Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Esther Castillo, Pedro J Acevedo Jr
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000377
00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn welcome again to Issues
00:32 and Answers. I'm very excited because we have
00:34 two special guests that are returning to us today
00:37 and that is Esther Castillo, welcome back, thank you.
00:40 And Pedro Acevedo and Pedro, I'm so excited
00:44 that you are back, I promised you that this time
00:47 we girls are gonna give you an opportunity to speak.
00:50 Now, I would like to share with you a scripture that is
00:56 Pedro's favorite, and that is II Timothy 1:7,
01:01 For God did not give us a spirit of fear but he has
01:06 given us a spirit of power and love and sound mind,
01:11 or as my translation says of self discipline
01:17 is what it says. So we are going to be talking today
01:21 about Autism and this is our second program on Autism.
01:25 If you are not familiar with it, you learn little bit more
01:29 today but you'll also learn that I don't know
01:33 if we want to say there is a way out. But there is a
01:36 way up, Amen. A way that is a better way
01:38 to deal with children and adults who have Autism,
01:43 and there is hope. God always fills us hope,
01:47 doesn't He? Amen, Amen. Esther let's once again
01:50 let's just establish as we did in our last program.
01:53 What is Autism? Autism is a developmental disability
01:58 that impacts three areas of a person's body.
02:04 There is a delay in language, delayed, yes that's one of
02:08 the behaviors that they demonstrated.
02:11 There is a delay in language, there is a deficiency
02:14 in social interaction and also they will see a repetitive
02:18 and odd behavior, okay. I would add to that,
02:21 that not only you see that the child stop talking
02:25 like in Pedro's case voice was gone, but also when
02:28 they speak, it kind of doesn't make any sense what
02:31 they are saying, they do know what they're saying,
02:33 but for you just need to get used to know that they
02:37 speak in key languages. Also it does affect the
02:41 way, all of the five senses, alright. In some,
02:45 some of them when they are looking at your eyes,
02:46 they could see their blood vessels,
02:47 so they just turn their eyes some place else
02:50 and they won't give you that eye contact,
02:52 because they are seeing more than what a normal
02:54 people see. They hear more and when I say they
02:58 hear more, they feel like a nail is stabbing inside
03:00 of their ears and it's really painful when they hear
03:03 they pitch of your voice, even if you are whistling,
03:06 the sound of a 18 wheeler, a vacuum cleaner and
03:09 an blender, an airplane that is sounding so. It's really,
03:12 really painful what comes through their ears,
03:15 what comes through their eyes, what comes through
03:17 their skin. There are some materials that could
03:20 just make them feel like taking them away because
03:22 they feel like electric, like shocks, so until you address
03:27 every piece of that body that used to be so beautiful,
03:31 but now is reacting completely weird, they won't feel
03:36 at ease and quiet and get to the stage that Pedro
03:39 is at today. But there was, you did take Pedro,
03:43 Pedro was diagnosed, while he first began at the age
03:46 of 18 months after having a very high fever,
03:49 bad ear infection, he lost his ability to communicate
03:53 but he wasn't actually diagnosed until 4-years-old,
03:57 so but you did take him through therapy that
04:01 improved his communication skills,
04:03 because we are gonna be discussing today how
04:05 Pedro is in college and doing very well.
04:08 You've improved his social interaction skills,
04:11 because you been just absolutely delightful Pedro.
04:15 And you have these various therapies have helped
04:19 him so much, but let me ask you as a mother what
04:23 is the most painful aspect of having a child with Autism?
04:29 The ignorance of people who may mean well,
04:33 but still hurt them, every door that is closed to them,
04:37 to see when the siblings like in my daughter's case
04:40 is told, don't bring your little brother to the
04:43 neighborhood to play, because he is cuckoo, he's weird,
04:46 we don't want to play with him, we can play with
04:48 you but not with him. When a teacher say like he
04:52 was told, you know, we were told he does not
04:55 belong in here. When you are like Mary and Joseph
04:59 knocking doors, yes, and everybody is telling you,
05:01 your child does not belong here, sorry but you need
05:04 to take him some place else, it really hurts,
05:06 you know, every, of course it does, every human
05:09 that slam the door on your face and forget that
05:12 your child is a human too; it hurts you more than
05:16 if you are the one who is being stabbed, you
05:18 feel like a part of you as well and because you
05:20 don't have that ignorance because you have educated
05:23 on this you actually after Pedro was diagnosed and
05:27 then growing up and you've gone back to school,
05:29 got your bachelors and your masters in behavior
05:32 science and education. You knew that children with
05:40 Autism even though they may not be able to communicate
05:43 with you, their understanding everything that's been
05:46 said, so they understand when people are making fun
05:49 of them or making derogatory remarks to them.
