Monday, April 14, 2014


How many times in my life as an ASD parent have I been told to relax, look after myself, and been told the old "oxygen mask" analogy? Well, lets just say that if I had a dollar for every time, then I probably could relax a little more. Although I appreciate the sentiment it just isn't always possible. One thing that has become quite apparent to me lately though is that looking after myself doesn't just mean go and do something fun and relaxing. Looking after myself means, not looking after others unless I really have to (i.e., my young children). I recently posed a question about not coping with the issues of others when we have so many of our own from day to day. I think it came out wrong....What I meant is, I think ASD parents have so much experience with the more extreme parenting situations that may only come up for others from time to time. So it is only natural that when they come up, we might be approached to help. Those things I help with readily, if they are bigger issues it is generally more a case of lending an ear with the person we are talking to needing to seek some more "official" help. What I think I get bogged down with are the little things. It is hard for me sometimes to sympathise with people, especially if the issue is something that is not permanent and is maybe not the worst issue they will go through in their lifetime with their children. It's really hard for me to sympathise with a parent upset over something that I might see as a developmental milestone for my kids. The thing is that lately I have realised that it is not others doing this to me, it is me doing it to myself. I jump in to help people, it is a part of who I am. Sometimes I need to take a step back and look after myself.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Just keep climbing: Optimism and resilience

Optimism is not a skill that I really posses. I'd hazard a guess that a lot of Autism parents have somewhat lost their sense of optimism. See, we are almost trained by our children to plan for problems long before they arise. I think that with time we see and expect problems with every situation. This week Lachie understood for the first time ever, through sad circumstances that he is different. The idea of being different broke his heart and when I left him at school, I was very pessimistic about how his day would go. He proved me wrong. He taught me something I'd never considered before, how resilient he is, how resilient we are. We have, like many ASD families, been through a lot but we get through it. I don't know that optimism is something I'll ever be good at but resilience is something I will remember from now on.