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RUNHAPPEE Posts: 7,293
2/9/12 11:20 A

I'm a single mother of an 8 yr old girl with ADHD and Aspergers Syndrome. It's been tough, even when she was a baby, and she's almost 9 now but she's come a long way and has made amazing progress. But there is always room for improvement, so we still work. I don't have support (of ANY kind) from her father or his family but I do from my family, which I appreciate. If I need some time to myself or want to go do something with friends on the weekends, my Granny or my Nanny are more than happy to have her at their house, in fact, they request it!

I don't think there is one specific way of raising your child, Austistic or not, everyone does what works best for them and their kids. I know it's important for everyone to be active, though, so try to get your child to participate with you. My daughter actually wants to try Yoga and Pilates, which I still can't wrap my head around! And she likes dancing so once I get the Zumba dvd I'm going to have her do that with me. I do the Just Dance on the Wii with her. She participates in cheerleading so I help out with that.

When you're having one of those awful, mentally exhausting days (yesterday was TERRIBLE!) do some hardcore working out. Strength training, push ups, crunches, cardio, running. Get that negative energy, stress, chaos out of your system. And journal. And what I've tried to have Lola do is start writing, keeping her own notebook journal. Writing down her thoughts, feelings, what she feels set her off that day.

Sorry this is so long, but when you get me talking about stuff like this I just let it go!

KEEPAVISION SparkPoints: (0)
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2/4/12 3:43 P

Hey all, ds with Aspergers is now 19 and doing very well. Wanted you to know - things can get better! I still eat for comfort when he has been hammering me verbally about something. Some of the BEST things we ever did (I was a single Mom at first) were to have a bedtime story every night. When young they were almost always about loving each other no matter what, especially rhyming ones that help children pick up word sounds. My favorite was If I Were a Moose due to the page where the boy said, "and if I was an angry dog?" to which the Mom replied, "If you were a grouchy dog, I'd love you more each day" (or similar - it's been a while!). So every night we affirmed love for him and each morning we still start a cheerful greeting - making sure to never carry a grudge into a new day (things may still need to be addressed but not in an angry manner - that just gets in the way of their comprehension). If he had had a bad day, we'd talk about how tomorrow would be a new start - every day was a clean start for him to do the best he could. The second best thing we did when he was 2, and that was to take a class on using the Magic 123 Timeout system. The author of it has books and videos too that easily explain it. It's best to learn his system because the way some people (mis)interpret the idea of time-out can end up making kids feel incapable of behaving correctly, and we all know we must never contribute to that type of thinking. Third, and last, I volunteered in his elementary school classes and always sent in goodies (nonfood due to his own severe food allergies - a whole different issue!) like pencils for special occasions. Too, we always made sure he had extra pencils so he could share with his classmates when they needed one. So he was a positive association for his classmates as well as his teachers who grew to know our sincerity and his desire to behave well but for being a target on the bus. We paid a college girl to take him to school each AM and one of us picked him up from school each day. He saw this as a treat. Being tormented is NO way to learn social skills. Now he has a few lifetime friends and a highly intelligent girlfriend. He is in his 2nd year at community college as a transition to next year entering a four year college.
Well, take what helps and leave the rest. It's good to reach out to others going through the same things we did - especially to share that the years can improve - remember our kids have delays, not the inability to progress :-)! Your kids are so lucky to have aware parents that know to reach out to others for support!!! Love and determination to all of you!

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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1/31/12 3:14 P

