Debora - posted on 01/27/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )
Things are tough for any parent with a child on the spectrum.
It would be wonderful to be in one of those kind of relationships (uncommon, I know) where there is a partner who "gets it" and helps spell you with the child. I have been a single mom since his dad left before he was born; he doesn't know his dad, who is too dangerous a person for me to be willing to go after him for child support even. He would think he could straighten our son up with a few well-timed beatings.
Meanwhile, sometimes it just seems almost impossible to keep up the fight to advocate for my son with school and church or scouting officials who just don't understand, or think that reading just a few pages of material on the subject, makes them experts, who tolerate the bullying and intolerance of other children with a shrug of the shoulders and a "kids will be kids" attitude, even while they are the first to run to me in concern if my child does something they deem inappropriate.
Sometimes it's just really hard never having anyone around who can tell me I'm doing at least an OK job in my efforts to raise my son and teach him what he needs to know in life (and that covers a whole world of things). I live in a small town where there are few benefits for my son, and information about such conditions trickles down very slowly, even to the professionals. I used to go to a parent's support group, but now I don't have any transportation. Sometimes I just need a hug or a pat on the back, instead of the disapproving stares I get from strangers when I'm trying to reason with my son in public places.
My son isn't aware of all I do to help him and run interference for him with others when he needs it. He is very intelligent and very verbal, but not emotionally connected enough to feel it necessary to show any appreciation or love to me. Sometimes I just feel so alone, and I wonder if anything will ever be any better. Good thing I don't get this blue very often.
So why tell you all this?
If you know someone who is struggling, let her know that someone appreciates her efforts. You might give her the strength to carry on when there's no one else who can or will fight for her child.