When I read this article, I honestly wasn't all that surprised... http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2009/11/10/autism-moms-stress/6121/
First of all, let's face it. Those of us with kids with any kinds of special needs, especially the type that alters behavior such as ADHD, we just don't get to rest-period. We're on alert 24/7, with no escape. Even during work, we're attached to our cell phones, and I've even heard of parents having pagers especially in case their child's school calls to come and collect their babes. Personally, I've experienced the side effects of this stress and ended up taking a medical leave in February due to to the stress of continually having Dayton's school call nearly on a daily basis. Thank goodness this is not the case this year... so far. I keep waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop... I pray again that I haven't jinxed myself in this post, but it seems Dayton's teacher 'gets him', and so does his educational assistant.
I remember a time where I had an alarms system installed not to keep intruders out of my home, but to alert me when my babe tried to escape in the middle of the night. Why he would try to escape me makes no sense... I mean, I'm a gorgeous babe I tell you! And I'm a super cool mom, always hugging and squeezing and kissing my baby right in front of his buddies. 'Cuz I'm cool like that and that's how I roll!
I did find it interesting that the article is titled "Autism Mom's" and there is no mention of "fathers." I have met (via facebook and Autism Diva Help) two fathers who are very much involved with their children. One of them is actually a single parent, who also is taking care of his two nieces! God bless him, as two of the children are... wait for it... drum roll please... TODDLERS!!! It takes a very, very special man to undertake such a responsibility. How many fathers are single parents, never mind taking care of their nieces on top of it, with two girl on the autism spectrum? I can hardly wait to meet this dad in person! He makes me ashamed for whining of my problems with one child... Forget Superman or Batman... This dad is my new favorite hero.
"researchers say that parents need better respite options and flexibility from their employers..." Yes, wouldn't that be nice. Unfortunately, I don't see employers bending over backwards to make accommodations for parents with special needs kids. They have a business to run, and time is money. Missed time at work equates to loss of revenue not only to the parent, but to the employer as well. And as far as respite goes... I've been on a waiting list for two years now. If I can't find a respite worker of my own, I go without a break, and so does Dayton. Lets not kid ourselves... the kid desperately needs a break from me. As "cool" of a mom as I am, it appears that my little man thinks I'm "embarrassing." Like when I expect a hug and a kiss before he boards the bus to go to school, dressed in my jammies and house coat, with my hair in curlers... Then running after the bus screaming "mamma loves you baby!!!" and all this is on a good day! I'm not going to describe myself on bad days like the past few weeks where I was sick with the flu... It's just not pretty. The run behind the bus resembles more of a zombie dragging its sorry carcass... You know things are bad when your nine year old demands you "put your face on" before picking him up from the bus when he gets home from school...
I wonder if this is what Charlie-Anne (my step daughter) referrs to as me being "over protective..." Meh.
Consider yourselves hugged,