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How has autism affected your marriage?

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How has autism affected your marriage? Has it distanced you and your spouse or have you been brought closer? If you aren’t married, has it impacted a relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend? Share with us your experience.

  1. Heather
    February 14, 2011 at 10:54 am

    I’m divorced now, but do not blame my son’s autism. It was just one of many things. My ex husband too had ASD symptoms but was never diagnosed and there for never helped.

  2. Ginny
    February 14, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Our son is 35 years old and we have been married 43 years. My husband and I think we are blessed to have T in our lives. We are a team, the 3 of us. Sometimes we look at each other and say “What would we do without him?”

    • Lucy
      February 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

      My son is now 18 years old and he attends Central Michigan University, I cried when he left, its only 2 hours away, He lives in an apartment with his brother cause his brother also attends the school. I think of my son as a blessing in my life and I say the same thing What would we do without him. My husband and I have been married for 21 yrs, and there is not a day that goes by where we don’t mention his name, I think he made us better and stronger parents. He is an awesome child and his major is Theatre…

  3. Julie
    February 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

    It has brought us closer together. Through the diagnosis of my son, we discovered that my husband has Aspergers. Now those quirky little things my hubby does have a reason and I find myself not as irritated with him. :)

    • Rebekah Stupakewicz
      February 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Wow I read your post and it’s like I wrote it. Totally the same here. So glad to hear someone else understands. Blessings and prayers for your family today.

    • Loreen
      February 15, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      How interesting Julie. My brother has autism. I have it too,but it is a milder form than my brother.I think it is Aspergers. It has kept me from many things in life. I am still single and dont know how I would handle a marriage,that close contact with a man.My mom and I have wondered where the autism came from,and i think we have it figured out. We think my grandmother(my dads mom)may have Aspergers.She was just never diagnosed.It is so mild,but she has some of the symptoms. I dont get to be an aunt either.That really hurts.I dont have any other siblings. My mom was afraid to try for another one. I lack the skills it would require to raise my own children,but being an aunt would have been nice.

  4. emily severance
    February 14, 2011 at 10:57 am

    My son is 3 and has autism. My exhusband has been in denial about it since his diagnosis. (one reason he’s my EX) My son is a very happy child and loves to stack and organize. I couldn’t imagine my life without him :)Other than speech delay and the occasional tantrum,he’s just like everyone else :)He’s an excellent problem solver and is oh so curious. He is the absolute love of my life :) :)

    • Danielle
      February 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

      My EX still doesnt believe that our 4 yr old son is Autistic. He thinks he’s just naughty and needs a whooping…which I refuse to do to him. My current boyfriend understands a bit more but thinks he’s got everyone fooled. He thinks he’s smarter than the average 4 year old and just acts helpless to get me to baby him. I feel like Im constantly defending him because he is the light of my life! Once I told my current boyfriend he needed to be willing to learn about Autism and Mataio or he was gone he changed quite a bit.

      • Michelle
        February 14, 2011 at 1:25 pm

        I is extremely hard when a couple has two very different points of view. Spankings will only increase aggression and your right, knowledge is POWER. Keep ding what u r doing and let no one steer you off. The more you know and understand the better of your child will be. God bless your family!

      • msherrett
        February 15, 2011 at 11:14 am

        Per my below replies, document the autism for child support enforcement purposes. Always know where the ex is and works: CS is automatically deducted from paychecks. File for SSI with Social Security, too, if needed depending on your personal income and see what I said about when the son is 18+.

      • Jennifer Brown
        February 5, 2012 at 6:35 pm

        I know how you feel. I get that from a lot of people, relatives and my son’s teacher. I always encourage them to educate themselves and they will see what I see. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened yet, it’s as if they are waiting for the diagnosis to be solid before thinking otherwise. It’s very frustrating. As for my hub, we have had a bumpy 8 years (since our son was born), we can’t seem to be on the same page with each other when it comes to our son, and even with all the proof in the world he still doesn’t approach our son in a way that leaves a positive impact. I always have to go in behind him to calm him down and explain “what daddy is saying” to our son. Once I do that, he’s calm and goes on about his daily routines. If I don’t – it’s a 2-3 hr meltdown.The hub never has really been much of a father to our son, he says he’s waiting for him to get older so that they will have the same interests!!!! I have to remind him that our son isn’t interested in the things you like, you have to learn to like what he likes, otherwise you’re gonna keep waiting for something that will never happened and lose a son in the process of it. I’m now at the point where my hub knows that I rather end things between us for the sake of our son, though in doing so will greatly impact our son, emotionally. So I stay for now, till I can figure out a way to get my son through the hard part of separation without it harming him mentally and emotionally. Not sure if that is even possible, but I’ll try my best for the sake of my boy.

    • msherrett
      February 15, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Note what I said below about child support enforcement. Know where your ex is and works since CS is automatically deducted. File for SSI through Social Security if you qualify since your son would qualify for Medicaid, too. Good luck.

  5. Cynthia
    February 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

    It has brought me and husband a lot closer I’d say. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t as if we weren’t focused on our son but now with him being diagnosed, it makes us more focused. It’s brought us together to know what we need to do as parents to help our son. I’m happy that I have him to be there with me through this journey. He had an easier time accepting the diagnosis than I did. So it helps that he is very patient with me. I am very blessed.

  6. Melissa
    February 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

    I honestly do not believe that having a child with autism has affected my relationship with my husband in any negative ways. We celebrate our sons achievements together, we reprimand him just like his brother and sister and really he’s what we know to be ‘normal’ as he is our 1st child. My husband is currently deployed so I have taken the wheel and gotten our son into ABA therapy and work with his teacher to help him excel in school. My husband has a special connection with our son which is so awesome to see, as the mother/wife because he could have chosen a different way to deal with our situation that wouldn’t have been ideal for our relationship. If anything, having a child with autism has brought us closer together given the fact that we had to fight tooth and nail to even get an evaluation to diagnose our son in the 1st place. It took us about 4 years to get a Dr to listen to us when we said ‘somethings not right’ and of course, we were right! My husband is my best friend and I believe all of our 3 children have taught us something more about each other that we didn’t know before they were here and that just makes us appreciate them so much more.

