Need some support

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2001
Need some support
5
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 12:47am

Hi everyone, I am kind of a veteran Autism mom as my 8 yr old son was diagnosed 5 years ago. It was a long, hard process for me to accept his diagnosis but I finally did and really embraced all that our family entailed.

Now I am facing the shock and fear and overwhelm all over again as it becomes more and more clear that my 6 year old daughter is somewhere on the spectrum too. It is so devastating because part of the way that I was able to accept my son's differences was by consoling myself that I at least had my NT daughter (I also have a 2 year old). Now my 6 yr old is having all these social problems in school, can't make friends, is doing and saying odd stuff and I just don't feel like I have the capacity to go through the heartache all over again, let alone the long hours of hard work and expense of therapy etc etc.

If any of you moms out there have more than one child on the spectrum, how do you do it? And how did you deal with a second diagnosis? I feel like packing up my family and moving us to a farm out in the middle of nowhere. I'm exhausted at trying to fit us into this social society that my children don't fit with.

Hattie

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
In reply to: hattieo
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 7:44am

Hattie,

Welcome and (((((hugs))))).

Both my kids are on the Spectrum. My son was my first and most challenging child. Then, when my daughter stared presenting with issues right before her second birthday it was difficult, but at the time we just had to put our heads down and plow on through. The ASD diagnosis was a long time coming for her, (not sure if that was a good thing) but we knew there was *something* going on.

There are some advantages to having two on the spectrum: I found the school district battles much easier to fight the second time around. By then I knew what I was doing and was taken more seriously by the school, anyway.

Having two with the same diagnosis means that although they are different in their quirks, they both have obvious ones (my son actually asked me recently if his sister is an Aspie -I about died!), so neither kid is markedly different, you know? I also means that they "get" each other pretty well (some of the time) although being siblings close in age, they bicker like an old married couple. It also means we have structured things at home to be very ASD-friendly. I often think if I had an NT child, they would go nuts with all the rules and routines we have around here, although most of the structure works very well for NTs too.

As for trying to fit two my square pegs into round holes: I don't even try. They have about about two friends apiece, and they spend time with them. They don't like crowds and parties. They will probably never be part of some big social circle at school, and that's (mostly) OK with me. My son recently TOLD me to back off on the friend thing. He said it doesn't bother him, why should it bother me? LOL that kid is very wise sometimes.

That's the last thing that helps me cope: I do love how my kids think and how their brains work. It helps me to know that they are probably not the only Aspies in the family, although they are the only ones with diagnoses. I'm pretty sure some members of previous generations are on the Spectrum, and they all turned out OK.

Your kids will too.

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
In reply to: hattieo
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 10:05am

{{HUGS}}

I suspect that I have 3 on the spectrum, but the grief over the third one hasn't hit me yet as we've not really pursued formal testing. If he is, he's very high functioning and we've already been doing the therapy route because of his developmental delays.

Like Paula, after the second one, I just buckled down and set about doing what was needed. Yes, I grieved the loss of my 'normal' family. I still do some days. Some days are worse than others.

For me, the isolation was the worse part. While other moms chatted about their kids activities and accomplishments, I sat silent, thinking about our therapy schedule and the small victories that we had won thru them. This board and a Meet Up group for parents of kids on the spectrum in my local area, became my social outlets. I craved the company of those who 'got it', who understood what life on the spectrum was like.

We are fortunate that we have good insurance and ample resources. I have a friend who keeps reminding me that my kids are lucky that they were born to us and not other parents because we can deal with what was given to us. They will achieve their potential because we are making every effort that it be so. Others are not so lucky - having to make do with whatever the schools provide and nothing else. Sometimes through lack of resources, sometimes through ignorance of what is available.

The grief and shock are normal reactions to events. They will mute with time and you will set about doing what needs to be done. In the mean time, keep hanging out here. We can help by providing an outlet for your feelings and thoughts. It's a great place to vent, share, laugh, cry, and generally cope with what has been dealt to us.

Hope to get to know you better over time.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2009
In reply to: hattieo
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 10:30am

We are currently in the process of having our 2yo evaluated.

Avatar for littleroses
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
In reply to: hattieo
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 11:22am

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2004
In reply to: hattieo
Tue, 02-23-2010 - 12:46pm

I have one 5 yr old ASD son, and one 'typical' son.