*****FROM ABC NEWS MEDICAL UNIT*****
Hi jean.cauley and thank you for your question. Here is an answer to your question from Sheila Wagner, Ph.D., Assistant Director of the Emory Autism Center at Emory University.
Hello Jean, The first and foremost issue is his safety. If you feel that he is in anyway threatening suicide, you should call 911 to get him help as quickly as possible. They may decide he requires hospitalization. Also, please work with your physicians on a crisis plan that can work with your son and family so you will be able to respond in an instant, if needed. Identify community resources that can help and assist. If you don't know of any, then ask the school system to help you find them. Always take these situations seriously and do whatever you can to connect him to emergency personnel and a physician as quickly as possible. After he is stable from there, please work with the school system to get him back in school. Although I do not know him and cannot give specific recommendations, as a child with a disability, he is eligible for an IEP that is designed along his own needs; this means positive behavior programming, peer programming, the development of a crisis plan for the school setting, social skills training, any academic modifications that might be necessary, etc. Since he is in such crisis, it will take everyone working together to turn this situation around. Does he have a friend? Sometimes just having one friend can get our folks through rough spots. If he doesn't, then work with the school to try to help him develop a friend - someone that could call him at night to talk with, to go to the movies with on the weekend, and to have some social contact with. I hope this answer helps your son and gets things back under control quickly. But always concentrate first, on his safety. Good luck!Sheila Wagner, Emory University
Note: Top medical experts on autism answer questions like these on the ABC News OnCall+ Autism site: http://abcnews.com/autism .