  7. Ann
    February 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    We’re pretty lucky; we’re strong because of it. I can see how it can be a problem. Other problems in the past really tore us apart (a miscarriage, for example, really pushed us very fat apart). But no, we’re a team, we’re a family, and we back each other up. And he is one of the few people I can make jokes about or laugh about the antics of my son, or say how much I hate it and how hard it is without getting judged. I think we all need that. I’d KILL anyone who laughed at my kid but sometimes I just have to when something is particularly ridiculous. So having someone I feel free enough to do that around (and understands my undying love and devotion for my son despite it) REALLY is important.

  8. linda
    February 14, 2011 at 11:05 am

    as a stepmother of an autistic stepson i had to think long and hard before signing on with this family. it is most likely that i will be raising an adult for the rest of my life. his father and i have full custody and his mother lives in the same town and maybe sees him twice a year… her choice and loss. it had been a challenging 15 years now and i would not trade them for the world. we have weathered the trials of puberty, growth spurts, shaving and money. he has been great and tells his father that he just wants to live with us forever.
    he can be awful and aggressive and as a 225 lb man that is scary. we have him on the mega vitamin therapy from kirkman labs and if he misses a couple doses we are back at square one.
    he is time consuming and interfers with our alone time and vacations are not romantic get aways…
    we will never be able to walk naked to the laundry room or to raid the fridge at night, but there is a satisfaction in knowing that someone needs me genuinely needs me.
    we will make it together and have taken little breaks for him thanks to family but mostly we just make dinner reservations for three and enjoy the good times and lean on each other in the bad.
    my little bundle of joy in turning 28 this year and it will continue to be a day we celebrate in ernest.

    • Christi
      February 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Your story is my story, only my stepson is 15 :)

      I am really interested in the vitamin therapy you have him on, as B6 has really made improvements for my stepson.
      Please e-mail me privately if you don’t mind & get a chance.
      cstepro@live.com

      Thanks!

      • Lisa
        February 18, 2011 at 12:59 pm

        Hi /Christi, I was wondering if you every started your son on the vitamins? im interested as well. Would luv some feedback.

    • melissa seavey
      February 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

      i found that vitamins esculated my son.

  9. Kali Pederson
    February 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

    We are new to this. Our son was diagnosed Aspy last month. He is 7 in second grade. We always suspected a something with our perpetually happy on the move little guy. Now it is confirmed, like a rock in the stomach.

    My patience with him has grown. I see more and am dealing with it in what hope is a positive manner. We haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg on what our roles will be.

    However, My husband is moving along with no alterations in his response or behaviors, thoughts and is not learning, reading, asking questions or finding out any information of where do we go from here. He has not even notified his mother. I informed my family right away because there are questions about my niece.

    My husband still yells and snaps when my son starts stimming, while I am trying to search out triggers and I get confused and frustrated on weather I should redirect or let him stim. I also need confirmation of what I am observing to ensure I am not creating things that may not be or curb any wishful thinking.

    I am not happy about this and feel as though my son and I are not getting support and this is dangerous territory for family, for my son and for my husband’s and my relationship. Resentment has not peeked its head out yet. Something needs to change though. The stress of worrying about stress sin our relationship is a compounding factor that isn’t needed. It is of no benefit to my son or our family.

    I have offered videos, books, people to talk to and hubby is just not interested. He loves us. He wants the best for us. He works very hard for us. He is a good man and he is a very gentle man. But he is not showing any willingness to “deal” with his son’s needs and it comes out in frustration and anger.

    This is my experience so far, the early stages.

    • February 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

      Maybe your husband is not ready to accept the diagnosis and what that will mean for him and the family. My DH was saying that our son had Aspy for a long time and I was the one in denial… though I knew deep down something was not right. He is our only child and we are an older couple and didn’t have any experience with what is “normal” development and behavior. Since our Autism diagnosis being official, I’ve been accepting of it.

      I can’t comment on what it would take for your hubby to be accepting of the situation, but it must be such a threatening influence on him. For myself, it wasn’t until I knew that I had options and support available that I could get comfortable with the idea.

    • margo
      February 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Hang in there! I know how you feel. Our marriage has become much more strained since our son’s diagnosis of Asperger’s at the age of 23! My husband and I have always had a difference of opinion regarding my son’s social behavior– I have been more patient and supportive and he’s always impatient and explosive. Perhaps I have seen my son in a different light because of my background and education–I am a teacher and have worked in education.I have always suspected that my son wast a “lttle off “– he had many social episodes in school , but he always did well academically, had a few friends to just keep him afloat socially, and really charmed adults. He had seen several psychologists/ psychiatrists and had been in therapy for years, but no one had diagnosed him with Asperger’s until now. My husband never supported my belief that we should push to get our son re- evaluated, but when our son had suicidal thoughts, I pushed for someone to take a good hard look at our son. My husband stillresists dealing with it.

    • February 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm

      Kali,

      I knew nothing about autism when my wife first suggested that our first of 3 boys was on the spectrum. When my second came around I was in denial when he wasn’t benchmarking in his behaviors, and I couldn’t rationalize how we could have two boys with special needs. It took awhile for the gravity of it all to sink in, but when it did then I joined my wife in her study and behavior change that autistic boys require in raising and discipline on top of all the other medical and educational needs that come with the package. Please have him visit the blog I am developing. Over time it will be meant to encourage those fathers who went through a similar denial/devastation experience like I went through. Now, I can’t imagine life without by boys who vary in degrees on the spectrum. A normal life is over-rated and what the heck is “normal” anyway nowadays. We’ll be praying for you. Love and respect him through it.

  10. February 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

    We have 3 children, 15 to 7 years old. The oldest has high anxiety, our son has High Functioning Autism, and our youngest has Sensory Integration Dysfunction with OCD. Stress is a constant visitor at our house, our sense of humor sees us through, and when it doesn’t we roll with the punches and pray!

  11. Di
    February 14, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Anyone have any tips on getting a spouse more interested in learning about ASD? In some ways, my spouse is very supportive in day to day management, but tends to rely on me to do all the gathering of data and information from reading and Dr. appts. I don’t want to undermine the support already given on a daily basis, but would love some partnership on this other side.

    • February 14, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      I feel the same way, unfortunately I do not have an answer. My husband gets irritated too quickly and would rather spend most of his time away from our 4 yr old (PDD-NOS). He also makes comments that drives me crazy because if he got just a little involved and read about it he would know that it’s NOT him ‘taking advantage of the situation’. My husband also believes that since I am the one at home full-time it’s MY responsibility to keep up with everything related to my son and autism. The positive thing that came out of the diagnosis is that my husband no longer thinks I make excuses for wanting to take carer of my son.