My son is currently 26 years old. He did not have friends at the school he attended where we currently live. He did have a friend who was a girl when we lived in Portland. His graduating class was 8 students. 6 girls and 2 boys. He did have friends in Scouts and a few of the older kids in highschool grew to respect him. There was a gal who graduated with him who became friends with him shortly after they graduated. She was married and her husband suddenly died in a wreck that she was there for. He would go visit her without the "elephant" awkwardness that happens. They are still friends. We went to scouts in another community and he is an eagle scout. The boy he earned it with on the same day has been friends with him in scouts and even though the boy lives in another state he and ds are still friends. He currently lives in Res-hab housing and is still friends with a former roommate and a current one who is still in highschool. The roommate came to my house over on Sat. with staff and my son to go to a birthday party in the community and a game night here. We would like to have him come back later and see our 4-H stock animals. People with Asperger's can make friends. It's just harder and the friends are generally very special people who can look past their issues. Not many people can. Is your son on meds to help control his mood swings? When my son hit puberty we finally had to give in. It takes about 3 weeks to see results and they swing for while until they settle down. He takes lower doses now that the stress levels are not as bad with the stress of school. He may be able to get help in recognizing when these meltdowns are about to occur. There are things he can do like foot tapping that my soothe him and not be too noticeable. My son went from thumbsucker to clothing chewer to foot tapper. He rarely taps now.

SONSMOM Posts: 49
1/31/12 1:03 P

My son's school has been wonderful. He has been there since kindergarten - so most of the staff knows him and is aware of what sets him off, etc. We had the school retest him after we had him accessed (and turned away) by the ASD clinic.
He does have rages and meltdowns, at least once a week and we do have plans in place for when this happens, like you said, going out into the hall, office or LST's room. He's pretty good at following through, but there are times when he has a full blown meltdown that he can't do any of these things. Sometimes he runs and hides in the boy's washroom, or panics when it's time to go back to class. He is in grade 7 - so we are starting to put together a plan for when he starts high school.
Does your child have friends at school?

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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1/31/12 9:33 A

You are so lucky. I too had to fight my school all the way. There was a book in our school library called "Coping with Asperger's" It's a short read and I couldn't get 1 person who worked with my son to read it. Does your son have rages or meltdowns? Do you have a plan in place at school, home, ect. in case he has one. I had a plan in place on his 504 so he could go to the library or office so he could go and be quiet when he felt one coming on. We taught him how to tell when it was coming on before it went full blown. He just asked teacher to be excused and went to a quiet spot and calmed down. Went back to class when it was over. Kept him from being overly tired afterwards too.

BEATINGED SparkPoints: (8,331)
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1/30/12 10:10 P

Thats great the school is so supportive SONSMOM... i had to fight my kids schools all the way! A new diagnosis is so overwhelming in time it will get to the point you feel less lost even though i still have my days. Aspie kids are so amazing, they see the world in a much clearer view... i have learned so much from my autistic children :) Everyday is a blessing

SONSMOM Posts: 49
1/30/12 4:33 P


My son, who is 12, was just diagnosed last year with high-functioning Aspergers. His school has been extremely supportive and are working on bringing in more help for him. Some days...ok, most days, I feel lost and not sure what I'm doing, taking it day by day. It's nice to know there is support on here. ((HUGS))

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1/23/12 10:26 A

Hi This is a great post so comforting to know others out there understand how its is to raise special needs children and struggle to take care of their own needs at the same time...
i have 6 children all together.....2 with classic austim diagnosis and 1 with the Aspergers diagnosis. They are ages 13,14, and 24 now its been a veryyyyyy long road! There just wasnt anytime while they was younger to take care of my own needs.... i had to give up my career as a nurse just to care for their needs.... life became an endless sea of OT, PT, speech therapy, water therapy, pecs schdeules, running therapy speech programs, therapy listening CDs, hippotherapy, scheduling respite workers because i was dealing with a husband with serious health problems too.... im sure all of you know the same struggles..... but there just was no time to be just me or take ME the end of each day youre just to exhausted to move and brain turned to mush. Huggggzzzz to all that live this each day!!!!!

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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12/1/11 9:46 P

Glad he is finally in. Remember this will be new and may need some time to adjust. My son loves transportation & when we lived in Portland, OR he had an hour bus ride each way for Head Start Pre School. I was worried it would be too long. He loved every minute of the bus ride. Let us know how it goes.

12/1/11 3:51 P

FINALLY, FINALLY, FINALLY!!!!! I had an ARD meeting today, and my son was accepted into the special education program. I'm so stinking happy that we are finally getting him the help he needs!! I can't believe it's finally happening. He starts school Wednesday, and he is so excited because he gets to ride a school bus. I'm so happy for him, and I'm so grateful that things are finally looking up.

