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Autism and stress on the marriage?

Question by Mamie: Autism and stress on the marriage?

My husband and I have been struggling emotionally dealing with the severity of our 3 year old son’s autism since his diagnosis last year. This is a child who does not know his own name, cannot speak, answer or acknowledge any question, screams in public, bites himself when frustrated, and smears feces all over himself and his room on a regular basis.

We’ve taken him to specialists, Early Childhood Intervention, speech therapists, and ABA therapy in our home everyday. We tried the GF/CF diet; which made him incredibly ill and had to be discontinued after a month. I don’t like or agree with the ABA therapy; it seems like “dog training”, but my husband is adamant that we try everything we can.

Nothing has helped.

At the end of my rope here, please help.

Best answer:

Answer by Ted E. Bere
Give him to the state orphanage … have another kid and hope for a normal one.

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  • ted e bere i donty htink they need answers like that its hard work i know been there

  • Sounds like you are having a VERY tough time..
    Have you looked into support groups in your area.
    A lot of parents benefit from talking to others in the same situation.

    A lot of frustration in the marriage can come from blaming each other and oneself for what is happening with your child. This sounds silly, but try it: –Face your husband and say “Its not your fault, and its not my fault”– then ask him to repeat it.
    Do it a couple of times when the tension is getting too much.

    You will get through this!!
    There might be a breakthrough in autism treatment soon..Keeping fingers crossed.

    All the best.

  • I have been there. My daughter, who is now six, was diagnosed “at-risk” for autism when she was one-year old. My husband and I have a great marriage, but we definitely did not agree on the best course of action in the beginning. Needless to say, there was a lot of fighting and tears at first.

    Do you qualify for respite care? You should. I would use that time to spend some quality time outside the house with your husband. Make a rule that you guys won’t talk about anything having to do with autism for the time that you are out.

    Also, and this helped me a lot, I decided early on that I was not going to make everything in our life about autism. I know that is easier said than done. But I just didn’t want it to consume us. I made a very deliberate decision that we were going to be a family who did all of the normal things that families do regardless of my daughter’s issues. Every weekend, we did something fun together -the zoo, the park, driving up to the mountains, etc… Find something that your son enjoys and do that together. Try to focus on just having fun.

    Also, don’t give up on therapy. I tend to agree with you on ABA (we didn’t do it), but I do know that it has worked for a lot of people. Give it some time. If you are not 100% confident in your therapists, try to find some new ones. Make sure your occupational therapist is experienced in working with sensory issues. Does your son go to school? Make sure it is good. One of the very best things that I did for myself (and for my daughter) in the beginning was to make sure that I absolutely LOVED every person that she worked with. It meant that we had to shop around, but it was so worth it.

    If it really gets stressful, consider seeing a marriage therapist. It might be a nice safe place where you and your husband can vent about the stress.

    Don’t give up. Your son is still young. You will see improvement. Good luck!

  • Oh my gosh, you and I have parallel lives. We are in that exact same boat. My son is 31/2, non-verbal, with all the same hobbies that you listed. He was also diagnosed last year and the gfcf diet did not work for us either.
    You need to find yourself a support group in your area. The parents in these groups are right where you are or have already been there and they will help you through it. Also take a look at yahoo. There are several groups for parents of young children with Autism. They are a wealth of knowledge and support.
    I would also suggest you read the book Engaging Autism by Dr Greenspan. This book helped me reach out to my son and relate to him.
    I too find that dealing with autism is very hard on my marriage. It is also very hard on my older son, who is only 5 and does not really know what is going on. I try not to get obsessive. I try to remember that my son will always have autism and that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Make a date night for you and your husband. Even if you can’t get out. Have a romantic dinner in. You guys need to keep time just for the 2 of you.

    I hope something I wrote offers you help. Just know that you are not alone and that there are other moms out there too who feel so overwhelmed . You need to find them so you can offer each other support and shoulders to lean on.


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