Author Archives: carl

and then we get a phone call….

that says “your son has had a seizure, and is on the the way to the emergency room via ambulance.”

It was nearly two hours before I noticed the message on my cell phone, which tells me a number of things.

  1. They didn’t attempt all of the communications methods that we listed in the paperwork for his admission.
    • They didn’t call both home and cell phone for dad.  UPDATE  they did leave a message on our home phone.
    • They didn’t call both work and cell phone for mom.
    • They didn’t call the third party emergency contact.
  2. They didn’t email me until after I had sent a message arranging for our Sunday visit.  And by this time, it was more of an “Don’t know if you got my message or not, but David had a seizure today around 1:45…”
  3. In the end, preliminary indications are that he had an allergic reaction to the medication Welbutrin, which we didn’t know he was on. Interesting side note about medications a bit later.
  4. David was unconscious for a brief period of minutes.  He was accompanied by a staff member to go to the ER in the ambulance.  A staff member was with him at all times.

While I am upset that my child had a seizure, I am also upset at the failure of the institution to follow a protocol to ensure that parents, in this case, my wife and I, knew that an emergency situation arose that required an ambulance and a trip to the ER.  Anyone who knows me knows that I would drop what I am doing right now, and rush the 50 or 100 miles to be with my child.  Just because he is in an institution, doesn’t mean that we don’t care about him, love him, and want to be involved in his life.

In the event that I, or one of our contacts, had been notified of the seizure via telephone or even text message, I could have been in the city where he lives by the time I did receive notification.  Over an hour and 30 minutes had passed between the event and when I had received the email.  It is roughly 100 miles to the city where he lives.

In the end, David is stable, and while a bit disoriented initially, seems to be fine now, although they said he is rather subdued.

Mom is making arrangements to go see him, plus we are going to do our regular visit on Sunday.  The thing is, with a child that has severe mental illness, you have to maintain a schedule.  Us just showing up at the facility isn’t going to be good for him, we know that from experience.  On the other hand, us showing up when he was in the emergency room would have been entirely acceptable to him, plus it would have made mom and myself feel better about the whole situation.

In regards to the medication.  We had no idea he was on Welbutrin.  None. Zero.  We were in the dark.

Today, Oct. 25, 2013, we received a notice from the psychiatrist dated Oct. 7, 2013 that asked for permission to put him on it.

How seriously is my trust in these people being eroded?

Parent Teacher Conferences – A joy for David

Mom and I went to Parent Teacher Conferences at the PRTF where David lives last night.  To say that we were surprised in what we heard would be an understatement.  By all accounts, David is doing well. Compared to last year, when he couldn’t be kept in the classroom, now, he does the work.  Not… Continue Reading

Missing David. and frustrated

People frustrate me.  Not all people.  Just some. Before David’s 12th birthday, we moved him, temporarily, to a different facility so that he could undergo a med wash. All the reports I have received have been about how good a child he is, and how he listens. That is great.  I am happy that they… Continue Reading

A fathers thoughts about Steubenville.

It is easy for someone to make armchair assumptions about a situation. Steubenville has been in the headlines lately because of incidents that occurred their which involved the football team, some cheerleaders and a party.  To say that a lack of social responsibility occurred is an understatement.  What possessed this reportedly bright stars of their… Continue Reading

Can a marriage survive a special needs child?

How about a family that has more than one child with special needs? While I can’t speak for every family, I would say that a marriage can survive, but… always a but.. There has to be communication. What follows is my 10 point list for marriage with special needs kids in the family. Communication Private… Continue Reading

How to Avoid Teenage Pregnancies: 10 Tips for Parents |

  How to Avoid Teenage Pregnancies: 10 Tips for Parents | ======== I stumbled across this article by following a link from  At it’s most basic level, the best way to avoid teen pregnancy, is communication.  Not just to the girl’s.  These conversations need to take place with both sexes. Parent’s, naturally, don’t… Continue Reading

Parent teacher conference for David

Positive comments regarding David at the conferences tonight. He still doesn’t like mathematics. Does well in reading, writing and art. Does well in PE.  And then the primary teacher said “we have told David that if he doesn’t behave, they are going to call an IEP meeting with his home school in Garrison.” Not sure… Continue Reading

Assumptions about Autism are Detrimental to All Involved

By Danica C. (originally posted at My Corner of the Pond) Something that has been bothering me for a while is someone who visited my family a while back & spent maybe an hour or two. This person told another friend my daughter was not on spectrum. Now this person has never up till that… Continue Reading