05:53 So that had to be very painful for you because
05:57 you knew your child was being hurt,
06:00 being crushed in spirit when they heard these things.
06:03 Now tell us just a little bit before we get into the
06:08 resources that you tapped into, give us a little
06:11 fast-forward, just how as he went through these various
06:15 therapies and Pedro when did he start talking
06:18 again? Well, I would say that I wish I could have
06:24 written a diary and a journal, yes, from those words,
06:28 I remember that one of the first time that Pedro say
06:32 his first sentence was when we took his daddy
06:35 for the ozone treatment, I told you before what was
06:39 his condition. Now your husband, four days before
06:43 you learned the diagnosis that Pedro was autistic
06:47 your husband also received a very heavy blow
06:51 in a diagnosis of being HIV positive. He'd been married
06:55 eight years; he actually learned he had been HIV
06:59 positive three years before your marriage.
07:02 He had because of your daughter's heart condition
07:06 when she was born become an alcoholic but when he
07:10 learned of this diagnosis, for, in fact he only had
07:13 six months to live, there was a major change in your
07:16 husband and he came to be a more loving man and
07:21 being more present in the family.
07:25 He lived another seven years, okay that's gone.
07:31 My husband went to a place for alternative medication
07:37 and there they practiced the ozone therapy
07:40 they went injecting on his blood ozone and Pedro
07:45 and my daughter and we all wanted to go through
07:48 the same therapy just to encourage my husband
07:51 to keep himself alive and let him know that we were
07:54 all united as a family to keep in our life.
07:56 As a result of the first treatment with ozone we took
08:00 Pedro that was in my country, that you are saying
08:02 ozone, OZONE, ozone okay, yes.
08:07 And we all went to the capital of my country after
08:11 the first treatment and Pedro heard a boy crying
08:15 and we are just looking at Pedro and suddenly
08:19 Pedro says the baby is crying, so it was the first
08:23 time since he was 18-months-old
08:25 that he came up with the four words sentence.
08:29 How old was he there? He was four, okay,
08:32 four years old, okay so we were really in shock looking
08:34 at him coming up, Pedro were you four,
08:37 when we went to there in 1993? 91, 91,
08:44 okay and how old were you Pedro? Four,
08:47 four yes he was four. And when he said that the baby
08:51 is crying were, we felt, there is no words to
08:55 explain when a child without voice for so many years
08:58 finally came up with his first sentence.
09:01 Then after that we came to the United States and we
09:06 tried different type therapies to get Pedro speaking
09:09 in a way that could make sense, so not only we were
09:12 trying to pull those words out with speech and language
09:15 therapy but we also use music therapy.
09:18 Through music we were trying to pull Pedro out
09:21 of the world where he was and what I did is,
09:24 I didn't have any money to pay a music therapy and
09:27 an art therapy. I used to go to closest university
09:30 and as for people who wanted to do their internship
09:34 with my son. Praise God, so I used to bring my students
09:37 for them to practice and then they were gonna go come to
09:40 my house and through music I remember I have
09:43 those videos where the girl is telling hello Pedro,
09:47 hi, hi, hi playing with the guitar and then Pedro was
09:50 going to sing hello Debby hi, hi, hi.
09:53 And that was the way through music, through pictures,
09:56 through art that Pedro started to communicate
09:59 himself how was his day at school and today many of his
10:05 arts has been in museums and in galleries,
10:08 I have most of the originals at home.
10:11 Now he doesn't draw too much, because the more
10:14 they speak the least they paints and draw but he used,
10:18 he used art to kind of to let us know his feelings
10:21 what he was going through and at his daddy's funeral
10:24 we have beautiful painting that he calling Daddy's
10:29 wake. Since he couldn't speak he spend the whole
10:32 wake drawing picture of his Daddy under coffin,
10:35 drawing picture of people with tears and his art
10:39 therapist was telling him Daddy is in heaven,
10:41 so he draw a picture of his daddy like in a cloud,
10:43 with angel wings, big mustache and then there ticked,
10:47 Daddy is inside of a cloud but then he also draw
10:51 the picture of the coffin like how can he be in heaven
10:54 and I'm seeing myself my Daddy here.
