Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Autism, Loss, and Family

One of the things I haven’t done is find other parents of Autistic children. I always figured the support of my family was enough. And it usually is.

Today I was getting caught up on reading http://www.squidalicious.com/ and her post from yesterday about letting go of people really got to me.

When someone dies Ethan does acknowledge it but it takes him a while to grieve. It could be a few days or it could be years. When my grandma died in 2005 he actually started his grieving process at the same time as everyone else. And it seems he is still grieving. Ethan brings up granny quite often and for some reason that still shocks me.

This is a time I wish I had found a support group or other parents with an Autistic child to befriend. I haven’t really heard how other spectrum children deal with death, if they do at all.

Ethan may be almost 16 but I think it’s time I got out there and found a support group. I love my husband dearly but he still doesn’t really get Ethan. He tries oh so hard, but there are times and situations Scott can’t grasp what Ethan is upset over or why he reacts the way he does.

Obviously I have friends that I can talk to but it still isn’t the same because their children are “normal”. Well, as normal as a child can be! J

A dear friend that lives across the street seems to understand more than anyone so far. We have become very close to our neighbors and spend lots of time with them. Harley is only 2 weeks younger than their youngest daughter and Emma and Ethan are the same ages as their older two. We call each other’s kids our own and refer to them as neighbor daughter or neighbor son. And no, we aren’t like sister wives! My friend, S, and I agree that’s not a lifestyle we could ever lead. Yes, we have talked about that show, we have actually talked about pretty much any subject there is.

Anyways, Ethan adores going to their house and they adore Ethan. S’s dogs hate people that don’t live in their house but they love Ethan. I’ve sat many a night after work and we’ve talked about our day and Ethan’s latest triumph or steps he’s taken backwards. S listens and gives what advice she can and I love her for it.

S’s stepdaughter that is Ethan’s age has a little brother that is the same way and they are learning a lot about the spectrum and every once in a while I hear something they have learned that I didn’t know.

The only loss I haven’t seen Ethan react to is my stepson, Ronnie, leaving for boot camp. I’m not surprised though. Those 2 just did not get along. At all. They tried for my sake, I think, but not for them. I could hear them arguing and as soon as I walked into the room they were in they both quit talking. At first it bothered me but then I decided they would find their own way around each other and the household became a little easier for me.

Now, if only I could get my husband to stop irritating my mom on purpose! But he gets great joy out of it so I doubt it will stop soon. And it’s not anything mean. My mom is almost 70 and it doesn’t take much to irritate her anymore anyways. At least she still likes joking around with him. When that stops then maybe I will worry.

Half way thru 2011 (didn't realize this never published!)

What a year it's been so far. Scott finally got a job in February. I finally feel like I can breathe a little when it comes to bills, groceries, and other essentials for our house.
It's hard to believe Ethan and Emma will be starting high school in just 5 weeks. They both ended the 8th grade on the honor roll. Emma had problems with Math but managed to pull up the grade just in time.

Harley starts 2nd grade. Just like every mom, I say my kids grow too fast. It feels like just yesterday he was a baby. Now he has play dates and sleep overs and loves to play outside just as much as he loves video games. I'm so thankful he loves to be outside and doesn't mind the limited video game time we impose.

Ronnie graduated from high school with honors. When he first moved here his goal was to be valedictorian. He didn't quite make it but he was very close. He left for Marine Corp boot camp June 20th. We miss him so very much but are so very proud of him at the same time.
His current girlfriend ( the kid has been through many girls in 3 years! ) is absolutely adorable. She is sticking by him through his time in boot camp and visits us regularly. Just to talk. His girlfriend spends time with Emma, they play tennis, go to movies, volunteer at our hospital together. She's becomming one of the family. It's hard to keep my mouth shut because who knows what will happen when he's done with boot and goes on for more training in Florida. I hope they stay together though.

The house is quieter without Ronnie and his friends coming and going. I know it won't last long with Emma starting high school and meeting alot more people.

Time for bed. We are going to Albuquerque tomorrow. We are surprising the kids and going to see the new Transformers movie and Scott has an appointment with his endocrinologist on Monday.