11/20/11 11:14 A

I am not a parent of a child with autism, but my sister has Aspergers syndrome. It was an interesting house to say the least. My mother worked very hard with Mary to help her cope. Mary is now 16 and does wonderful, she has some "aspy days" as we call them. But there are some days you would never know. She has friends, and this year she went to a fast food place and ordered her own meal. They may seem like stupid milestones to people who don't understand, but I have never been more proud of her. The one of the biggest things that helped Mary was music, she learned to play the harp at 12.
I am sure you are doing everything you can. There is hope. And your child will bloom!

ANDREADAV SparkPoints: (0)
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11/20/11 9:43 A

I am a single mom of 2 boys with special needs. My younger son is diagnosed PDD-NOS, ADHD, asthma,celiac disease and an allergy to dairy. My older son has bipolar disorder, ADHD, epilepsy, asthma and a gluten and dairy allergy. It is definitely difficult to get me time but with both being in school I am able to get a little me time. Plus both have Intellectual Disablities but with strucure and programs both are doing very well now.

ANJELIA1968 SparkPoints: (13,800)
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11/18/11 8:20 A

A friend of mine just started a new job in daycare and, as part of her training, they shared this with them. She was so touched that she cried. She then called to share it with me. I had actually seen it before (someone sent it to me when our boys were diagosed 12 yrs ago) but I am touched each time I hear it.

NAKITAROO SparkPoints: (1,113)
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11/17/11 6:52 A

I love this story...I have used it many times in speaking about autism to groups. It perfectly describes our special ones and our new lives we never imagined, doesn't it?

11/16/11 5:26 P

I believe this is the story you were speaking of. I immediately googled it, and found this. You are right, this is something I'm printing out, so I will have it for those days when I need reminding that Holland isn't that bad after all. Thank you so much for this. It is always nice to have something that lifts your spirits.

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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11/16/11 5:13 P

I don't know if any of you read Dear Abby on the column that was about a trip to Holland. It was written by someone who's loved one has Down's syndrome. My son wasn't diagnosed until 18 and from his earliest days we had challenges. That article has been an inspiration for many years. I don't know if there is some way for you to look it up or if there would be problems with copyright laws. It is a beautiful way to look at a way of life not planned. It applies to anyone who has a special needs child.

11/16/11 1:53 P

You all are an inspiration to me! I know my son could have so many other problems and its mothers like you that give me the strength to keep going. I think we all have days when the sun doesn't shine, and nothing seems to make it okay, or answer why this happened to our sweet babies. I think it is wonderful that we all have a two common places in our lives that brought us together and are able to share our stories. So many people don't know what it is like to raise a child with special needs and I'm happy that I have found others on the same journey. Someone once told me that I was given the test before given a chance to study the problems. By this I mean, God gave me a wonderful little boy, he was the test, and the world is the problem. I don't know how but somehow thinking about that always gave me comfort and the strength to get through to hard days.

ENNAID2 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/16/11 8:02 A

While he was in my care, their was no way I could gain weight (weighed about 100 lbs until about 5 years ago.when I retired due to severe depression. I would have to run after hm constantly. I was also used to eat on the run. Never had time to sit and eat. Started gaining weight after he left to go into care. After that I was so used to eating on the run, and eating fast that I gain weight. Reached 190 lb. About 3 years ago I reached my max at 190 lbs.
Took off 60 and now I have put on 20 lbs. I want to make sure it does not get higher than that.

My son always seem to fall in the cracks with activities and school, etc. He could not tolerate to much sound so we keep the house as simple and calm as we could. However at school and day program it is just the opposite. He has to travel in a special van. He has to sit alone as he may behave badly. The problem with that is this van only takes the clients that have bad behaviours. It is very loud, my son gets upset and gets aggressive to compensate. He has even managed to break three windows with his feet. He is secured by a special harness with his hand tie so that he cannot grab other people.

The same problem will arise when his caregiver retires. She is 58 year old special ed teacher.

I am rambling again. Love to talk about my son, after so many years of silence.