10:56 So it was through art, so we know it by the way I just
11:00 want to insert this that the art therapist was uninformed
11:05 as to the fact that we rest in our graves until
11:09 Jesus returns, so she was probably confusing,
11:12 confusing him, yes, okay. And it was through art therapy
11:17 that helping a lot when he came to communication
11:19 because now he was able to say not only yes which was,
11:25 Pedro are you okay, yes, do you want to die, yes,
11:28 are you ugly, yes, did you kill him, yes.
11:30 He had no concept what the word no meant.
11:35 It took a whole process from babbling to first word to
11:40 second words and by the time he was 13 in a middle
11:44 school through an inclusion program.
11:46 He heard all the students his age talking to him and
11:49 he wanted to imitate them and that was when really
11:52 started increasing his communication skill, wonderful
11:55 13-years-old. Pedro, how old were you when your
11:59 father died? Nine, 9-years old, that must have been
12:04 so difficult for you having to see that what have made
12:09 Dina your daughter about what, 12, 12-years-old
12:13 and he was 9, at what point did you go back to school?
12:17 I went back to school, I would say,
12:24 how old was Pedro? It was in 1996 that I decided
12:29 to go back to school, how old were you Pedro,
12:31 nine, he was, 1996 it like one year before my, no, 1992.
12:38 One year after we got Pedro's diagnosis I convinced
12:41 my husband to let me go back to school,
12:43 okay that's wonderful. And my husband was translating
12:47 for me most of my work because English was his
12:50 primary language so I encourage him okay,
12:52 1991 you were diagnosed that you are going to die,
12:55 but you could make it up, you could do it.
12:57 And you and I are going to graduate together;
12:59 we need to learn more about Pedro, Amen.
13:01 So my husband felt, saw this functional as he grew up,
13:04 he says do you believe that I can go to school
13:07 and make it? And we went all the way up to the
13:10 masters degree same university, same school
13:13 and he was helping me, my thesis was edited by him,
13:17 praise the Lord. So he was you know if it wasn't
13:20 because, I don't know if I told you before
13:22 he was kidnapped after having a healthy body
13:25 he was kidnapped by the same person who gave
13:28 in the ozone treatment the person became so mentally
13:31 ill and begged my husband to come and help in my country
13:36 and he didn't allow my husband to eat for two months,
13:38 oh mercy. So my husband got cancer on his liver
13:41 and when I brought him back he was given four weeks
13:44 to live. But he lived those seven years,
13:48 the social security company told him you don't need
13:52 our services anymore, you are healed,
13:54 praise God and he was just singing with us and
13:58 praising the Lord, attending church there in my country.
14:00 And it was really encouraging;
14:03 because he was gonna get the month,
14:05 we were going to graduate together but I went down
14:07 without him. Yeah, he died just a few days before,
14:11 he died on January 1st and I graduated in June,
14:14 in June just a few months before,
14:16 now let's get back to then the Autism because
14:20 there are different levels of Autism as far as the
14:24 functions, there is some that are more highlight
14:27 functional than others but it appeared you had people
14:30 telling you, your child would never speak again and
14:33 yet you trusted in the Lord you were very
14:36 proactive in treatment and what are some of the
14:41 resources I know that you were telling me a most
14:45 astounding statistic. One out of every 150 families
14:51 are hearing the diagnosis today that your child is
14:57 autistic. So this is becoming a national epidemic
15:01 I know in United States, I am not sure I've heard
15:03 it other countries it is as well. And it's becoming
15:07 as prevalent as diabetes and anything else
15:10 and yet it's not, hasn't always got the attention
15:13 that it needed before but this year has been declared
15:17 the year of Autism they set aside what date for that?
15:21 April 2nd, April the 2nd. Tell us some of the resources
15:26 that are available? Well, the world is so blessed
15:30 because when I was given the diagnosis to my son
15:33 there was almost nothing there and I think I told
15:35 you before how he used to come. He used to come
15:38 to my house with scratches on his face and on his
15:40 chest because teachers do nothing about sensor
15:43 integration therapy. Today not only,
15:46 so this happened while they were trying to restrain him,
15:49 yes because they thought that all they could see
15:51 it was behavior. In the past twenty years ago
15:54 any child who was throwing the temper tantrum whole
15:56 day so was behavior. And still today many people
15:59 believe in applied behavior and analysis which
16:03 is one of the resources and programs that are there
16:06 but to me the multi sensory approach is the best
16:09 one because it addressed every need.
