Monday, June 18, 2012

Stressed with Autism

I knew something was wrong at around 18 months. I mention something to the pediatrician at Jayson's well check. She blew off the lack of talking because he had four other siblings and were probably doing the speaking for him. She blew off his meltdowns as starting the terrible twos early. I knew something was not right. You know when you get that feeling in the pit of your stomach that something is not right?

Jayson was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by his second birthday. I knew it was going to be a tough journey, but never thought it would get even harder 2 1/2 years later. Jayson is almost stuck at the age of two. He has just as many melt downs, still is not potty trained, still can't sleep through the night, and he has a limited schedule and diet. He receives intervention several times a week and I quit my career to stay home. But with that said, he seems still at the same place were we started. You can imagine how discouraged my husband and I are.

Jayson plays minecraft but cant use the potty!

We do not receive respite care . My husband and I seem to be just getting by. We are both physically and emotionally exhausted.  On top of that I have a lot of guilt for the other children because I am stretch so thin and I am not able to attend or give them the attention that I want to.

Two studies that were published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders reported that Mothers with children with autism had comparable stress as a combat solider. Other research indicates that parents of children with autism experience greater stress than parents of children with MR or Downs Syndrome (Holroyd & MacArthur 1976; Donovan 1988).

Okay, now I don't feel as much as a wimp than I thought I was. This research does validate my feelings but it still does not help reduce it. There needs to be more ways to help families like our selves in reducing stress.

My husband and I have been trying to get creative as far as stress relief. I have started to run again, we are eating healthier, I am writing... and I pray. But what else is there besides handing him over to a stranger in respite care (which is not an option)?

Dear Lord please help our family and the much needed rest we need.  I pray for our children that they will find comfort in you.  I pray for Jayson. My heart aches that he is consistently in distress. Lord only you know what we are dealing with and I ask for your grace.  Amen.

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