I will wish you all a great day.with no surprises. Dianne

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11/16/11 6:57 A

So glad I found you ladies on here! My son is 16 and also has PDD-NOS. If there is one thing that can pull me off the wagon...into comfort facing the daily challenges of raising my son. I have always found such comfort in talking to other moms, because no-one understands the heart of a mom of a special child, like that of another mom in the same situation :) emoticon

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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11/16/11 12:28 A

I was lucky. My son's issues weren't as bad as they could have been. My next child, even though she didn't have autism was the one I had to watch every second so I can relate a little bit. I'm glad he has such a good caregiver. They are worth they're weight in gold. My son had alot of trouble communicating for quite some time & his speech pathologist had me take him to daycare so he could spend time with other kids. Every Friday he went for a half a day. Didn't really hang out with the kids. Preferred to watch Sesame Street while she watched him and do laundry. Gave us all a break. He is in ResHab housing and comes home to get respit from his roommates. Have a great nephew that is a tween that has alot of issues and is not much higher functioning than your son. His dad retired not too long ago and is the main caregiver for him now. We are not close to that part of the family but do run into them from time to time. I'm glad you were able to find ways to include your son in activities he could enjoy. No matter how low functioning they are they are aware of so much more than we will ever realize. Sounds like you are a really wonderful mom who totally gets her son. I volunteer with the ResHab that takes care of my son. Many families do things with their loved one. Some wash their hands of them. I'm glad you are not one of them. Jerry

ENNAID2 SparkPoints: (0)
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11/15/11 9:03 P

Hi, I just found this site. I have a twenty five year old son who has autism, cerebrale palyse and Tourette Syndrome. He is at an intellectual level of a two year old. He is non-verbal, not toilet trained and practically no communication skills. He is also ADHD (an extreme case). He now goes to an adult day program Monday to Friday. He now lives in a special home with the best caregiver ever. He has heavy medical needs, frontal lobe epilepsy, Juvenile polyposis, chronic pancreatitis, just to name a few. One way I could get my exercise in when he was living at home was the swimming pool. He loved to swim and so did I. When he was younger, I had put a baby seat behind my husband on his bike. If my dh did not go fast enough my son would gently bite him. He later had a buggy on the back of dh's bike. Even walking was difficult. He did not walk until the age of 3.5. When we did go walking he would attack every garden hose he saw. It was practically impossible to pull him away.

I cannot imagine how you cope with your guys. You must have a lot of energy or be dead tired. Do you ever place your children in respite care. That was the only way I survive living with my son. He could not be left unattended for even 5 minutes, he always got into everything.


11/15/11 12:59 P

haha wiggy, after I read that the hand hit the forehead and said duh! I guess I was having a moment and didn't even think about what everything meant! I was having one of those days I guess. lol

WIGGYWOGGY SparkPoints: (0)
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11/14/11 6:53 P

Hi there, thanks for the replies :) and LISADHARPER1 PDD stands for Persuasive Development Disorder and ASD stands for Autism spectrum disorder sorry for any confusion :) nice to hear about how you handle things it's good insight and some of it has been practiced in this house for a while now it was more me that wanted to get out the house and psychically go for that walk, I did in the end lol Truckerwife2 not easy with food related disorders so I can totally relate to your hiccups over the years. Sounds like you are doing fantastic now :) We do dancing and playing games for extra exercise that is disguised enough so that the kids don't know etc... I too loved the idea of the extra weight in the laundry basket it's something I will have to do. I can't remember what else was said from you lovely forum posters so forgive me if I haven't answered you personally, still trying to get the hang of this and the site in general :) have a great day everyone :)

TRUCKERWIFE2 SparkPoints: (20,472)
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11/14/11 12:17 A

