Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Free Advice

I want one of those shirts that say, "Parenting advice not welcome unless you too have a child with autism." No, actually, I want a neon sign! I am fed-up with the self-proclaimed experts who have endless streams of advice about my child. One mother of three, jumps on my case about not getting my child out enough. She knows a child with autism who goes out every day. Out, in this case meaning to crowded places like malls and parades and the local pool.

It turns out, the child she "knows" (who is a teenagaer, NOT a two year old)goes to the donut shop with his mother every day. The child comes in, orders his donut and leaves. Sounds to me it might be some sort of social therapy.This same helpful mother also claims that if my child was surrounded by children every day, he would "get used to it." Right. The children she speaks of are her three boys. They are cute kids but they fight violently with one anoher constantly. I'm talking rolling on the floor all out brawls! They do not have autism. They are just underdisciplined. They climb on tables (yes the dining room table too), they yell at their mother and they have even slapped her.

This woman knows my plight. I am a 47 year old adoptive mother of an autistic child. My 57 year old husband has severe COPD and is beginning to exhibit signs of eary alzheimers. I am in the house 24/7 x 365. I go out to take my child to his doctor or to group. I also go food shopping. Where ever I go, my child comes with me. So, he does get out. Other than that I am at home. I get no 5 minute break other than when both take naps. I have lost all my friends. Who wants to be with someone so boring? So, any way, my husband recently started having some serious issues with his COPD. This wonderful woman offered to babysit so I could go to the hospital with him. Didn't she show up with her three children and a friend. Well, needles to say, my husband again had to go alone.

My body feels like it has been put through a ringer. I am tired and so stressed out. My patience are wearing very thin. I am telling people I love to F off! Funny thing, people still come to me with their problems. I used to care. Now, I am too burnt out. I cannot get respite, I can't afford what sitters charge. This is it for me for a long time to come. I just hope that when my husband passes, I will have found some way to be there for him. That is, if the aloneness of this whole situation doesn't kill me first.


  1. You are not alone sweetie. I am a 48 year old single mom, with a 20 year old severe, non-verbal, incontinent, aggressive and self-injurious daughter. I have been "doing-time" for 20 years now. Last month, a neighbour had the balls to say to me, "If she were MY child, I would have placed her somewhere by now where she could be taken care of PROPERLY". Grrrrr. #1 There IS NO SUCH PLACE, #2 You just insulted me by suggesting that I am doing a less than adequate job. I told this neighbour to "Go and effin read a book before she comments on something she knows nothing about. I don't know where you live, but I live in Ontario Canada, where there is a long wait list for adequate respite funding and even longer wait lists for residential care. People should mind their own effin business if they haven't walked in OUR shoes.
    Keep your chin up, You are not alone. I am suffering here right along with you.


  2. I can offer only sympathy and prayers for comfort, peace, and rest, but they are heartfelt.

  3. You are clearly having a rough go of it. So sorry. We are all there with you. I'm in California, and my son qualifies for respite care through the regional center. If you haven't looked into this option, I recommend it. You need and deserve a break.


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