      • Loreen
        February 15, 2011 at 12:48 pm

        Your husband sounds like my dad. My brother and I are both autistic,and our dad just ignored us growing up.I cant remember him ever doing anything with us.He just left it up to our mom. He has improved since we have grown,but I still dont think he is capable of loving us.He grew up in a stiff,strict family that didnt express their love for each other. I look at all the men nowadays who really know how to be dads,and I realize my dad didnt do that good of a job. Amazingly,he has always been able to love my mom.That hurts my feelings. Why could he love her but not his children?

    • Tammy Spanner
      February 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm

      You might try saying I understan that you want me to do all the apt. and the research for our child, and that is okay I would like us to have some time in the evening with you even if it is before bed and give hime updates and I would try doing it in small doses. Good luck to you, I have been there.

    • Michelle
      February 14, 2011 at 1:31 pm

      Oh My Goodness, when I read your post it is almost like I wrote it myself. In my case it’s almost like I am doing it alone, but with a nanny/daddy. We need someone to brainstorm with, to talk about what we learn with, and who better that daddy right? It has created much friction between my husband and I. My life is my is all about how I can be a better mom and understand my son’s issues to the best of my ability. I find it hard to understand how seems to not feel the same.

      • Di
        February 15, 2011 at 3:51 pm

        It is nice to know there are others out there who feel the same. When it falls on me to gather and process all the information, it makes it hard to keep balance in my own life. I find myself looking at everything in light of how my daughter will react, how to improve her life, and how to inform everyone else. It becomes almost obsessive because I know if I am not looking, no one else will. Thanks to everyone for responding!

    • Craig
      February 15, 2011 at 11:42 am

      There are a few books out there that deal with a fathers relationship with their son’s autism. I found reading them helped me deal with my sons diagnosis better then just reading stuff in general about it. This then made me want to participate more in the support side of things. However my approach has always been that he is my only son and i would do ANYTHING to make his life better.

      • Di
        February 15, 2011 at 3:48 pm

        Thanks Craig. I’ll try that. He really is great overall. It’s is just too much on my plate to do by myself.

    • Sarah
      February 16, 2011 at 10:07 am

      I’m with you Michelle… Di, when I read this I thought it was my post.

      My advice (I’ve been at this for years and years now), stop worrying about trying to change him/get him interested/get him to help with anything beyond the day to day (which if yours is as much like mine as I suspect – he’s great at the day to day). Your efforts to get him interested in anything more will only drive you nuts (in this regard, mine is intractable). Just persevere and move ahead as you see fit.

      Best wishes.

    • February 18, 2011 at 1:33 am

      Hello, our son was diagnosed at age 5. His autism is quite severe. At first the diagnosis was very difficult. I stayed at home with my son while my husband worked. I felt it was constantly a case of “You’re not doing enough”. Perhaps I felt that as well, but I felt like my husband was somehow blaming me for our son’s lack of progress. A few years later my son took over as full-time parent and I went back to work. That helped tremendously as we both saw things from the “other side”.
      My husband created an autism podcast where he speaks with experts in the field, other parents, and people with autism.
      Do you think it might help your husbands to listen to another father? If so, send them to http://www.autismpodcast.org
      I really hope it can help.

    • February 19, 2011 at 12:03 am

      Di,

      Open, honest and direct communication of your needs to your spouse is the way to go. That is easy to say, everyone knows they should, but having a child on the spectrum in the household requires more of that. If my wife, who is the primary caregiver and educational planner in our family’s team, doesn’t directly “beat me on the head” sometime when I am off the mark at home then I just wouldn’t be able to adapt. Everyone knows men and women communicate differently and my wife and I have spent years trying to get better at just that. Like us and other couples we’ve spoken to, roles will start to develop as your home-care team develops for your kids. The responsiblities that my wife and I share differ, but we both share stresses and challenges in those roles with each other and support each other. For instance, part of your life will be advocating legally for your child’s proper education. You may encounter circumstances where you’ll disgree with you school on developing a proper program. There are times when that diagreement will turn into a legal battle (as it has for us many times). In those times my wife is lead counsel and I am supporting clerk to help hone documentation, briefs etc. This just happens to be her and my strengths being put together in a team effort. At the end of the day though, regardless of the sitaution or who in one particualr moment does more than the other it is always: “One team – one fight” and neither of us cares who gets the credit.

  12. Edward Madsen
    February 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

    If anything is has taught us to enjoy every moment, every step, every new accomplishment. We are not devastated by setbacks like we thought could happen we just seem to roll with the punches we work harder to overcome those events. We both agree that we will move heaven and earth to do the right thing not only for our child with autism but our other two children as well. So I would have to say we have a closer couple because of autism in our family.

  13. Carla Loutfi
    February 14, 2011 at 11:10 am

    My son’s father was fairly actively involved as a step parent to my oldest son. When my autistic son was born things were not bad till he started having problems. At first we overlooked his quirks. Then when his behavior got bad around age two I pursued a medical diagnosis. He did not want to believe anything was wrong but could not handle the tantrums. He ended up staying out of the house a large portion of the time, leaving me to deal with my son and the older child alone. Thats what eventually ended our marriage his lack of presence and support. My third husband can’t accept that he has problems. He appears normal. When he acts up my third husband loses it. I look at how much progress he has made because I have been there from the start, he only sees a bad kid. I am scared to have my new boyfriend to live with us for fear of his reaction to my son. For now we maintain a long distant relationship till things calm down or he is in college or adult living quarters.

  14. Kat
    February 14, 2011 at 11:13 am

    Having an autistic child has been a challenge in our relationship. As our autistic son (now 8) grows things change for him as i’m sure they do for many autistic children. Sometimes our patience wears a little thin with him I must admit and it’s difficult.

    Case in point yesterday we were buying shoes for our son (always a challenge because nothing FEELS right). And he was having a bit of a meltdown. My husband got a bit short with him which caused a bit of an arguement between us there in the shoe store. In his defense it’s not always him, there are many times I lose my own patience and he needs to step in and reground me before the situation escalates.

    Having an autistic child tests every part of you. It only makes sense that your relationship would be tested as well.

