Today I am feeling rotten and just need to vent a bit. I am tired. I am sad and frustrated. Nothing big and bad or horrible is going on... just regular, everyday life. Dealing with children with autism has been a huge blessing, and a huge challenge. Most of the time I am fine with it, and just keep plugging along, but every once in a while I get discouraged and angry and overwhelmed. Today is one of those days.
I get tired because everything just takes so much work. Just getting through a day with meals, clean clothes, clean bodies, homework done, etc.. takes so much more effort than for "regular" families. I have to constantly remind, check up on, give directions, and help. I want my kids to be independent and able to take care of themselves. To others it often seems like I am "over-parenting" with the constant reminders and instructions, but I have found it is the only way to teach skills and habits. My kids are not being lazy or irresponsible (most of the time), they have a disorder that makes it difficult for them to process instructions, to remember complex tasks, and to communicate their needs. They need so much repetition and specific instructions that it can be overwhelming!
Sometimes I feel like I am the only one that understands the affects that autism has on the boys. I find myself getting angry that I have to remind others that the boys process information differently, that they need more reminders, that they need more help than others. I feel like it shouldn't be my job to teach them what autism is and does, but that they should know. Often I can't even express my feelings because I don't want to be too soft on the boys. I don't want to baby them or cause them to be less than they are capable of, and I try very hard to push them, but I feel caught between their abilities, and the demands of those around me. I have a hard time stating this, so writing it out helps me to express my feelings. I know that we are all doing our best.
I feel so lost sometimes... trying to figure out what they are capable of, how much to push, when to be gentle and when to get tough...( I feel this way with Em too, so I know it is how all parents occasionally feel). I feel very alone sometimes because there aren't very many people I know who are parenting young adults with autism and I don't have anyone to ask when I have questions and concerns. I hate feeling left out when other parents are talking about their kids activities and accomplishments.
I don't want to be a whiner, and most of the time I feel very blessed and happy. I just need to acknowledge that sometimes it is hard, sometimes I cry, and sometimes I get angry.
3 days ago