Information for parents of disabled children

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Autism and the single mother, or what the hell was I thinking?

Meeting Tigger at the Dark ride The Many Adven...Image via WikipediaAutism makes things mixed up and not make sense, except in the most literal or basic way. Moving away from our friends, leaving our home, and moving on from the family we've all known wasn't ever going to be easy. It's also not like I have a choice. I just didn't expect it to be this hard.

Still, as I wrestled my child in a strange Wal-mart yesterday, I realized what we'd left behind, namely, a community that already knew my child. When D had a public meltdown in Indy, people knew us, and I could even tell you that they just ignored it for the most part, in some situations. Plus, the big towns just have more autism.

Not so here in Podunk, Missouri. The backwater towns are getting a culture immersion from our family. Autism just moved to town, and I do mean that literally. We're the only ones. Like Tigger, but less fun. I have to break in a whole new life and manage my son's fragile happiness.

The divorce statistics for couples with autistic children have always blown me away, and I can't say I wasn't warned. 85% of couples seek a divorce, and growing evidence suggests the ones who stay together may be thinking economically. With this growing number of single mothers (and Dads) managing autism, how are people missing this? How are there still places where people don't know how hard autism can be? Autism awareness has a long way to go.

God knows, we're doing our part. Look out, Podunk. You ain't seen nothing yet.
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