Autistic/autism institutions you've visited...

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Ana54
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17 Jan 2008, 4:45 am

Have you ever been to an autism center? Or a school for autistics? Or an autistic ward in a mental hospital? Or a summer camp for autistics? What did it look like? What did it sound like? What were the people like? What did people talk about? What moods were conveyed by people there? WHAT WAS IT LIKE?



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17 Jan 2008, 5:06 am

Ana54 wrote:
Have you ever been to an autism center? Or a school for autistics? Or an autistic ward in a mental hospital? Or a summer camp for autistics? What did it look like? What did it sound like? What were the people like? What did people talk about? What moods were conveyed by people there? WHAT WAS IT LIKE?


i used to work for an ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens). the company had over 30 group homes. once while running some errands i got to stop by the autism house, which i didn't know we had one (we had two houses for Prader Willis - it was a big organization). it was amazing. i only got to spend a few minutes in the living room. there were christmas lights on the walls and a rotating model of the solar system all across the ceiling and all kinds of neat and pretty things that did neat and pretty things. there was this chair that hung from a frame and kind of bounced and it was the most comfortable and enjoyable chair i've ever experienced. my coworker later told me it cost well over 1000$.

that was a long time ago, about a year before i finally learned that i am ASD. i wish i remembered it better. if i were ever in that part of the country again, i'd arrange to drop by and see what they were doing these days.


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anbuend
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17 Jan 2008, 5:11 pm

We didn't have "autistic wards" in the mental institutions I was in. We had (in the one I'm most familiar with):

1. Children's ward
2. Adolescent ward
3. Unlocked adult ward
4. Locked adult ward

And... I guess the fifth one might've been a drug rehab ward for adults? I can't remember.

I was usually in the adolescent ward but at one point they moved me to the children's ward because they thought I was not socially mature enough to handle the adolescent ward. I was mostly alone in that ward, there was one other person. Sometimes they combined adolescent and children's wards. And the places were a combination of people with only psych labels, or people with a combination of developmental and psych. (As well as some people with brain injury and psych.)

The place was a well-painted nightmare, and I can't stand to think of the details long enough to write about it. Suffice to say I remember an autistic kid always running into my room (I was usually given my own room due to either being considered vulnerable or being considered a really bad patient) because, just for not sleeping, they tied him to the bed. Sometimes they did the same to me. That wasn't the worst of it, but it gives an idea how little they cared about anything but their own convenience. (Okay, not all of "them". But most.)

Another place I was at (even prettier, and sort-of-unlocked, but in many ways much worse) was only one place, so no wards, and it was supposed to be a last-resort place for teens who would otherwise end up in state institutions and the like.

When they needed money they were not above saying "We're here to get your misbehaving teen off your hands."

Which meant an awful mixture of people really vulnerable, and people who liked to bully for fun. One of the worst was when the other kids pretended to have killed the cat. They burned their own hair and claimed it was the cat's hair. I go ballistic when anyone harms a cat, and they enjoyed setting me off.

Also the people who ran it, some of them were creepy adult-bullies too.

Anyway, never went to a place only for autistic people. Always went to pure-psych or developmental/psych places. The only place that had separate wards by diagnosis, I was actually put on the anorexia ward, because they didn't know where else to put me! There was also a boy there with cystic fibrosis and not anorexia. (That place they treated me different than all other patients and refused me contact with my parents most of the time, because they actually blamed my parents for my "disorders". So did the next place. That was horrible for both me and my parents.)


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Kalister1
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17 Jan 2008, 7:22 pm

Man thats crazy. $1000 chair.