    • lisa
      February 14, 2011 at 9:30 pm

      OMG!!! This sounds just like us!!! hahaa, even down to the issues with shoes (or sox, if they don’t sit right on his feet…meltdown!!!) I find my hubby is short tempered when it comes to public meltdowns, like he is embarrased by A……and worried what people will think. I am to the point where I couldn’t care less what anyone thinks, the people that are important know why he carries on the way he does and that is all that matters. xo

  15. Pam
    February 14, 2011 at 11:14 am

    The first few years of my sons life put enormous stress on our marriage. When he was finally diagnosed we went through a rough patch. Raising children in a marriage is stressful in iteslf, but throw in the diganosis of autism, and the challenges run deep. I can say as we are now hitting our 20th anniversary, i am so glad we were able to work through the rough times. Our son has brought us closer and adds a dynamic to the relationship that bonds us on a deeper level. I cant imagine us not raising our son together.

  16. February 14, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Autism has most certainly impacted my marriage. My husband and I are very cognizant of that. We don’t have a whole lot of time for lovey-dovey, and we’re often exhausted at the end of the night. We are incredibly aware of the statistics stacked against marriage when a child is diagnosed with autism. So, with that knowledge in hand, we are ever so much more aware of each other and our relationship. Our lives shifted when our son was diagnosed and so we know that we have to try harder to find the time to take care of ourselves and to nurture our relationship. Sometimes it is easy. Sometimes it is hard, but we know that it is incredibly important. We are ever so much stronger as a duo, so it is imperative that we regularly take a time-out to just be with each other. It is truly a work in progress, much as a marriage is as we shift and change over the years. But, at the end of the day, I am so thankful that I have a partner to share the joys and triumphs, and the challenges with. I’m so thankful for my loving husband. I actually wrote an ode to him on my blog in honor of Valentine’s Day. He is amazing. http://aimeevelazquez.wordpress.com/2011/02/13/

  17. clot77
    February 14, 2011 at 11:16 am

    I feel it has brought us closer. Our twin sons were only recently diagnosed as being on the spectrum but it has made us a much stronger team. We definitely make sure we are on the same page when it comes to the boys.

  18. kara
    February 14, 2011 at 11:20 am

    My husband and I have a good relationship and I believe it has become stronger because of our son’s Autism… We view the world differently… Not so focused on the needs of the day but the joys of it.. Our son is soooo sweet and loving. He has taught us to love the way Christ loved us… Not expecting anything but loving in patience and in truth… Like 1 Cor. 13:4-8… I am so greatful God sent him to us… He is a precious and meaningful gift…
    Don’t live in the diagnosis, live in the NOW… Love in the NOW…

  19. PROUD PARENT
    February 14, 2011 at 11:21 am

    MY SONS AUTISM IS NOT SOMETHING EVERONE UNDERSTANDS AND ALTHOUGH IM NOT DATING YET I HAVE A FEELING IT WILL AFFECT IT IN SOME WAY. SOME GUYS JUST THINK U CANT CONTROL YOUR KID AND HAVE A DISFUNCTIONAL LIFESTYLE WHCIH IS SO NOT THE CASE.. I KNOW THAT ONCE I START DATING IT WILL BE SOMEONE THAT CAN APPRECIATE ALL OF MY SON JUST THE WAY I DO< I LOVE HIM TO PIECES AND HE WILL ALWAYS COME FIRST<<<

  20. SChristensen
    February 14, 2011 at 11:22 am

    Our relationship has grown a lot since our daughter was diagnosed. We have learned and grown together. She has made us much stronger/better people.

  21. Christine
    February 14, 2011 at 11:29 am

    My son is almost 16 now. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2. His father and I separated when he was 4 and eventually divorced. I am remarried to wonderful man who treats my son like he was his own. My ex-husband and I have a good relationship now and he is there for our son and our daughter whom we suspect has some signs of aspergers. I have two younger children now also. I feel like things happened the way they did for a reason and now my son has three younger siblings to look out for him.

  22. Karen
    February 14, 2011 at 11:32 am

    When my diagnosis was changed from a mental health issue to ASD, my (ex) husband no longer wanted me. He “needed” me to get better before he would invest into someone who, according to him, would never be able to listen to him.

  23. Gary
    February 14, 2011 at 11:39 am

    My son is 5 years old and was diagnosed with autism when he was 2. My wife and I love him to pieces and do as much as we can for him-which, given our current status as low-income retail drones, can be a bit difficult-he also has almost no vocabulary to speak of and can be loud, destructive to all kinds of property (he rips carpets, walls and toys for fuzz/paint) rambunctious and still throws huge temper tantrums in public places, so we have to deal with a million little crises every day. In some ways its made things harder, in others its made things better. I can’t imagine my world without my little guy anymore-frustrating but totally worth it. A lot of people seem astounded that we can manage with him, especially as I am known for my lack of patience-I do what I can for my son, though. All things said, my son is a very happy child, and that’s all that matters.

    Also-I have been unofficially diagnosed with Asperger’s for years, been meaning to get an official one for some time. It would explain where my son got his from-his mother’s side of the family has no history of it, our side has several people who all have some variant, including to her surprise my own mother.

    • Lucy
      February 15, 2011 at 10:06 am

      Wow!! Your story sounds just like me. My son was diagonsed when he was 5, had no idea what it was, I cried my eyes out thinking I did something wrong, But Im here to tell you that if you put all your heart into the problem and learn what he has things are so much easier. I went to all kinds of support groups, I went through all the embarrasing moments in the store, church you name it, but I never was ashamed. My son is now 18, he moved out into an apartment with his brother, as they are both attending Central Michigan University, they live 2 hours a way. This was real hard on my husband and I, but he is doing great!! Hard work and dedication on your part will help your son, I know, it has been a long road, but sooo well worth it. He brightens my day with his humor, he calls home everyother day to tell me something funny. Chin-up because life is full of surprises, one day your son is going to surprise you.

    • February 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

      I also have less patience than I care to admit, but it IS amazing how much I have for my little guy. I believe that both my DH and I have some form of Aspergers… Going through my son’s eval was such an eye opener into my own childhood. So sad for me, but I’m glad to have found out for many reasons. I suspect the same of my mom, but she is deceased and so cannot address it. For myself, I don’t see how getting a formal diagnosis will help me more since I’m 50 yrs old.

