Home > Awareness > Tune-in to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

Tune-in to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

Tune-in to ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” (EMHE) Friday, October 28, at 8:00 p.m., ET, for an episode featuring the McPhails, an Oregon family with two sons affected by autism. In addition to tackling home improvements, the EMHE team worked with Autism Speaks to rally the local community to raise autism awareness in honor of the family.

  1. October 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    And boy, do we need it! I fought for years to find out why my brilliant child was awful in school, had major learning disabilities and a speech impediment. and dropped out of school. As an adult preschool teacher she learned about autism, which suddenly shone a light in our darkness. Not once did anyone mention autism, or helped to find out what the cause of her problem was. She’s high level, but all the classic tattletales are there. And she STILL can’t get an official diagnosis because the cost of the test is so high. She has a genius for detecting autism and other conditions in babies and small children, the autism class teachers wanted to train and hire her….then THEY got their budget cut and disbanded. She’s stuck in an awful dead end job because she isn’t qualified to get help training to get a better job, and faces constant difficulty at work because people refuse to acknowledge that she needs to lean in a different way.

    Recently I had to watch as a mom with learning disabilities had her two autistic boys and new baby taken away. I’m pretty sure she’s high level autistic herself. They took her newborn baby right out of her arms at the hospital., But if you are poor, you can forget getting help in this state. Instead, everyone jumped on her for not watching her sons close enough. At nine months pregnant (by rape) and overdue, in poor health and battling physical problem, no, she wasn’t watching those little buzz bomb hyperactive boys close enough. But instead of giving her the help she asked for, they removed her kids. And due to the wonderfully corrupt child services in this state, they were placed with their abusive rapist drug addict father.

    Wake up, Oregon. Maybe if you spend a little more time and money on helping us to learn and cope with our “disabilities” you wouldn’t have so many poor to support. We WANT to work and lead productive lives.

    An autistic mom of an adult autistic child.

  2. sandra budde
    October 29, 2011 at 9:38 am

    I think you guys missed it. I have a 5-year old grandson with autism. He is just now beginning to say puppy and pa-paw. He is on so many medications and vitamins, the gfgc diet, goes to a special needs school, goes to a lot of therapies, his parents are divorced due to his autism, and my daughter and my grandson also live in a 1950’s home. They have the same type of outlets, etc. I am not looking for an “extreme makeover” for my daughter. I just think if you are going to do a show about autism, you should have shown a family who really deals with the issues of autism. Any one who watches this show will think that this is how all children with autism are. My grandson would no sooner get onto an airplane, give strangers “hugs”, etc. etc. I’m sorry, but I think on this show you really missed the boat. I watch your show every week and was very excited to watch this show. However, I had to stop watching it because it was making me so upset. I am “still” moarning the “loss” of what I thought my grandson would be and do in his life. Sorry, but I think you missed it “big time”.

    • Karen Maple
      December 4, 2011 at 6:28 pm

      I t agree. If your going to do a show about Autism..lets be realistic about it. I was very upset also. The children they showed were very high functioning. I do not think they portrayed what a real family goes through when dealing with Autism.

  3. Peggy Munns
    October 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I was so moved my the McPhail family featured on “Extreme Makeover”. What a wonderful family, they have so much love for their children. We are parents of an autistic child. John is now 23 years old and he has brought so much into our lives. We found out when John was in 5th grade that he had Asperger Syndrome. It all started making sense. When John was in middle school there were students and some teachers who behaved in ways that I don’t understand. He endured assaults, physical and verbal. We were able to place him in another school who understood him. He thrived. He was happy again. We found a wonderful high school similar to that of him middle school and he went on to graduate, 2 years later
    than he should have. We decided that after John graduated, we would file a lawsuit on his behalf. It settled out court. No child should have to go through what our son and many others have gone through. Our children have a right to be safe and treated with decensy. Like John Lennon’s song – Imagine! Anything is possible.

  4. Marlene Bamford
    October 30, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I really like your show, but on the recent McPhail family airing I couldn’t believe you chose to show a chair race, which has nothing to do with autism, instead of the bonus scenes from Angel dogs. Just because the McPhails aren’t ready for a dog right now doesn’t mean a lot of families wouldn’t have benefited by knowing such programs exist and the wonders a dog can do for a very troubled autistic child. Big thumbs down on that decision.

  5. October 30, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    I teach an autism specific class with 11 middle schoolers diagnosed as “severe autism.” I have to say I am on both sides of the comments. To a degree, this show tended to trivialize the huge job that teachers/parents do each day usually out of their own pockets to create a place where students/their children with autism can really learn and access skills they actually have–but the right intervention(s) needs to be in place to help them accrue the kind of skills for success in social, emotional, behavioral and vocational areas. More importantly, it also made the parenting role look “easy”— to a degree. I am SURE this family has many traumatic moments if the children have behaviors characteristic of autism. However, NOTHING I saw on the program was indicative of the behaviors most of my parents often face on a 24 hour basis if they do not have help. Most children with moderate to severe autism often tantrum if needs are not met. They can be very aggressive–both physically and verbally to themselves and others. Many parents of children with autism are single parents. Because of the child’s behaviors, they often cannot keep a full-time job. Many have been kicked out of apts., homes, etc. because of the severe behaviors often exhibited. One of my own student’s mother could not ever take him out in public due to aggression towards anyone who invaded his space. He is now learning to be the “caretaker” of his peers on field trips; but can only do that if he is calm, keeps his hands to himself, and uses his words to let others know his feelings, etc. Additionally, that is with adult support at ALL times. His classroom is an area where every minute of the day is spent in academic, emotional, behavioral and vocational interventions. Equally important is that the parent(s) try to generalize all interventions to the home environment so that the child is being supported at all times to decrease escalations and increase the ability to be appropriate at all times/in all environments.

    My room is tiny—-about a third the size of a regular classroom–if that. Most of the students are male. Many are already 6 ft. tall or close to it. Due to the size of the room, we bump into each other all of the time. We also added 5 glider/rockers to help with calming when upset which also decreases necessary space. But, we make it each day and have created interventions that have helped each student change behaviors radically. Most behave so well that a recent visit by a psychologist had her in amazement that they were diagnosed as “severe.” Several are doing advanced math —-from doing nothing but playing with play dough and putting puzzles together only a little over a year ago. We wish the kind of money that went into that house and the vacation could be spent on an old portable building so that we could have space to move around so more interventions could be accessed creating more success for each one of them.

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