How do you stop feeling sorry for yourself? my 5-year-old son with ASD just discovered how to get past the safety knobs on the doors and I caught him halfway down our street. now we have to put locks on the inside of the doors up high so he can't reach them, so we have to lock him in the house. This depresses me and I get so jealous of parents with children that can actually go outdoors and play with other kids. no kid on our street wants to play with my son because he… read more
Do not feel bad about anything; you are doing the best you can. As a parent of an ASD child that runs I know what you are going through. We had to do the exact same thing as you did, and we could not let our daughter be unattended or she would either take off or hurt herself. The ASD road has many twists and turns and you have to take things a step at a time. The first thing is to keep your child safe the next is to get them therapy, the next step if step two doesn’t not work is to put the child on meds. Now you do not have to drug them like zombies, and you may have to try a few different drugs to find one that works.
Most of all you have to go through the mourning process because that is exactly what it is. You have to accept the fact that your child is not going to be like the neighbors children, and is not likely going to be accepted into their group. You have to deal with this because until you do you will not be able to help your child. Reach out to others who are in the same situation by contacting groups in your area where people with ASD children get together. Ask people here for advice and try not to stress yourself out any more than you have to.
We have a local sensory gym where we have met parents of children just like ours and when the children are playing there this is no judgment or talk behind your back or comments under their breath because we are all in the same boat. Unfortunately people who are not in the situation just do not understand and no matter how much you try to tell them something they will never really understand.
This is a hard life. Its next to impossible to do it on your own. If you are a believer in Christ, I highly recommend that you get connected with a church and pray for strength and supports. I also have found that over-focusing on the problems tends to rob me of joy. So looking for the positive, catching a brief moment of enjoying (smell the roses), having other interests, and so on.... can really help distract you from obsessing about all these constant problems.
Perspective is a huge thing that is hard to see when your kids are young. I have it now because I've been at this for about 15 years..... but I forced myself to find perspective when my son was younger but playing the "at least (this bad thing) is not my life." So for example, I watched the movie Titantic and I told myself how horrible it would have been to be in the lifeboat while people were dying in the water and how I would never get over that. Or I saw my friend who lives in constant pain and can't walk and thought about how thankful I was that I could move around even if it was chasing after a wild child and putting duct tape on the holes that he put into the wall. Then I would look at him when he was asleep and fall in love again.
I am so sorry you are feeling like you have no joy in your life. I have been there. It's no fun.
Take a breath. Don't feel bad for... well feeling bad :) It's ok. It's hard what you are going through.
It WILL get better. He WILL stop biting, and he will learn better social skills. You are doing a great job. There are lots of things that could help this....
BUT first. Get a babysitter. Go do something fun. It's not selfish. Go feel some joy again. You are still you, the sun is still shining and you should take a day (or two or three) for you and the brilliant person you are.
Then when you feel like you have caught your breath and you can see light again. Then you can move to some techniques to help with sensory or safety or aggression.
In support and love,
I don't want to say it gets easier, but in a way it does. My son is 20 now and I remember the younger years being much more difficult. I get those days where I have myself a "pity party", then wipe it away and get on with it. I talk mostly with other parents who are in the same boat as me, they are the only ones who understand and they do make me feel better. Sometimes you just need to vent without anyone saying "it'll be ok", although they are well meaning.
I just recently began my mourning process. I started to notice other moms whose little children just followed them around effortlessly. Not even holding hands or neurotically checking to see if they were still there. It was like little ducklings following their mommy duck, intuitively and instictively. I even saw a mom shopping for clothing for herself?!? All of a sudden, it hit me. The sense of loss from not having "normal" children. I felt depressed, angry, envious, like it was unfair...and then horribly guilty for feeling that way.