  24. Mikki
    February 14, 2011 at 11:46 am

    I don’t know that it has really brought me and my husband any closer but it has affected how we relate to our daughter. She is the youngest of 3 girls and we have had to work together to help her. She is so happy and wants different things from each of us, so we feel together we meet her needs. It is still a struggle at times but I wouldn’t change a thing. We are blessed and have learned to cherish her hugs when we get one and share each accomplishment!!

  25. Rachelle
    February 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

    When our son was diagnosed with Pervasive Develpoment Disorder or PDD. I tried to figure out why and how. My husband blamed me and thought it was something I had done. His family refused to believe that Shawn had this disorder, even though a doctor had diagnosed him, it was still in my head. Within 6 months we were divorced. I couldn’t handle how Shawn was treated. I remember a time when someone came to our door and said some hurtful things to Shawn, he crawled up in my lap, and said I’m sorry mommy. I told him that God had made his special and NOBODy was to take that away. It caused alot of rifts between my husband’s family and myself.

  26. February 14, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I have to say we were very lucky it brought us even closer. When we found out we had only been together for about 3 yrs we were still practically newlyweds, but we took the news like troopers. My husband and i have EXCELLENT communication between us, and we work VERY well together which really is the key.
    After one day of crying and swallowing the news(because we knew nothing about it) we jumped on the bandwagon and we had her in OT, & early intervention the following week. They were completely surprised when we showed up so quickly.
    She’s been transitioned into regular classes, and nobody would suspect her having it at all. We worked hard “together” to get her the help she needed, and to learn all we could about her diagnosis, so that we could help change her life for the better. We are very lucky for her, and it all has done nothing but make us a stronger team!

  27. AshleyS.
    February 14, 2011 at 11:57 am

    Having Autism has definitely affected my relationship with my boyfriend…and I think it was positive. Yes, we have had our ups and downs and miscommunication about things and there are still some things that he doesn’t understand about me but it has brought us closer. We are so much more open with our communication about how we feel about something that happened than I think a lot of other couples are. We do still have the problem of making sure a schedule is set when we go out places and a lot of times he has the problem of staying on that schedule…which bothers me and he knows that but its a work in progress. We hit a year of being together this week and its the longest relationship I have been in. But I am so happy and I know he is! He helps with with dealing with being in large crowds and helps me deal with my stimming moments to make sure I don’t accidentally hurt myself. We have our ups and downs but it has definitely brought us closer and as much as I hate having Autism sometimes, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

    • Sarah
      February 14, 2011 at 2:11 pm

      I would love to talk with someone with Autism… if you have time I would truly appreciate a few min. or emails..I have so many questions. My son is 4 1/2 and not verbal enough to express his feelings or why he does some things… I understand no 2 people are a like.. just would like some info from someone who knows what they are talking about… my email is mowllmtn@fairpoint.net… thanks

    • February 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

      I know exactly what you are talking about. I have a boyfriend with autism. I love him more than anything. We have a very close relastionship. Yes, Sometimes it’s hard, but the Love we share with each other is greater than all the Frustration. I did not know anything about autism before I met him. We are about to have a little girl, our first one. Due in March. Too see how happy that makes him, makes me happy. He has another child with another women. I’m just kind of worried about how he will act around the baby, with his “simmering” moments. I’m positive we can work it out. Its nice too talk to some one who is in the same situation. (well kind of)

  28. Laurel
    February 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    My husband was recently diagnosed with ADD (although I still think he has Asperger’s), never treated. He is unable to cope with or understand Jimmy. We actually have a lot of tension between us because I cannot get it through my husband’s head that he cannot expect the same from Jimmy as our two non-autistic kids. That he has to use a different approach. He is not in denial about the autism, he just cannot grasp how he’s supposed to “handle” Jimmy. And the approach he uses is absolutely unacceptable (he’s not abusive – he would not be here if he was – but he is too harsh)

    • Loreen
      February 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      Your husband sounds like my dad.He always ignored my brother and I growing up.I can never remember him doing anything with us.(My brother and I have autism.) He still gets awfully impatient with us and doesnt act like he loves us. My mom has wondered if he has Aspergers,but I dont think so.He just grew up in a stiff family that didnt express love for each other. I resent this and think he should have been a better dad. Like your husband,my dad has never been abusive in any way,but he just acts unloving and impatient with us. It has affected my self esteem. I suffer a lot of guilt over this because my dad is really a good man,but I am having to still live with him,all my 36 years of life.

    • Loreen
      February 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      Your husband sounds like my dad. He always ignored my brother and I while we were growing up. I can never remember him doing anything with us. ( my brother and I both have autism. He still gets impatient with us and isnt able to express affection for us. My mom thinks he may have Asperger’s but I dont think so.He was raised in family where affection wasnt shown. He doesnt have any disability at all. Like your husband,he has never been abusive in any way.He is just impatient and unloving.I suffer a lot of guilt over this because my dad is really a good man,but I have had to live with him for all of my 36 years,so resentment has built up.I never get a break from him. I see so many men out there who know how to be dads and my dad failed in some areas.

  29. Pam Cranmer
    February 14, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Our Son Ralph was diagnosed with Autism around the age of 2, my husband and I both knew that there was something going on with our baby from the very minute he was born. We didn’t know what we just knew. We both went through denial and then realized that is was Autism. Our doctor mentioned it to us when he was 6 months old. It’s just that we went through this at different times, which I guess was good now that I look back on it. We are still together and I know we will be for always, but it is hard. This is my husband’s first baby and my third, we love Ralph so much we would do anything for him. He makes us smile now matter how hard it is. He keeps the love for each other and him alive everyday. I know he is a special child given to us by God and I and my husband are eternally grateful for his love!!!!!!!!!!!!!HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. Jamie
    February 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    My sons dad and I had been together 6 years when we split and in the midst of the breakup our son was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. His dad did not want him to be labeled and it prolonged the process to get therapy for him. However now 5 years later I am married to a wonderful man who is very supportive and my sons father and I have been able to develop a working relationship when it comes to our sons care. I do whatever is necessary and give him updates but he no longer questions everything and is even finding ways to help our son when he is with him. I think it helps that the girl he is seeing now has a son on the spectrum who is dealing with the same things we went through. God brings you light when you think all you have is darkness, and we are blessed to have come this far!

