Well I have been putting off this post for weeks now. Some of you may have noticed posting has slowed greatly around here. My family has been experiencing some difficulties. I thought I could just keep “blogging” through as I normally do. For the most part I try to keep this blog a happy place. Often it is my counter balance to a very stressful life. I think I have only mentioned it once. Today I finally decided that really wasn’t helping anybody and in many ways I am not being authentic by pretending everything is always okay. We have been receiving a tremendous amount support from our friends and in turn if there is anyway possible, we want to pass this goodness forward. We hope in some little way that in sharing our struggles at least one of you will know you are not alone.
My oldest son, whom is now 16, has Asperger’s Syndrome. Over the years we have certainly had our ups and downs. For the most part things have been manageable, but for the last couple of months it has been difficult. We finally realized we could no longer help our son alone.
So as I write this I am in Denver with my son. He is in a day treatment program at the Children’s Hospital. It has been bumpy and we often don’t know what the day will bring. We have been here over two weeks. Thankfully my husband and other children were able to join us for one week and experience some family therapy that was wonderful for building our family back up. I think this will be our final week here, fingers and toes crossed.
I guess my point in sharing this is to let you know if you find yourself in our spot, you are not alone. I wish I could say something profound to make your situation easier if you too find your family in crisis — maybe that will come later.
We are learning some valuable lessons:
Rely on Friends
This would have been far to difficult to handle alone. From the former autism consultant graciously opening her home (indefinitely –poor thing) to us while in Denver to the countless friends that have watched our children and made my husband meals, to those friends knowing this adventure would be difficult financially thus sending us off with money, we have been helped beyond belief.
In the beginning we were, then we stepped away. This never goes away and this is one time ignorance is not bliss. It would have served us well to have kept reading and learning.
Sharpen Your tools.
For us when things went smoothly we closed up our tool box. Looking back we should have used the calm peaceful spells to make sure our (and especially our son’s) coping skills, management skills and tools for living were being honed, practiced and perfected.
There is power in numbers. Remember there are other families dealing with similar issues, really it is never necessary to feel like you are crazy and or alone! My family is living proof.
Oh believe me this is hard some days, especially now that my life has come to a screeching halt. Everyday though we are reminded through our friends’ and family’s love and care of God’s unending provision for our lives. How thankful we are for their love and support.
We are thankful for the countless doctors and clinicians who have taken the time to learn the special nuances of this disorder and make it their life’s work to help these children.
We are thankful for those teachers that don’t give up, who often are at our house going the extra mile to help our son succeed.
We are thankful most of all for this amazing bright young man whom we have the honor to call our son. Daily his obstacles are great yet he keeps putting himself out there. We all could learn from his determination!
So this is why I haven’t been regularly posting and it might take awhile to get back in the swing of things when I return home, but please don’t be a stranger here , hopefully you can always find something fun in the categories. This blog brings me so much joy! Thank you for stopping by— I appreciate your presence more than you will ever know!
The photos were taken by my husband on a bike ride through the mountains with a friend and our boys last week.
I live in Denver and have spent considerable time at Children’s for my job (I’m a pediatric OT). I just popped on to your blog today and read about your struggles. If you are still in town, I’d love to cook a meal for your family. Our prayers are with you…
I hope God holds you gently in his arms through this time.
Thanks for sharing your delicate thoughts about your family. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
A few years back, it didn’t go well with my youngest son. His behaviour at school was awfull, and at home I found his brother in a closet because he was so afraid of him. We always thougt we could manage our children alone. We couldn’t, and by the time we found out it was too late. Our son had to live in a institution for almost half a year, and a lot of therapy followed ( for him and for us as a family). He’s back home now, no more therapy or special school. We have to do it ourselves again. But with everything we learned, I’m sure we can.
I wish you and your family all the best and I really hope that this period will make you stronger and happier.
Your blog has been inspiring me for a long time, thank you for that!
Sending thoughts and prayers your way. I am a school nurse in a k through 8 school and there are several kids with Asperger’s Syndrom. Most of them in middle school. Most of them are doing great and really if you didn’t read their history you wouldn’t even know. I pray for your son and your family as you deal with this. I know puberty can play a huge role and maybe things will be easier for your son after that. Thank you for sharing and blessings to you and your family.
I am from Brazil and I love your blog, your ideas and your way to express yourself. I felt like someone knew exactly my feelings. Until last year, I have suspected my 6 year son had AS. It turned out he is extremely shy only, it a challenge but not compared to yours. The most important thing for me, was the support I have received from people around me when I most needed it.
Please, be sure my best thoughts are with you, even being so far in location. I wish you and your family the best.
PS> It’s been a long time since I last wrote in English, so I am a little bit rusty with it. Sorry if there are mistakes on the post above…
My son is 8 and we are in the beginning stages of testing Reese for Aspergers .It is so hard to watch people shun my sweet little boy.They just don’t understand his situation.I know that we have a long road ahead of us.One thing is Reese has just started having siezures,i understand that is not very comon with children with Aspergers,is that anything you have experienced.My prayers are with you and your family.
my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
Your blog has often been the bright spot in my overwhelmingly stressful life as an older single mother with many personal challenges…I want to say I admire your courage to pause and share what you are experiencing. My gosh, blog-land has often looked like “perfect land” to me…and sometimes I can’t help but look at my own life and ask, “What’s wrong with me?” But you know what? We are all human. Our blogs are just that…our happy places. We all have trials and tribulations, happy times and sad times…We are all, indeed, human. Thank you for sharing your human-ness with us. It is soooo needed. That’s how we learn…through each other. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Many Blessings your way,
thank you for your honesty, as well as those helpful points to survival…
we have a 3 year old, who is struggling with “something” they say it is not autism, but as he ages… it begins to look similar to….
His brain connectors just stop. he draws blank, and just becomes nothing. This happens for 10 days at a time, and then we will have a month of progress.
But, this last regression, I too, saw the needs to “sharpen my tools”, to never give up, to be thankful, and to cheer my little boy on.
as a mother, you and I, are our sons biggest fan- and with you being in Colorado, you are his biggest cheerleader, his beacon of hope, and his shoulder to find rest, peace, love and direction..
take care, and thank you for sharing, your heart is heard.
Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. I love it when bloggers can be free and honest with their audience.
You are awarded the “One Lovely Blog Award” today. You can check my blog for details.
Thank you for this honest, sincere post. It touched my heart and your family will be in my prayers. Sometimes we sidestep the long term, only focusing on the short term but you are all working together and your son is blessed to have a family like yours!
Best wishes! ♥ Jen
Thank you so much for sharing this story. Looking at the number of comments to this post, it is obvious that you have a large amount of followers who also care a great deal about you and your family. We are all there with you.
Although my journey has just begun as my son in only 4, I do know what it can do to a family. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers and wish you all the best!
Sounds like it’s been a rough time. Glad you’re learning from it, and thanks for sharing what you’ve learned. Prayers said for your son and your family…
And those are lovely photos.