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Readers Respond: Stories From Autism Parents

Responses: 22

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Updated April 09, 2011

Autism parents are an outspoken group. If you're an autism parent, you probably have plenty to share about your experiences - and about the ups and downs of living, day to day, with the challenges and joys of autism. Share your story!

depressed

I am the mother to three boys 18,6, and 3 years old. My 6 old has autism and has behavior problems, my 18 has ADHD. I am a single mother with no support. I just feel like screaming most of the times. My mother and siblings don't understand that I do not have time for anything, but my kids. I had to quit my accounting job during the day, because the school always was calling about my son. I also I had so many problems finding after school programs for my autistic son. Their dad does not help me at all. I decided to go back to school to a special education teacher, so I can work with my son and be on the same schedule as him. It is so hard and people just don't understand why I don't want to bothered with anyone. I don't have anyone to help me or talk to most of the time. I just be so sleepy and tired.
—Guest dimples

Ashley's Story

My son was diagnosed with Austism, ADHD and Learning Difficulties when he was 9. He changed alot when he moved to the lower part of the school. He was bullied. An older boy broke the bridge of his foot, Ashley had to wear insoles in his shoes to rebuild the bone. I confronted the headmaster, I was verbally abused, but assured it would never happen again. It did, repeatedly. I removed my son from the enviroment and kept him at home. After the incident, Ashley became very aggresive to his siblings and me. He self harmed himself and tried to hang himself. I tried to stop him but ended up injuring myself. I had to have an emergency spinal op. I am now disabled myself and depressed. I fought for 16 months for help with Ashley's aggresiveness and for a safe school. I have always worked, but now, I am stuck in the house, with no income. I still have the same fears, that Ashley is still vulnerable to bullies. Ashley has settled in well in his new school. He has calmed down alot. Thank you.
—Guest Mandy Hitchings

Very depessed in nyc

Just wanted to share my story ...Im a single mom in my early 20's of two autistic kids . I have a 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son. My 6 year old is high functioning...but definetly autistic . My 3 year old is autistic and also has what i consider a severe case of adhd as well. I am so depressed...words can not even describe what i feel day to day . Thier father has nothing to do with them but he had another child who is not autistic and he is a father to him. He treats our kids like they dont exist at all. He even changed his phone number . Im heartbroken and angry ,frusterated,tired ...so tired. I send my kids to school in the morning and I lay in bed until they get home. I have no energy to do anything at all. It's a struggle for me to even sit up . I feel bad for my kids because im not there 100%I mean im here but mentally im checked out . It's just so hard..I had so many dreams for my kids and my 3 year old is so out of control .He has no sense of danger at all. Its so hard
—Guest Depressed

The only thing u can do is love them

I am the mother of six kids. My second and third are both girls and are autistic. My oldest, a boy, im afraid may be PPD/NOS, but I can't bring myself to get a diagnosis. My fourth, who is soon to be 4, isn't showing any signs. My two youngest I look at closely every moment and wonder...are they next. My husband is Bi-Polar with Mixed Episodes or in other words, Severely Mentally Ill; we didn't know this was his problem until 20 months ago. Well, he is no support. My respite care provider is wonderful, but she is only here to help with my girls...not the whole herd. And to top it all off...I have Severe Clinical Depression which I have lived with for as long as I can remember; a gift from my mother which she lovingly lets me tease her about. I have a hard time seeking support. I'm supposed to be taking my medicine, but I've let them run out. Face it, life is very hard. But, I just can't stop hugging and kissing my "7" kids...of course I don't call him that to his face :P.
—Guest Me

Is there life out there...