  31. Cindy
    February 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Our son is now 20, mostly non-verbal. Other than not being able to communicate, he is a joy. But the early years were a different story. His behaviors were out of control. He did not sleep a full night for like 10 yrs. I was up with him for every night he was up. Most times, I’d send him off to school and go back to bed from exhaustion. I could not hold a job because of this, which resulted in financial problems. I had no interest in sex, because I was so exhausted all the time. My husband felt like a failure on many levels. He strayed from the marriage, which all but destroyed me. Through counseling for many years, I was able to forgive him, and I feel now we are stronger for it. While I do not blame my son for any of this, the Autism certainly stirs the pot and makes you see what you are truly made of.

  32. Tammy Spanner
    February 14, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I have a 12 year old son that is diagnosed with autism, adhd, severe anxiety, and severe behavior and anger issues. Me and my husband went thru a very rough time, but we have found our way back, and we are closer then we have ever been since being married 16 years. We both have did a lot of accepting saying this is who kyle is and we need to find the help for him. I am fighting his school to get him in a different school that can handle him and help him learn his behaviors and how to manage, because does not understand them. We could not imagine our life without him and I am so commited to help him have a life and fulfill his dreams whatever they are. My husband and myself always make time for us, even if it is a few minutes before we go to bed to talk and check in with each other and I will fill him in on what i have done since he works and i am looking for at home work.

  33. Camsmom
    February 14, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    When our son was diagnosed with ASD & ADD at age 3 we lived in a 3rd world country with absolutely no resources that could benefit him. Within three months of his diagnosis we made the decision that I move with my son to the United Kingdom and my husband (of 15 years) would continue to support us from abroad. Two years down the line and my son and I have had to live with only seeing him 4 to 5 times a year. It is heartbreaking for all of us everytime he leaves, but particularly hard for my husband. In our opinion it wasn’t a choice, it was a necessity, forsaking our family life and our marriage in order to give our son the best early intervention. We feel it was a small price to pay for what has already made a huge difference to our son’s quality of life and the long term benefits he now has because of it. I respect my husband deeply for having agreed to give up so much for our family and it has brought us so much closer together. We have lived like this for nearly two years now but shall finally be together permanently as a family once again very shortly.

    • February 15, 2011 at 10:12 am

      I am so happy to hear that your family will be together again soon. Your post was heartbreaking to read, but with a happy ending in sight. No matter what, sacrifices will have to be made and in my opinion, you’ve made the ultimate… so anything more will definitely be manageable.

  34. Heidi
    February 14, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Our marriage failed because of many reasons, one of which was my husband not getting involved in the care of our special needs children or being supportive of me. Our eldest son is an aspie, middle son is on the spectrum with a whole variety of issues, youngest son has Perthes disease. And my middle daughter has type 1 diabetes. The amount of care required, and trips to the doctors office are exhausting. The burden of care fell on me and me alone (and still does). My ex even told people that it wasnt a big deal, and didnt really change anything.

    • msherrett
      February 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

      Again, document the autism in all child support enforcement filings. See below.

  35. kayla a
    February 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    my son is two and my boyfriend left cus he said he couldnt handle him any more with his screaming that my son does so i told him to go because my son will aways come first and if he dont understand he dont thats it so now im pregnant with the x boyfriends baby and having my son and its really hard due to im only 19 but i will make it through and shine just as bright as my son does so in the end im compleatly happy being a single mom of 2

    • msherrett
      February 15, 2011 at 11:08 am

      File for child support enforcement for the son w/autism now and for the new one when born. Always document the son’s autism for CSE by medical records; IEPs, reports, etc. File for Supplemental Security Income with Social Security Administration and for Temporary Assistance For Needy Families and for Medicaid through your local Department of Social Services. Try to see if in the future you can get help getting a college degree where the state pays. When the sons are older, file for General Power of Attorney, legal guardianship, etc. Good luck.

  36. Janet
    February 14, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Our son is 16 years old and he Aspbergers and is high functioning. He has actually brought us closer because we work together to help our son continue to do well in school, achieving his goals and socially maturing. That’s not to say that sometimes we disagree and have to work out how we do things with our son. Over all we all do very well and have really been lucky to have a great high school and special education teacher to help us.

  37. sarah
    February 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    Our marriage has come to an end after 22 years all becauase my ex wants his freedom…not wanting to be tied down by a special needs daughter..he went to work abroad and after having the test to the freedom he decide just to quit like he was quitting a job, very selfish does not even contact his daughter only thinks about himself.

    • msherrett
      February 15, 2011 at 11:03 am

      I think it’s very sad your husband left once your daughter qualified for SSI. The best you can do, along with filing for that for her, is get conservatorship for her or file to be declared her legal guardian or see if she can sign a general power of attorney. Maybe with one of those only you can make decisions for her, including, sooner or later, if she wants to see her father again. My oldest son with autism, 30, signed a GPOA at age 25. He has no interest in ever seeing his father again, even if my ex and I get along by email.

  38. February 14, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I have HFA and I am now 40 – I was diagnosed in my early 30s
    In a relationship I feel more so Introverted and I become allot less cooperative – about a week or two into the relationship my partner doesn’t understand the Autism as being the core of the reason I am Living in the bubble – He would feel that I have become uninterested – This would cause unhappiness and allot of stress and over a short time we would split – so no happy ending here sorry -

  39. Ellenora Hurt
    February 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    It hasn’t affected any relationship I’ve been in.Everyone I always dated really loved him.The person who has a natural hatred for him is his father.For some crazy reason he hates being around him or being in public with him.He doesn’t like to be seen with him.It’s like he’s embarrassed.Any time he has another girlfriend whenever he picks him up he drives him around for a few hours until he has to bring him home.He tells everyone that my son is spoil that replaces the answer to everyone question when asked what’s wrong with him.I have been Blessed to have a male friend who I’m dating really take an interest in him.And he truly loves my son.I understand it’s harder on men to have an autistic child.But it should not border on the line of hate.

  40. Troy Millward
    February 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    My son was diagnosed when he was 3, initially based off behavior observed by the day care staff who advised us something wasn’t quite right, as an only child we had no idea what to expect, or that he wasn’t the same as other children. After he entered the public school system, I started putting pressure on my wife to quit working at night and change to a job working “normal” hours, one where we’d be able to spend more time together with our son in the evenings. She left while Trevor was in 1st grade. While I don’t blame autism for the divorce, the unrelenting stress placed on the parents of special kids, especially when geographically distant from family, certainly contributed directly to our marriage’s failure.

