Welcome to another edition of Autism in “Real Life”. Today we will be looking at Autism through the eyes of the Jen
Jen has a really great blog titles “Living Life, with a side of Autism” where she writes about her family and their journey. You should add her to your blog roll. Jen and her husband Kai, have two kids. Katie is 7 and Ben is 4. Katie is diagnosed PPD-NOS. Below are some links and buttons. Click one and be magically transported to her bog and twitter account. She likes twitter and honestly who doesn’t? So follow her if you would like to keep up to date on her adventures.
Follow her on twitter @JenTroester
I asked Jen a series of questions about how Autism has impacted her family.
(Lost and Tired); How has Autism touched your life?
(Jen): My daughter, Katie, is 7 and has high-functioning Autism. Take my word for it, though…HF does not mean EASY.
(Lost and Tired); How long has Autism touched your life?
(Jen): Well, since birth we have known something was up, and we went around and around for years getting a different diagnosis from different people, but we had a full evaluation done last year, right on the cusp of Katie turning 6, and she was officially diagnosed then.
(Lost and Tired); What type of impact does Autism have on your family’s life?
(Jen): It is a daily struggle for us. A lot of Katie’s issues are behavioral in nature, and her tantrums and meltdowns and aggressiveness can make us feel like we are living in a nightmare. Last year we hit a very low point and after months of trying different things, and having nothing work, we turned to medication. Since she started it, things at home have been somewhat better, but we keep hitting that tolerance wall and have to up her dosage. It is better than having to move out with my daughter, which might have been the next step for us.
(Lost and Tired); What types of sacrifices have you had to make?
(Jen): We have had to make a lot of sacrifices as far as money goes. We pay out of pocket for a lot of therapy to supplement what she gets(or doesn’t get) at school. We don’t go out. We don’t take vacations. My don’t buy new clothes. We don’t get new cars. Etc, etc, etc. We are actually really lucky that we can afford to help Katie without going bankrupt, but in order to do that the sacrifices have been great. I have also had to give up a lot of my sanity. What hurts me most is what my son, Ben, has had to do without. He can’t do all the activities he wants because the money just isn’t there. But most of all, he has to give up a lot of time and attention, and that breaks my heart.
(Lost and Tired); What kind of “toll” or long term effects, if any has Autism had on your family (financial,emotional, physical, sect)?
(Jen): Financial, for sure, as I mentioned. Emotionally…well, most days I am hanging on by a very thin thread. My marriage is something that has suffered, because we are just spent by the end of the day, but that is something we are trying to make a priority again. I have also lost a lot of friends who don’t get our lives, and who either get angry when we have to cancel last minute, or who just drift away. It can make life very lonely.
(Lost and Tired); If you could make people understand 1 thing about Autism, what would that be and why?
(Jen): We are not bad parents and these are not bad kids. Really get to know someone who has Autism in their lives…it will be an eye opening experience.
I want to thank Jen for sharing what Autism is like through her eyes. Don’t forget to read her blog and follow her on twitter (links at the top of the post).
I also want to encourage everyone to share there stories as well. If you would like to do that here on the “lost and Tired” blog please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will arrange for that to happen.
Please join our Facebook group: ”Reality Autism” . This is a gathering of parents who “get it”. We support each other without judgment. It’s a great place to go and vent and or share your story. Connect with others in a similar situation. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
List your Autism related blog, website or twitter account on the Autism Blogs Network on Facebook and help spread Autism Awareness and gain new readers at the same time. It’s FREE.