USA, and one in Canada. I don't really know what you're up against with your child, so I could be talking out my behind, here, but I'm just offering this as a possibility. He'd have to be accepted there, and that's a community where everybody works--kind of like a commune. Something to think about, anyway. http://www.camphill.org/

On edit--here's a place that might be right up your alley...worth a look, anyway: http://www.gouldfarm.org/

Gould Farm is the first residential therapeutic community in the nation dedicated to helping adults with mental illness move toward recovery, health and greater independence through community living, meaningful work and individual clinical care.

In a supportive community environment made up of residents, staff and their families, we help adults with depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder and schizophrenia begin to rebuild and regain their lives. Gould Farm offers a full continuum of care, with a Boston-area program for those ready for new challenges and structured transition.


You might want to "plan a visit" and see what's what...couldn't hurt!

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Response to Separation (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:33 AM

4. There has always been horrific violence.

Blaming video games is not the answer.

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Response to Separation (Original post)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 02:42 AM

5. Those games are available all over the world

in most places you don't see this kind of horrific shooting. It seems to be a chiefly American phenomenon.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 15, 2012, 03:20 AM

7. While I agree with most of what you say.

There is definitely a disconnect between reality and video games for some. My son doesn't think that there are zombies, or aliens...it's the continue ...3...2..1.. respawn, the finality of death. It took several discussions to get this through him. Real bullets hurts, the pain is real, the sorrow that comes with death of a loved one. Empathy. He also has no access to these games, and damn sure the real weapons.

Like I said before, I play video games. I don't have any problem distinguishing real vs game. I also don't think that it has any real impact on non-mentally handicapped people.

This is just something that has been nagging at me, I would be interested in hearing what exactly his diagnosis was, what support he had. From what I have heard his mother was mutilated.

I just hope that when the new laws are being signed, and there will be new laws signed after this, I hope that mental health care is looked into as well. Obviously, this is a selfish hope.



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