16:12 But there are two big entities in the United States
16:15 and one of them is the Autism Society of America
16:19 in which I have been a member since 1994
16:21 and if anybody wants to contact them,
16:24 or they have to those who go into the web page
16:26 which is www.autism-society.org.
16:32 Okay let me repeat that, that's
16:33 www.autism-society.org, www.autism-society.org
16:50 and then the second one is autismspeaks.org,
16:55 okay so that's www.autismspeaks.org,
17:01 www.autismspeaks.org. alright, now what kind
17:06 some things will you find at this? Because,
17:08 I know you brought some information, yes. Let's get
17:11 into that because you've brought some information
17:13 and did you get these tips, from this these web
17:19 pages, yes. When you become of the Autism society
17:23 of America, they send you like a survival kit okay
17:26 and I found this awesome, because this is a status
17:31 for your card, yes for the card, alright.
17:33 And it says three things you can do today to protect
17:35 a person with Autism and the message here
17:38 it says in case of emergency occupant with Autism
17:43 may run away not respond, resist help.
17:48 Alright, so you are putting this on the windshield
17:53 of the car so that you can alert police or ambulance
17:57 or any personnel that maybe kind of responding
18:02 to an accident or a tragic event,
18:04 yes and letting them know these are the behaviors
18:07 that they might expect from the occupant of this car.
18:10 You said they might run away, resist help,
18:13 there are some other things too, yes not respond,
18:16 not respond, even if they call them and the reason
18:19 why we have this is because many people have
18:21 been killed out of ignorance of the emergency
18:26 responders. So in other words a policeman is speaking
18:31 did not realizing, this is a person with Autism they
18:34 are telling them to halt, this person's running or
18:36 they're acting you know, acting now becoming
18:39 aggressive just because they are afraid and then they
18:42 found the need of using the electric shot or shooting
18:45 them and we've been losing teenagers,
18:48 and we've been losing adults because the emergency
18:50 responders have no clue how to restrained them,
18:53 there was another training that I took, I'm
18:55 an international instructor in non-violent crisis
18:58 prevention intervention, okay. This is also something
19:04 that comes with the kit and its says children and adults
19:07 with Autism may not understand what you say,
19:11 appear deaf, be unable to speak or to speak with
19:16 difficulty like in Pedro's case may appear insensitive
19:19 to pain, may dart away from you unexpectedly,
19:23 may wonder anywhere at any time and wanderers
19:26 like it happened to Pedro, they are often attracted
19:29 to water sources such as pools, ponds and lakes
19:33 and drowning is the leading cause of death
19:36 for a person with Autism, oh mercy.
19:38 So it says they may become upset for no apparent reason,
19:41 so I will suggest that anybody who has a person
19:44 with Autism in the family, don't ever, ever,
19:47 ever argue with them. With the girls there are
19:51 extremely hyper, but with the boys which have been
19:54 probably one in four is a boy. They are more subtle,
19:58 but please do not get them to a point that they may
20:02 attack you. Because they get kind of blind and it's
20:06 an overpower that takes their body and they may hurt
20:09 you even though they didn't mean to do that, okay.
20:12 They, they, when you frown your face they feel like
20:15 you are howling to them or screaming to them
20:18 and when you scream they feel like everything is falling
20:20 under head. Especially if they have the acuity those
20:24 sensory acuities that it's so much louder than what
20:27 you and I would actually incur or how it affects us.
20:31 Now so we have these, we'll repeat this in just a moment
20:36 so that people can get this and I would like to your
20:41 email address is, firstname.lastname@example.org right,
20:51 e for Esther castillo at hotmail.com,
20:55 in case somebody wants to get touch with you,
20:58 oh ecastillo1816 let me repeat that.
21:03 Ecastillo1816@hotmail.com if you want to get in touch
21:08 with Esther because she's been down this road.
21:11 Tell us, we're sitting here with his fascinating
21:14 trophy here, the statue and what was this reward
21:19 given to Pedro, how he started making grade advances;
21:24 you've got him in school, why was he given this award.
21:27 Well it says that because he was the resident
21:31 of the year, the resident of the year and that was
21:33 one of every year Pedro that one of this from his
21:37 dean of the dorm, praise God, the men's dorm,
21:40 because of his behavior he also received some others
21:43 because he never ever miss any activity the university,
21:47 praise God and also I would like to share with you
21:50 a shirt that was given, alright, to us, please.