I can relate to so many of you. My son is 26 now. He has Asperger's. For the last 6 years he has lived in ResHab housing and has had his ups and downs. I also have 2 daughters who have ADHD, massive allergies (food and asthma) and dyslexia. My son wasn't diagnosed until he was 18. No one had heard of Asperger's until he was 10 and the definition was different than now. When he was little he had the 2-4 hour tantrums. I was lucky he never has been the type to run off. I was able to keep my weight under control with him better than the girls. They were so allergic to so many things when they were little it was hard to get a sitter; even family. My house was crowded and it was hard to get in any excercise. The girls are better now and I can get out and do things more. I agree. If getting out causes problems (my son has had roommates that run off and they are men) try to do stuff indoors. I like the lady who puts weights in her laundry basket. Each child is so different and we must learn to go with the flow. Do try to find things you both can do together safely. For those who children still have meltdowns... Many with sutism have a special thing they love to do that soothes them. Legos, peeling bark off branches that are down, building, painting ect. I also took him to stores during less crowded times and helped with spacial stress.

11/12/11 7:58 P

Wiggy, I don't even know what all those mean! I can't imagine having three on the spectrum. I do have some advice though. When we are in meltdown stage, which is any time we leave our house just about, I always just workout at home. I follow the videos here on spark to get in cardio and strength training. I love to do it during nap time. My oldest stays in his room while my baby sleeps and it works out fine. I also have a baby gate that I put up between the living and dining room so I can keep an eye on the kids but do a quick 10 minute workout. I have gone as far as putting weights in the bottom of my laundry basket to lift extra while carting baskets of clothes here and there. One thing I do that my kids love (especially my autistic son) is dance party! I turn the music on loud, just the way he likes it, and we rock out as he calls it. I jump around and dance and spin, my heart rate is through the rough by the time we get done.
Even if you can't make it out on a walk the important thing is to stay active and fit something in when you can.

WIGGYWOGGY SparkPoints: (0)
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11/12/11 2:23 P

It's nice to see that were not alone. I have 3 on the spectrum, one with PDD ASD and Precocious Puberty, another with ASD and high anxiety, another with an eating disorder labeled as food refusal so it is extremely stressful around here.

I jumped on line this morning looking for a place to ask a question and came across this thread and feel a little more at home in here :)

My question is what do you guys do on the weekends when it's time to do that exercise and the kids are resistant, they start having melt downs and end up making you just give up. I haven't given up this time around ((My second attempt at going at it with the weight loss))

But it's hard, bloody hard. I want to go for my walk and I know that even by just taking the kids with me that my fast pace will be reduced to a bare minimal and that I'll have to watch that the kids don't wonder off and or go onto the road, then there is the constant battle of if others are out walking with there dogs I have to keep two of mine well clear other wise they will stay and play with the dogs and or if people are out walking with babies two of mine just can't help but have to touch the babies etc.. it really makes walking tough. But I have to do it. Arrrr I hate weekends and holidays at least while they are at school I can get that all important me time in.

Do any of you out there with special needs children have a way to combat the exercise and children combination? What do you do to keep fit when the kids are home?

11/12/11 10:39 A

WOW after reading all the post I realize we all sound the same! We all stress eat and mostly because we are stressed about our kids. What kind of life will they have, what aren't we doing now that can get through to them, why can't we just wake up tomorrow and everyone be "normal"? I know I've asked myself all these things. I have to sons, ages 2 and 4. My oldest son Logan seemed "normal" to most people for a long time. When he was born he has several seizures and then went on to have some major milestones, walking at 10 months and talking at 8! His first word was Otis, the name of our pug dog. He seemed like the normal little guy, who NEVER slept. This past year I have worked nonstop at getting his diagnosis and so far I have heard so many combos of letters that it makes my head spin. We are still waiting on official diagnosis but so far we are looking at High functioning verbal autism, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, and sleep disorder. I worry about his future and my turning point was realizing that my worry for him meant what happens if I'm not here for him. I know this is long, and I'm sorry, but its just so nice to know that support is out there.

11/11/11 1:04 A

Hi :) I am also a single mother of two boys within the spectrum, one being severe and "non verbal", the other aspergers with adhd. The past year is the first year, in the last 9, that my eldest son actually goes to sleep before the sun comes up, I thank GOD for that. I really don't get any respite for myself, other than if their father takes them both on the weekend and of course, being that my kids are 10 and 8, I have no social life. I have suffered depression and on top of that I have been plagued with respiratory and sinus issues that last few years, making it all that much more difficult. I won't say it's easy, that would be a lie, but any progress made is rewarding. Some days, I would lock myself in the bathroom, and cry. My eldest son would have meltdowns that would last anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours. Some days are harder than others but thank GOD for the good days.
What was said below was a good self check for me, I have to be healthy not only to just feel better myself and for myself but also for my children, in the long run.

