Practical Tips for Neurotypical Neighbors: How to be More Supportive of Autistic Individuals Struggling with Challenging Behaviors

Source: Autism Housing Network

Thousands of individuals on the autism spectrum struggle with the inability to articulate frustration and physical pain which may cause them to harm themselves and/or others. This is an example from a family who has reached out to the Autism Housing Network for help:

After being told numerous times that nothing can be done and they are on a waitlist for help, a family in Texas, who could not keep their autistic daughter nor other family members safe at home due to her self-injurious and harmful behaviors towards others, recently brought their daughter to the ER in a desperate attempt for help. They were lucky to have two parents who could bring her to the hospital, as one was needed to keep her from kicking out a car window or from grabbing the other parent who was driving – other families must call the police or ask for an ambulance. The mental health professional on call could not find a safe place for their daughter in all of Texas. He called every behavioral health hospital, psychiatric facility and even the state hospital to find her help, and they all refused to take her because her case was “too hard.”

This man who was trying to help this family broke down in tears because he could only offer them two options:
1) medically restrain her at home with a sedative, or
2) give up all parental rights and she will become a ward of the state and go into the foster care system

If professionals at a psychiatric ward won’t even take her, how long will she last in a host home?

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