I have a 15 year old daughter diagnosed with PDD-NOS.She has issues in the communication and socialzing department as well as requiring help with daily things like hairbrushing,dressing etc...Up until recently i've had the loving support of my best friends (Mom & Dad) to help with being the ones to watch her so i could hold a job and not have to worry about her afterschool.Now that they have both passed i am now completely lost without them.They were there to support me through good & bad...I've left my job and now stay home to be there for her before and after school...But seeing i am not rich i can't afford to do this much longer and find it hard to find a solution to be able to go back to work.As far as afterschool programs for special needs teens i have found zero.I have no support to lean on and am left to seek out all the fixes myself and am getting overwhelmed by the lack of resources...So i sit day in day out at the pc looking for something out there...Life to be exact
—Guest Cndnmom

Surviving Autism-Just

I have a beautiful 15year old profoundly autistic daughter and 2 great boys. We have done everything for our girl, tried every therapy and while some have helped, she has deteriorated slowly over the years and is now unable to attend school (due to challenging behaviours that they could not cope with-but we manage as best we can every day), sheis non verbal, doubly incontinant and is completely unable to sleep prior to 1am most nights. She used to smear feaces (for 13 years) and rip up nappies all night, but she is on hypnotic sedation now, otherwise we just would have all been total backet cases.We adore her; she is funny, crazy, affectionate and quite intelligent, and she is loved, but it is no picnic.It is hard work that you get very little thanks or support for and it is all about surviving.Do what you need to do with your child/children because you have just got to keep going.Find something (I write)you have a passion for and do it, for yourself.Ignore do-gooders-they have not ide
—Guest Carrie

Learning How To Win Over Depression.

Take time to cry. Take time to take a bubble bath. Take 30 minutes a day or more to walk and take your child with you. (Stroller) Enjoy a sweet once in a while. Tell yourself that this is not your fault and that you are doing your best! Try to get a specal friend or some one you trust to give you a break at least once a week to do what ever you want for a couple of hours. Join a support group for Autism. These things have all helped me. A mom of a 11 year old Autistic child.
—Guest Katherine Chapman

need help to

I have A 5 year old granddaughter that is autistic ,,well she might as well be my daughter when here real mom realized how hard it is to raise A autistic child she left I have had her for 3 years now . I also have A 14 year old son very much in sports I just feel so alone she can be such A hand full my marriage has been put on hold like the rest of my life sometimes I just so mad and I want to blame everybody even her somebody help me I have nobody to talk to
—Guest mom

my son who is 6 with mild autism

My son is 6 years old. I started noticing something wasn't quite right when he was 2 and wasn't saying many words if anything i could understand at all. He got diagnosed with pdd and odd and received and still receives speech and occupational therapy. He still has trouble cutting out shapes, speech is improving but he is definitely behind compared to the other children his age. It is very hard to make friends for him. He also has adhd, and it is very hard for me every day esp with a 17 month old baby to find what's right for my son and what he needs and how to help him improve academically. Socially he is friendly and outgoing but too over whelming for alot of kids, and it breaks my heart everyday to see the other kids play and him not get invited.Hhe is so loving, he also drools alot esp during play when engaged in something or concentrating hard, which i do not understand still. I want my son to have a normal successful life.
—hmart1832

THE UNEXPECTED GIFT OF THE FLU

WE ALL KNOW THE USUAL TOUGH STUFF: NEED I LIST THEM? THE NOT SLEEPING, THE UPS AND DOWNS: AND ON AND ON. HOWEVER, THOSE TIMES PASS, BUT THE BLESSINGS LAST FOREVER. I JUST HAD THE ''MOTHER OF ALL FLU'S AND I DID NOT WANT TO PASS IT ON TO MY SON, DAVID: SO I TRIED VERY HARD NOT TO KISS HIM( WHICH WE DO A LOT.) SO: DAVID WAITED UNTIL I WAS SLEEPING AND BEGAN KISSING ME WHILE I WAS SLEEPING. I TRIED TURNING MY HEAD TO THE OPOSITE SIDE OF THE BED, BUT DAVID: ( NOT TOO BE DISMISSED) JUST WALKED AROUND TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BED AND CONTINUED KISING ME. HE CUDDLED IN BED WITH ME AND TOUCHED MY FORHEAD-- SEEMING TO KNOW THAT I WAS NOT FEELING WELL: AND THEN- DAVID SATISFIED THAT HE HAD ACCOMPLISED HIS GOAL QUITELY LEFT ( NO SMALL ACCOMLISHMENT) AS DAVID IS ALSO DEAF. I WILL FORGET THE TOUGH STUFF, BUT I WILL ''NEVER'' ''EVER'' FORGET THAT. THE UNEXPECTED BLESINGS! ENJOY THEM. OH, BY THE WAY, DAVID DID NOT CATCH MY FLU. HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND JOYOUS MOMENTS TO ALL.
—Guest SANDY ROCHELLE SCHACHTER