ANJELIA1968 SparkPoints: (13,800)
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11/10/11 8:07 P

I can appreciate your concerns about sending your son to the daycare at the Y. I had problems sending my kids to daycare even before they were diagnosed! I can't imagine how others do this as a single parent because, as I said in another post, my husband is my rock and the biggest reason I survive day to day! I hope you have a strong support system in family and friends. If there is a local autism support group near you, I would encourage you to get involved. I've found the most understanding and helpful families are those who are going thru what we are. You can make some good friends who really understand, and you can trade childcare services so you have less financial concerns when you need that break for yourself!
Can you go for walks with your son? You won't be able to walk very fast since he's so young, but it will give you a chance to get more active with him. If you all like to bike and have trails in your area, that's also a great workout! Whatever activity you choose, if you can involve your son as your "workout buddy", it can be more fun and less worry for you!

JSZOSTAK77 Posts: 116
11/10/11 1:11 P

I have a 4 year old son that has autism. He was diagnosed last year. I have gained back 15 pounds that I lost...all because of stress. We were going to the y but I hesitate to put him in any daycare. I have two other kids and I am a single mom. But I know if I do not take care of me I will not be able to take care of them. And I feel better without the weight on me!

ANJELIA1968 SparkPoints: (13,800)
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10/25/11 11:08 A

My heart hurts for you. I have two children with autism, ages 16 and 14. I am blessed to have a dedicated husband who has Aspberger's so he understands far better than I do what the boys are going thru each day. Even with his support and the support of my family and some amazing friends, it can get me down sometimes.
It's been said already but it is so true, we can only be good for our kids if we are good to ourselves. What can we do to help them if we are sick ourselves? Make the most of the short time periods. I do most of my "me" time while my boys are at school or after everyone goes to bed. I try to workout on the Wii, the treadmill, or do a workout video late in the evening, then reward myself with a long soak in a hot bath before bedtime.
If you need a friend, feel free to message me. I'm a stay at home mom so if I'm not chasing the kids, I'm usually around!

JO0926 Posts: 212
10/12/11 3:53 P

I have a 17 year old son who is PDD-NOS. There have been many days where I could just scream but in the end it is all worth it. He came up to me today and said "Here mom, no fist bump today, today is a hug." and gave me a huge hug. It about made me cry. My son was diagnosed when he was 12 and it is an up and down kind of thing. He started speech classes at age 4 and has always had an IEP for school. Just use all the resources that are available and lean on your support system. One of my best friends can come over to my house and talk down my son when he is having a meltdown. She does it better than I do. =) Best of luck to you and if you need anything, just send me a message.

MARCIE1455 Posts: 481
10/2/11 2:15 A

Sometimes it's just nice to know that I am not alone. I have a three year old diagnosed with PDD-NOS. It has taken it's toll on me. My son started a pre-K program this year as he aged out of home services with Early Intervention. I recently started walking everyday after dropping the kids off at school. Thus far everything seems to be going fine. I just seem to be in constant prayer and biting my nails. I am glad I ran across this group.

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10/1/11 2:27 P

I have a brother with autism spectrum disorder, and it's great to see everyone having such an open discussion about the condition here. Although I am not his principal carer, I used to sometimes find myself emotionally eating if I was worried about him or frustrated with him. I've since learned how to detatch myself from stress-eating, although it's a habit that takes a long time to learn. I have written an article about growing up with him here:
-disability which may be of interest to parents who have a special needs child!

