How do you know?

I’ve been a special needs parent for almost 11 years now. In all this time I have learned so much,  not only about my kids,  but also about myself.

I could say that special needs parenting is such a pleasure and just so rewarding.  The problem with that is that it’s simply not true,  at least for me and my experience.  While it’s true that special needs parenting can be rewarding,  in my experience,  it’s also tedious,  overwhelming,  exhausting as well as financially and emotionally draining. 

My experience raising three boys in different places on the Autism Spectrum, has been one of great challenge. 

I often find myself constantly putting out fires as apposed to actually making forward progress.

I was thinking today about why that is,  and I think I have figured out some of the problem,  at least as far as the Lost and Tired family is concerned.

I think the problem for me is that there is often no clear cut right or wrong. When we arrive at a problem on this journey (which we so often do), there is nothing,  to tell me how to proceed.  Many of the problems we encounter,  revolve around health or behavioral issues with my wife and kids.

With the health and behavioral issues,  there is never a definitive right or wrong approach,  at least not an obvious one. Most of what I do is guess work, based on past experience. Sometimes it works out and other times it doesn’t.

The very nature of Autism,  is one of profound dynamics.  Meaning that,  at least in our case,  things are always changing.  What works to manage a meltdown today,  may not work tomorrow.  Along the same lines,  something that works with one child,  more often than not,  only works on that child.

The biggest questions I’m left with is,  How do you know.....anything for that matter

Attempting to navigate this treacherous road is often like trying to hit a moving target while blindfolded. It’s not easy and so often feels down right impossible. 

With my children,  the only thing that is consistent, is inconsistency. Trying to predict behaviors or reactions is extremely difficult and is likely why I have such a horrible track record of behavioral predictions with my unique kids.

When faced with these challenging situations,  how are you supposed to know what the heck to do?

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Steven Perrin

Lovely post. I have been trying to put these ideas into words for ages. However many manuals you read, doctors you visit, experts you check with etc, there is never a guaranteed solution for every situation. At best some of the most difficult effects can be dealt with limitedly, at worst it can cause us to shut down altogether and not have the energy to face the world altogether. Good luck with your current situation – I suppose the only option is not to expect to know what to do or to expect perfect results, but to be happy in yourself that you have done what you can to improve the lives of your family.

I feel your pain. Just do what you do best & love your children. The rest will follow.

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