Tired

Parent of two high functioning autistic boys. One is 19 and the other is 16. The 16 year old has begun to exhibit and express that he is depressed but doesn't know why. It seems like when I think we are on track something happens that is a reminder that nothing is normal as I thought it was just because they are high functioning. They are different no matter how hard I try and treat them like they aren't.
—TwoinCA

feeling invisible

I feel very much alone! NOT having anyone both w/you.Just because I don't drive(learning disabilty) I also have a beautiful daughter who is also autistic. I blame myself/the vaccines!My siblings bother w/my sister who they call "Martha Stewart" & ignore me!My sister's don't call to see if I need anything(because I don't drive) or to see if I want to do something.(a little break from autistic child)I'm married to a great man BUT he has SO much on his plate. Then coming home at nite from work & helping me w/our autistic daughter. Mind you,we also have a teenage son.(he plays soccer)I feel bad for my son too.He see's us arguing over the struggles w/his little sister.I feel completely overwhelmed & alone! Counseling won't help cure my autistic daughter! Anybody out there feeling like me?
—Guest Christina

the club that saved my teen

Hi, my son David is a 17 year old high functioning.when he became 16 and the hormones kicked in, he became aggressive,screaming,punching walls etc,even hurting himself.-He was frustrated, he wanted to have friends,go out..just be a teenager.Desperate,wanting to help my son I formed a small club. Every Friday, I take my son's friends to" hang out"(in the words of my son), we go to the movies,bowling etc.- they laugh,they sing,dance-David is not agressive anymore, he is to busy planning with his friends the next outing--Our club is working,I want to share this with every mother going thru what I went thru.--Yesterday was the school open house,the teachers were happy about our club.The Best Buddies want to hang out with us this friday...This makes me proud!!!
—Guest ileana morales

from the mother of an autitic teenager

I have a 17-year-old boy named David who has autism. David, up until the age of 10, knew very few words such as mama, papa, and toy (I know, all kids’ favorite word). At the age of 11 he became high-functioning; he would not stop talking and we couldn't be happier. He was no longer shy; he could actually look you straight in the eye and tell you what he wanted, which he never did before. He started doing great in school and at home, but when he turned 16 (and the hormones kicked in) everything changed dramatically and not for the better. He was desperate for friends, he wanted a girlfriend and when he gets something in his head of what he wants, he will not drop the subject. He was growing more and more frustrated. He started trying harder to make friends at school, but little by little he came to realize that he was different. He was treated differently and that the girls just wouldn't give him the same attention that they would to another teenager. He started getting more aggre
—Guest ileana morales

A RARE MOMENT

MY SON, DAVID IS AUTISTIC AND DEAF --HE IS DOING WELL AND I MUST SAY HE HAS A VERY GOOD ( IF UNINTENTIONAL) SENSE OF HUMOR. HE ENJOYS ALL THINGS PHYSICAL AND RECREATIONAL--HOWEVER WHEN HE WAS ASKED TO PARTICIPATE IN AN EXOTIC DANCE CALSS-- HE VERY TACTFULLY REFUSED. NOT NON-COMPLIANT--JUST A SIMPLE NO. WHEN AT HOME I SAW HIM PRACTICING THE ROUTINE: HE WANTED ME TO WATCH WHICH OF COURSE I DID. WHEN HE FINISHED HIS REHEARSAL HE SMILED AND LOOKED AT ME FOR MY REACTION / APPROVAL: WHICH OF COURSE HE GOT. I APPLAUDED AND SIGNED THAT WAS WONDERFUL AND DAVID COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE PLEASED AS HE DANCE AWAY. LIKE EVERYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD DAVID DID NOT WANT TO MAKE A FOOL OF HIMSELF!!!
—Guest SANDY ROCHELLE SCHACHTER

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