21:55 And if anybody any university teacher any elementary
21:59 teacher is handling a student with Autism,
22:04 could you please read it for, okay you said this was a
22:07 Chinese proverb it says tell me I'll forget,
22:11 show me I may remember, but involve me and I'll
22:15 understand. By the way you've proven that to be true,
22:18 haven't you? So now let me ask this,
22:23 first of all I do want, we are running out of time
22:26 and I want to give Pedro a chance to speak here.
22:32 Pedro what are you studying in college,
22:34 computer technology, computer technology
22:38 now let me ask you, what did you, when you are going
22:40 to the Christian University, what did you like most
22:43 about being on campus there? A quiet place,
22:51 spirituality and singing the choirs like God fears,
22:56 one desire gospel choir, and the understandable
23:00 teachers, wonderful. So that was a good experience
23:05 for you. Now where you are going to school now?
23:10 Richland County Community College,
23:12 alright and when do you want a graduate from college,
23:16 May 2009, May 2009 that's a good go in computer
23:20 technology. We are excited and you know that you were
23:24 very blessed to have such a proactive and loving momma,
23:28 you know that, don't you? Yeah.
23:33 Well now, we know there is one thing that occurs to me
23:37 before we run out of time here, you have another
23:43 child and that's Dina, how has Dina gone through
23:47 all of this, we got a couple of minutes left,
23:49 tell me about Dina's journey, yes. Dina was able,
23:54 this is her, okay, here, pretty girl.
23:57 And she was able to write down on her own words,
24:00 the title of this book is in her own words.
24:04 What does it mean to be a sibling to child with Autism,
24:07 okay? And at the beginning it was uneasy because
24:11 she was the princess at home, before Pedro,
24:16 right and she could kill him if she could, you know.
24:21 But eventually she became his little teacher;
24:25 she taught him every concept from colors for numbers,
24:28 she went through the pain of knowing that neighbors
24:31 were going to tell her we just want to play with you
24:33 and not with him, knowing that she was always
24:35 invited to birthday parties but not her brother.
24:40 She has gone through the same pain looking
24:42 at me struggling and telling her like I like here
24:45 on today's days I am not strong anymore,
24:47 I don't feel life having for his raise any more
24:50 and even though she is in the Dominic Republic
24:52 she says you are our hero momma,
24:53 don't give up go to the universities,
24:56 speak to the President, that's not the momma
24:58 that raised us, I know you could do it mommy.
25:01 And she has decided to study clinical psychology,
25:05 to embrace and help other children like her brother.
25:08 That is a big praise the Lord and I know she loves
25:10 Pedro very much and you know I want to give
25:14 those three, let me give these three addresses
25:18 again before we've been out of time.
25:20 And these are web addresses here,
25:22 if you know someone with Autism or perhaps
25:25 it's affected your family you can go to
25:28 www.autismspeaks.org or to www.autism-society.org
25:46 so that's www.autismsociety.org
25:51 or you can email Esther Castillo at
25:55 email@example.com if you have questions or
26:06 need little encouragement for what's going on in
26:09 your life. Esther if you had one message that you
26:14 could leave with people today about being sensitive
26:18 to the needs of autistic children,
26:21 autistic adults what would say? I would tell them
26:24 that there is nothing impossible to God,
26:28 and that God will never give a child who is so precious
26:34 who is so special and exceptional to someone
26:36 that he knows that he went to mistreat that child.
26:39 I would tell the families of the parents with the child
26:41 with Autism to be understanding and to be
26:46 a helping hand, sometimes we need somebody
26:48 who can tell us leave your child with me just go,
26:50 take a rest and take a break but more than anything
26:52 I want to make a call to the university teachers,
26:55 please open the door to our children after many
26:58 years bringing the child to a university level
27:02 we need an open door and in heaven you will see
27:05 the results, Amen, Amen. Esther Castillo you are an
27:09 amazing woman and I am so glad that you came
27:11 and shared from your heart and some very
27:14 practical and pragmatic advice, and thank you
27:18 so much for being here today, thank you.
27:20 And Pedro you are a cutie pie and you are also,
27:23 I'm excited for you that you gonna be graduating
27:26 in May of 2009, thanks for coming, thank you.
27:30 Now for those of you at home I hope that
27:32 you've been encouraged by today's message to see
27:35 that really truly nothing is impossible with God
27:39 and it's Pedro is always God is not given me a spirit
27:43 of fear but a spirit of power and love and sound
27:46 mind and he is proving that. Now may the grace
27:50 of our Lord Jesus Christ the love of the father
27:52 and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you