5/27/11 12:08 A


I'm a single, working mom ALSO trying to finish my degree at ASU. I've ALWAYS managed to find an excuse not to find "me" time until this spring when I decided it was time to go back to school. I finished the semester and upon realizing I couldn't keep up with my 4 year old the way that I wanted, started losing the weight I gained after his dad and I split. Recently, my son was diagnosed with Asperger's. The amount of guilt I felt (he was born preemie and I blame myself for it) was so heavy. All I could think of was the hurdles he would have to face. Although I kept up my routine of going to the gym, I started eating INCREDIBLY unhealthy - fast food 3x a day. It wasn't until just yesterday that I realized that going down THAT road wouldn't help my son at all either. I used to work out while looking at a photo of my son. My health was declining and he was my motivation to get healthy. I had forgotten that. I have been so worried about schools, bullies, what his life will be like in the future, I'd forgotten what brings him joy...running around with his mom. So I worry about him...but I know that if I dedicate "me" time to exercise and eat healthy and do things RIGHT, he gets those few minutes a day of pure joy. :)

MOM345 Posts: 30
5/24/11 2:13 P

I also have a child on the spectrum, along with 2 neuro typical yet demanding kids. I had been stress eating like crazy, and I'm trying to change that so I feel better about myself at least. I'm still stressed and tired much of the time, but I feel better knowing that I'm at least attempting to put my needs in the picture along with everyone elses.

My escape right now is exercise. My Y has great childcare, and it's so nice to get a zumba or yoga class that's all about doing something good for myself.

CAMPSTEB Posts: 11
5/23/11 8:21 A

Since my son's diagnosis almost 8 years ago my life has been consumed with making sure that he has all of the support he needs in order to have the best possible future. I have no regrets about that, but I am starting to realize the toll this is taking on me and that things cannot go on at this rate, especially where my weight is concerned.
This morning I made the decision to come back to sparkpeople and try to get serious about weight loss again. The first thing I had to do was change my weight loss tracker which forced me to face the fact that I have gained back all the weight I lost two years ago and then some. I had to remove my "lost 50 pounds" icon and now I feel more than ever like I am back at square one. I know I have to change this mindset, or I have no hope of success.
I am struck by how I never hesitate to tackle difficult or challenging things if I think my son will be helped, but I don't seem to have that same motivation for myself. And the irony is not lost on me that if something happens to me because I did not take the necessary steps to lose weight and get healthy, that won't be good for him either.
I guess I am just feeling especially vulnerable today, having a tough time getting back into the swing of things and battling a big fear of failure. I always find the autism community to be an incredibly supportive one, possibly because we are forced to become so adept at celebrating small victories and cannot afford to let anything get us down for long. Any motivating stories or advice would be appreciated.

MCLORI1974 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (280)
Posts: 116
5/14/11 11:37 A

Both my sons are autistic (ages 5 and 7). Somedays I don't find the time to shower....let alone exercise. I'm doing my best and I have to give myself credit for that.

TRINA001 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (2,375)
Posts: 190
5/14/11 10:37 A

What is 'me' time? I doubt any parent of a child within the autistic spectrum gets much of that.
I've a 13yo waiting for assessment, and an 18yo who really should have had one.
Things have been so stressful at times that even when I've had time with no physical responsibilities, Its impossible to take a mental break from the worrying about the near future, distant future, what I could have done better to help him, and what I could do in the future to help.
(I've 5 other children too)
I love my job as a full time mother, and I feel lucky to have them all, but there have been times when I've been completely at my wits end with worry when my 18yo used to go wandering off walking for miles in a daze, or tell me his life was not worth living.
All I can say is it helps me to focus on remembering that the bad times do subside, and overall the good times are more frequent.

LITTLEMOMA007 Posts: 3
4/11/11 12:06 P

I can relate, I'm home schooling my older 2 kids my 8yo has mildly sever autism, at 8 yo she is barely starting to use 6 word sentences.
I wonder and worry if I'm doing enough for her and if home school is the right rt.
I just pray and ask God to take away the stress!
I think if we do our best then it will be enough!

ANDREADAV SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (9,140)
Posts: 151
4/5/11 10:57 P

I can totally relate to what you are going thru with your child since I am a single mom and my younger DS has been diagnosed with PDD-NOS,PTSD and ADHD. My older DS has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, ADHD,PTSD and epilepsy. Right now I am getting ready to move back in with my parents but have been homeschooling my 2 boys but once I move I plan to put the boys back in school. I am looking to be able to get some more me time once my boys go back to school plus the school system where I am moving is very good for special needs children.

