The Reality of Raising an Autistic Child
For Anything Worth Having, One Must Pay the Price
For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice. No paper currency, no promises to pay, but the gold of real service. - John Burroughs 1837-1921, Author and Naturalist
Doesn't that just sound so Utopian? What about the gold of reality? Let's take a look see.
Work: a word that just does not adequately describe what parents of children with autism have to do in a day, a week, a month. Almost every day of the week involves some sort of therapy. Mondays are speech, occupational and physical therapy. Tuesdays are therapeutic horseback riding. Wednesdays are therapeutic group tumbling. Thursdays & Fridays are therapeutic swimming. Saturdays are private therapeutic tumbling. Then there is constant research to tap into uncharted resources.
The battle begins upon wakening and depends on where their sensory systems are on that particular morning. They can be sensory defensive and dressing them for the day is an all out war. Will they eat this morning? Off to school, and one would think that is a breather. Nope, that means phone calls to more resources, more applications, more listening to the background music while on hold to the insurance companies. Oh, did they pee on the floor or play in their poop? That means extra laundry and a bucket of suds with lots of scrubbing. Did they throw their food all over the floor? More scrubbing....but hey, you have a meeting scheduled for their IEP so that will just have to wait until you get home, then the phone rings from one of their therapists...the floor waits.
At the end of the day, when everyone is good and worn out, there is a bedtime war to close the day. Then, you pass out from sheer exhaustion, physical and emotional. Hey, who is that man laying next to me as I have not seen him in a while? Sound familiar? Read on...