    Life moves on, and Trev is in 6th grade now. I’ve put a lot of effort into carefully screening the women I meet in order to find those that I feel would be understanding and supportive of the unique responsibilities that raising an autistic child demands. Surprisingly, there are many more willing to accept that burden than I would have previously imagined. So, for those who are currently facing the daily trials and tribulations on your own, keep the faith! There really are good people out there, willing to walk this path with you!

  41. Ellen
    February 14, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    With the news that our son had ASD, things began to get tense between my husband and I. My husband already had a child from a previous marriage with ASD and we had been told it was a one in a million chance that our child would have ASD. I think there was so much denial on my husband’s part and inability to cope with the issue that he shut down. He didn’t want to talk. He didn’t want to accept that there may be an issue so I shouldered the weight of our challenges alone. It isolated us a great deal until things came to a head between us and I told him I couldn’t handle our relationship and trying to help our son all alone while he sat by and did nothing. Luckily, he woke up at what he was missing and what he was about to lose in his life and we worked through it. Now five years after our diagnosis, we are working together with our support services and helping our son together. It is a struggle but at least we are working as a pair.

  42. Kelly
    February 14, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Me and my husband have been married almost 8 years. Our son is almost 6 and I thank his autism brought my whole family a little closer. His biggest probelm is his behavoral. He is now talking a little. I love my son and will always be there for him.

  43. April Larsen
    February 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    If would be hard to deny that Autism affects your relationships and your marriage. At a time when you are looking for support and strength there seems to be little at hand. In our case, my husbands sisters showed so little support and did not visit or call us (our son was Dx at age 3 – he is now 7) we have had to cut them out of our lives and of course that is a path no married couple wants. We even boycotted one of their weddings because if you cannot support our team, call or visit us in years then don’t expect us all to patch things up when you reach major celebrations. We needed people in good times and bad times – not when it was convenient to be happy. His family lives 50 minutes away, we relied soley on my family and our friends. Times like this you learn who really loves you unconditionally. Our marriage is strong – our family ties with most people are strong but if you cannot be strong for us and lend us an ear or show you care – I don’t have time to waste worrying about you when I have to worry about my son.

  44. Michelle
    February 14, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    My son with autism is 6 years old and was diagnosed at the age of 2. My son’s autism is not to blame for our relationship problems, but it has brought to light our differences, super bright led light. Especially when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle for our own health and more so for our children’s development. Al children need stimulation and experiences for optimum development, and when autism is involved it’s even 5x more of greater need. This is what we don’t see eye to eye on and I feel dad is holding me back more than supporting our family to move forward. He’s a great man and loves his boys but love is more than hugs and kisses. It has made us stronger in the area of understanding that our children really need us to work together as a team and the importance of continuing to strive with all of our ability for the sake of our children. In the end it’s like I am the sole brain in the house and he is the helper with everyday happenings, no reading or researching involved. That hurts our relationship more than he knows. But I cannot afford to lose the help that he does provide, financially and around the home on a daily basis. If only he could show more interest in his childs (both) development. I often ask myself “if I were to start dating my husband at this point in time, would I consider long term or marriage? My answer would be no, sadly. But it is what it is now and we need to make the best of it for our children’s sake. Anyway, I thank autism for making me a stronger parent and waking me up to the reality of what being a parent is all about. So I actually thank my son for saving my life and placing me on the right path. I will be there for my son “FOREVER” and I will find our way, no matter what it takes.

  45. Sarah
    February 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I know most relationships suffer from the strain of having Autism in the family… It’s not that ours didn’t or isn’t… living a life with Autism is certainly not easy and without it’s obstacles, but my husband and I seemed to have grown closer and are more like best friends than before… we care more about each others feelings..and are more in tuned to each other as well as the kids..We are more focused on the family that is SO important to us than the outside world.. we are still involved with the outside world…but aren’t as focused on it…. Our little man has taught us to have patience beyond, compassion like no other, and love to the end and back…. always!!!!

  46. Angie
    February 14, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    HI my name is Angie, and I am a proud single mom of,Tanner,who is 14 and has Ausitm and Down Syndrome. He is the light of my life and the reason the sun shines bright. My son and I have a strong bond and I believe it is because we have learned together.I have become a better person and loving mother because of what my son and his special needs has taught me. Although he origilnally left the picture when my sone was just 3 months old chosing to “find his way of dealing withlife” his dad is now involved in his life and sees him every other weekend. His dad has finally understood him and loves him for who he is. Being a single mom isnt easy. From finishing college, holding a job, and caring for a child none the less a special needs child, is not what i call a walk in the park. Bills can be tight, holidays and birthdays even tighter, and a relationship was almost impossible. Sometime I think of what could of been but then i think of the undying love my son has for me and know that it is all worth while.

    • Meg
      February 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      I am also a single mom with a 14yr old autistic boy. I put myself through college as well. We are poor, struggle a lot to make ends meet, and I am sometimes jealous of my friends who seem to have it all – nice big fancy houses, money in the bank, kids without special needs, partners who are there to help. But I tell you girl, and I know you know what I mean, there is something so satisfying accompishing the things you do with all the obsticals we have to face, it makes it even more worth it. Don’t forget to give yourself a pat on the back, look yourself in the eye in the mirror and know you can conquer it all!!

  47. Candace
    February 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Our 11 year old has autism. I met my fiance 2 years ago and I wasn’t sure how she would be able to handle him. We are planning to get married in the near future and Cameron (my son) has impacted our relationship in a huge way. While we have our challenges, he makes us appreciate each other and sets an example of unconditional love. He calls her his “second mama” and we enjoy the way he looks at love and marriage. Our lives wouldn’t be the same without his gifts of love and understanding.

  48. Barbara
    February 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    I have just filed for a divorce. My husband doesn’t understand our 10 year old son either. He is just angry and always says if i did that when i was younger i would have been grounded for life. He is always comparing his childhood to our 10 year diagnosed with PDD-NOS. I am not saying that my son is the cause because there are many other factors that play in on this. He says he doesn’t even want joint custody. He wants to move an hour away. I feel like I have 3 children. My husband is always fighting with my son. Arguing about anything. I wish we were on the same page but we really are not.

  49. Barbara
    February 14, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    what a great subject for this time of my life. thanks!!

  50. Louis
    February 14, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    When my wife and I recieved the dignosis on our son 8 or so years ago we both idependently did research on line. One of the disturbing things we found was that 19 out of 20 marriages where the children have autism end in divorce. We both independantly decided not to mention that to each other. 4 years later a friend mentioned the statistic and we were both surprised to discover that the other already knew it. I doubt we would ever split up regardless, but the fact that our son has autism and needs us always overrules any relationship difficulties. He is the light of our lives.

