Sunday, August 21, 2011

eSpecially Parents August Edition: Paula's Story

Let's see...Tye was diagnosed with autism 13 years ago.  Over the course of that time there have been varied responses to his diagnosis from family members and friends.

My family, for the most part, has been really good with my son, taking some effort to try to make things easier. There are times when some can be totally clueless too. My Mom is awesome and seems to get most of it (or at least tries). My father has been a true disappointment.  He doesn't know how to interact with Tye and his half-hearted attempts are awful to watch.  

On my husband's side most of the older kids ignore him, which hurts, or look at him funny when he makes the sounds he makes or does some of the things he does.  The younger ones notice he's different, but haven't quite figured it out yet.  His parents are not too bad with him, although they will allow him to do some things he shouldn't do because they feel bad for him and aren't sure how to reprimand him when he's doing something he shouldn't.

I only have one good friend, who is also a parent of a child with autism.  She gets what it is like and has been a good person to vent to and to lean on for support.  I am grateful to have one true friend.

Other friends I had just disappeared  from our world.  I'm not sure what happened.  I thought we were close because we knew each other since middle school and were in each other's weddings, but they stopped keeping in touch.

I'm sure it's hard for others to "get" what it's like raising a child with a disability.  Your child can't do things or tolerate things like a "typical" child .  It's hard to be able to do many things that others don't think twice about being able to do.

I moved to a new area 4 years ago. I have a hard time making friends and meeting people.  It's hard for others to understand why you have to keep a close eye on your child who is 15 and looks "normal".  My son needs constant supervision so that he stays safe.  Hard to have a conversation with someone if you can't even look in their eyes because your eyes need to be on your child.

There are a couple of people at work that seem interested in getting to know Tye.  One has even met up with me and Tye and her two younger kids to go out to dinner.  It was nice that she wanted to teach her kids about others with disabilities.  Her son was a little scared of my son, he's 6 and Tye's 15 so his size alone could be intimidating for someone that age.  Her son was a trooper through during dinner trying to be nice and help my son.  For someone that has never been around another person with autism I say he did great.  We're planning another get together when it gets cooler.

If you would like to hear about other parents' experiences, read here.

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