Jul 20, 2010

I just LOVE being a mom!

So, what's on my mind today? Well, to be honest, I'm frustrated. This summer is the first time my son--a 16 year old boy with Autism and severe behaviors--has not had therapy or some sort of SOMETHING to keep him busy. My thought was to let us all breathe for the summer and not have to deal with therapists or agencies or time tables or getting up early or making several trips into town every day. But now I'm not so sure that was a wise decision.

Just so you know, I'm no novice when it comes to children with disabilities. Both my boys have needed a LOT of one-on-one attention throughout their lives and I have stepped up to the plate and done it all. I've read every book I could get my hands on, done research online and worked alongside them in the school and at the agency where they received therapy--all so I could learn what I could. I was President of a support group for parents of children with disabilities and served on the board of directors for IPUL, a state and federally funded advocacy group for the disabled. I've helped other parents learn how to be advocates for their children in the schools and the community and seen a lot of progress in our local schools because of the work done by groups I belonged to. All this without hesitation or backing down.

But, even with all this education and experience under my belt, I'm being defeated by my son. *sigh*

(Yep, this is my kid . . . and this is the look I get even when I just want to take his picture. Oh, see the sleeve of his shirt. He shreds them. We go through 2-3 shirts a WEEK.) I know part of it is his age. He is a typical teenager with a sassy mouth, attitude and hormones. I've tried everything I know to help guide him and teach him and nothing is working anymore. I've even gutted his room so all he has is his bed and taken everything away from him, including privileges like watching TV and he still won't behave. AND he's as tall as I am am VERY strong. I'm at my wits end, especially now that he's started in on the "I'm running away" kick and spouts off with phrases like, "I hate you," & "I hope you die." It breaks my heart, ya know.

So, I sit at my computer writing this while being interrupted several times with his pleading. He wants a piece of pie. If I say no, we will have a major melt down and the rest of the day will be ruined. If I say yes, he will want two or three pieces and go on a tangent about wanting more and more and more. There's never enough. Did I mention he is also OCD? Gee, which tantrum do I feel like dealing with today?

I need a vacation.

And writing? PPPFFFFT!! What's that? I haven't written for WEEKS!!


  1. Thanks for following me, Christine. :* That's a lopsided kiss to make you laugh. It comes out right on my computer, just not my laptop!!! I think the world of you from what you have described in your post. Believe it or not, I know a bit about what you are going through, and someday we will talk. For now, just know that you are admired for the sacrifices you have made, respected for meeting challenges head-on, loved as a beautiful person of high caliber and appreciated for your character and talents. Hang in there, and remember, when someone tells you "I hate you," I think they really mean "I hate myself." OOOOOO Kathleen

  2. Oh, my darling! How I feel your pain in your words. I have nothing to say to give comfort as I don't have to deal with the trials you have. I'm so sorry.

    Teenagers are hard enough without adding other ingredients. My only advice would be to be sure to take time to feed yourself. If you lived closer, I'd steal you away and take you to the movies and out to eat or something. Nothing feels better than escaping to la la land.

    Good friends can be a support. Know that you have A LOT of us out here thinking and praying for you. It's a tough row to hoe, but if anyone can do it, you can.

    Is there any way to get him into something for the rest of the summer? That might help too.

    Love you, and good luck! *kisses*

  3. Oh I'm so sorry. I, too, have a child with disabilities and have my share of situations to diffuse. I guess I pick my battles, but sometimes just picking which one is the hard part.

    I'm finding diet is a huge part of promoting a healthy atmosphere in our house - and by healthy, I mean more than physical health. As we ate our lunch today, my children sat in amazement over how many foods on our plate contained High Fructose Corn Syrup. It's everywhere. Salad dressing, bread, deli meats.

    But I believe that because we're working on cutting out sugar (particularily the corn syrup products) the behavior and learning problems are improving.

    I wish you the best. While I don't know EXACTLY what you're going through, I do understand the stress and anxiety of raising LD kids. You are not alone.

    Oh and if it makes you feel any better, I haven't written in weeks either.

  4. Wow! I am so amazed at your strength. I have a cousin with four children, all with autism. Some so severe they have had to go to pretty drastic measures to help them.

    I can't imagine how hard it must be. We have big food issues at our house. Gluten and dairy. On days where I am feeling overwhelmed by how our lives have had to change to accommodate these food problems, I need to just be grateful. Food is really pretty insignificant.

    My prayers will be with you Christine! You amaze me. Really, you inspire me.

  5. Wow! You amaze me. I have a cousin with four children, all autistic. Some are so severe they have had to remove them from the home for specialized care. It breaks their heart.

    My prayers will be with you. You are a truly inspiration. A strong woman who leads life, instead of letting it drag you along. (Maybe you don't always feel that way. But it is evidently true.)

  6. Thanks for all the comments, guys. You've really lifted my spirits.

  7. Christine, I wish I could reach through the computer and give you a great big hug! If there is anything else I can say, it is that even if you feel like you are defeated, you are not - you are stronger and better than you think. Don't let the high level of difficulty trick you into thinking anything else. Lots of love.