SMASH637 Posts: 392
4/4/11 9:24 P

Hi Breighmooney-

I've worked as an ABA therapist for children with Asperger's syndrome and autism for many years and all of their parents have echoed the same sentiment as you. I know it feels indulgent to take some "me" time once in a while, but of the parents I've worked with, the ones who best managed the stress of a special needs child were the ones who made sure to take some time for themselves.

It's important to take care of yourself, so don't be afraid to ask for help from your friends and family.


DEBBIECHICKIE5 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (15)
Posts: 19
4/3/11 11:22 P

You must MUST tuck aside some time for yourself, so that when you "come back" you are refreshed and able to soldier on, doing what we do as moms to help our kids. Sometimes, I need a whole day at a piney lake, reading a book & swimming. Sometimes, I just need a long walk with the dog, or to sit next to the pond at our local park for a half hour. I got tired of calling the school and doctors, asking for one thing or the other for my child, so I simply made up a form letter than I send out..I change some things, add in others, but it helps me keep on track & on top of what I'm doing to get her help. It makes it less stressful for me- i coudl never remember who I had called & left a message for. By putting it in writing, I have a log of it on the computer. Our work in helping our children is never done. But we need to help ourselves, too. Don't think of time away as being "selfish"'s like medicine for your soul.

Edited by: DEBBIECHICKIE5 at: 4/3/2011 (23:23)
SPITFYRE75 Posts: 1,343
4/1/11 8:51 A

Wow! I had to double check to make sure I wasn't the one who posted this! (lol) I have two children. My son is diagnosed ADHD and Aspergers. I know ALL TOO WELL the stresses that come with it. It's so difficult and some days you've had more than you can take mentally and you break down. But we get up, brush ourselves off, and struggle through the rest of our day.

MUMMYUK2 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (0)
Posts: 763
3/29/11 11:48 A

Make time for you, because the healthier you are the better prepared you are for the daily challenges of a Special Needs child.

Some Ideas.

1. Go for a walk around the neighborhood slowly increase you pace till you are running. (If necessary do early am before you get caught up in the morning rush)

2. Take your child to the park and play (Tag, Hide & Seek, Races, Climbing Frame) great way for your son to burn off some extra energy and you can get a workout in.

3. Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect, Playstation Move, these are a great way to incorporate exercise into your day and you can include you son too

Good Luck emoticon

KEL5881 Posts: 7
3/29/11 11:39 A

I can somewhat relate, I have a son that is currently being tested for the ADHD and Aspergers syndrome. We have not received the results back yet. But he can be very difficult and stressful at times. I can understand your worries, I constantly wondering if I am doing everything I can do for him and I also worry if about when he grows up. Just Keep your head up and love your little guy.

BABYSLU Posts: 18
3/29/11 9:01 A

I do not have any kids with Autism, but I work with students with Autism everyday in the school. You have to remember that you are doing what you can, and ask for help if you need it. And take time for yourself. There is nothing wrong with that. If you take better care of you then you can take better care of him.

MOMMAKATT78 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (316)
Posts: 7
3/28/11 11:23 A

Hey I have a son with PDD-NOS. It can be a struggle some days but just remember you are doing the best you can. We didn't ask to have these special children. Remember you didn't do anything to cause this. Ask for help when you need it! And remember you are not alone! Its a struggle but you are strong Momma! emoticon

3/24/11 11:45 P

I have kids, but I do not have these struggles, but I can be a buddy if you want. emoticon

3/23/11 6:33 P

I just recently came back to this site and along with losing weight and getting healthier I was looking for support from ppl who may have similar struggles with stress because they have a child with autism. My son has ADHD and Aspergers syndrome. Along with a diagnoses of these conditions it obviously brings a lot of stress to my daily life, I am constantly worrying if I am doing enough to help my son and struggle to find some "me" time. anyone out there who can relate?

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