Monday, July 4, 2011

Celebrating our Independence-from Autism « Kat's Cafe

When I read the article I was reminded of a 4th of July we spent at Disney World. In the summer of 1996, our family took a vacation to Florida. We spent 3 weeks with my in-laws, and 1 week at Disney World. We camped out in a tent in the Disney World Resort Campground. A daunting task with an autistic child to say the least. Being at the campground and sleeping in the tent wasn't really a problem, as I look back on it. My autistic son hates having to wait in line or to stand still for even short periods of time.

What we did to alleviate his frustration was to get him a wheelchair from the guest services. This also allowed the group as a whole to skip the line right to the front in many cases.

We generally went to the parks from opening to closing, so this can be allot of excitement for anybody, much less an autistic child. It was too hot to be back at the tent anyhow.

We were there over the 4th of July, so the Magic Kingdom had a long fireworks, and the park was packed. The kids didn't misbehave the whole time, it was pretty amazing. But I also remember one day we didn't get a wheelchair. As we were waiting in line, there was a lady and her husband behind us. My son slapped her in the chest and took her water bottle. Somehow she knew the situation, I politely apologized, and we went on about our business. We also left him in an elevator at Epcot. We noticed he didn't come out of the elevator with us, we had to run upstairs before the elevator got there. Funny now, but terrifying then.

Among the many mistake we make as parents of special needs children is that we forget or ignore our marriage. Our relationship with our spouse takes a back seat to everything, quality time together is rare or never. It can and will destroy a marriage. Generally one parent is bearing the brunt of the kids, the other is working. As they drift apart, one makes a mistake and steps out, or looks at them self in the mirror one morning to discover they aren't in love anymore. It CAN and WILL happen to you if you don't take care of your marriage.

The divorce rate among families with special needs children is much higher than those with "normal" and otherwise dysfunctional families.

Our special needs kids, just like all kids, are important to us as parents. They occupy our lives, our time, and our money. But if you do not take care of your marriage the whole thing will fall apart. Your special needs kids become the subject of court battles, and all your dirty laundry's aired. You kids need both parents, full-time. You have to take care of each other, do whatever you have to do to keep it alive.

Read full article at Celebrating our Independence-from Autism Kat's Cafe

John Crawford

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Do you believe vaccinations cause or contribute to autism?