  51. February 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Well it seems like a few people have been through the same thing as me. I haven’t read all the comments (have a sick 6yr old aspergers son lying down next to me right now) But with his dad (who is an undiagnosed aspergers, not hard to tell) who had no idea of how to raise a kid and encouraged behaviors I was trying to eliminate. Then a BF of one year who was convinced my son was just horrible and naughty and I kicked him out partly because of the way he treated my son, he also thought my son was just playing me for a fool and making me baby him and i was way to soft on him and a good beating would make him respect him. (still makes me angry just thinking about it!) to my current boyfriend of 6 months who although he has struggled to understand my son at first is now coming to terms with how he really is. He tries to treat him like a “normie” six year old but then when what he does doesn’t work he starts to realise that my son needs to be treated differently and deserves to be understood. We did go through a very rough patch where he was telling me i was too soft on him and that i should be harder etc etc..
    but then i always have the ammo to fire back and remind him that #1: am i a good parents? Yes. #2 does my son have good manners and is generally well behaved? yes. #3 has my son come out through the last six years relatively well? yes. so then the way I choose to raise my son must be working whether or not he thinks i’m to soft on him is besides the point. what i do works, so he knows he has to run with it. now he has also seen the effects of what happens when my son isn’t treated right as well. (he got yelled at for a few weeks over the holiday period and he came back to school for the 6yr old tests and his reading and writing is down by a year although he passed it fine at the end of the year.) although my son has the ability to do it, anything that affects how he feels also affects his school work and behavior etc.

  52. February 14, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Yes, my Autism has affected my relationship with my bf Chris, and my past relationships. I also have ADHD. i wasn’t diagnosed with Autism until I was 17. I am 25 now. I don’t think before I speak to my bf Chris. So, I accidentally say things that are mean and I regret later. It’s VERY hard for me to think before I speak. But, I am trying to work on that and a bunch of other things. It is hard for me to compromise, I love routine, and I like things to be perfect. I feel like I always have to be in control. As a result,I have tried to control Chris. I have FINALLY realized, the only person I can control is myself. I can be suffocating, demanding,needy, and clingy 2 when in I’m in a relationship. I sometimes feel that my Autism tends to act up when

  53. February 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Yes, my Autism has affected my relationship with my boyfriend, Chris. I am 25. I have Aspberger’s. That means I am high-functioning. I also have ADHD. So, my Autism comes out as me being suffocating, demanding, needy, and clingy. I also love to be in control for some reason. I try to to think before I speak, but that is something which is very hard for me. As a result, I tend to say things I regret later. I dont think my boyfriend Chris has ever gone out with someone that has Autism . I hope my Autism doesn’t scare him. I’m very insecure about myself. I do not know if that is because of my Autism, or just me being me. I need to add that TRUST is a big issue for me. Just yesterday, Chris told me he needed some space. I think I was accidentally suffocating him again. I have no clue why I do that.When Chris told me yesterday he needed some space, I told him ”I understand”. Chris is so sweet! He treats me like a princess.Chris really loves me, and I really love him! Chris told me ”You are amazing”, because I have managed to conquer my Autism. He is my prince charming, and I am his princess!

  54. Jody Seward
    February 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm

    My Husband Ray and I did reseach together and apart to help educate ourselves. Our son was just diagnosed 2 years ago P.D.D. his doctor said he could label John with amny things but wanted to wait for him to get older. We now he is A.D.H.D and has Audotory Issues. We have been through alot and together we make it work and try to be on the same page for John. He is my Bud <3

  55. lisa
    February 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    I think it has bought my husband and I closer. To start with it was very very difficult….to accept the fact that there may be something wrong” with our child. BUT one of the first things we were told is we had to work together and agree on stratagies etc, and that is what we have done. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our little disagreements from time to time, but over all it has made us a stronger family unit. Life would be pretty boring without our little man in it!!

  56. melissa seavey
    February 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

    my 8 year marriage ended in the result of my sons autism.

  57. Anna
    February 15, 2011 at 9:42 am

    I wouldn’t say it brought us closer, but kind of brought to lite other issues in my marriage. My son has Asperger’s syndrome and ADHD. I also know my soon-2-be ex has ADHD and other mental issues along with some chemical dependencies. He never really could deal with our son’s ‘fits’. It actually seemed that he would agravate him or almost provoke him more. We are now going through a divorce, but I know it is for the best. My son is doing well, he has his episodes but they are nothing like what they were when he’s around his father.

    • February 15, 2011 at 4:05 pm

      Hey Anna I know how that feels my sons dad i think for sure is an undiagnosed aspergers and he really did seem to provoke my son alot and just not care. I left him 3 years ago and he stopped all contact with his son 6 months ago, but my son has been sooo much better since then (he’s aspergers). It’s unfortunate that some parents just cant put their kids first and are not prepared to try and work with them rather then against them. I’m just happy now that my son is improving.

  58. February 15, 2011 at 9:43 am

    It ended my marriage!! Plain and simple….she has Down Syndrome and autism. For some people,it is just too much responsibility. This was the case for him. Its unfortunate because he is missing out on some of the best moments she has had ever!

  59. February 15, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I think knowing our diagnosis has brought my husband and I closer and more as a team. We have always been considerate of each other, but this is different. So far, we are in total agreement and we are working more together in regards to our son’s education and quality of life. We are more understanding when the other is getting to our limits and we’ve become sort of like an intuitive tag team which is kind of cool.

  60. Dawn
    February 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    I was a single mom when I had my son who has Asperger’s (he is now 19). I got married to a man when my son was 8 who thought that he was merely a spoiled, undisciplined brat. He would not read anything on Autism or Asperger’s to learn more about how to deal with him. He wouldn’t do anything with my son and he actually became verbally abusive. Our marriage ended in 2004. I have been without a significant other ever since. I’ve learned that most men I’ve encountered do not want to deal with my son let alone share my attention with him. My son will be with me for probably the rest of my life and I’ve yet to encounter a man who was ok with that.

    No, I don’t blame my son, but it’s a sad state of affairs to think that having an Asperger’s son seems to have determined the future of my relationships and the possibility of ever getting married again.

    Thanks for allowing me to vent about this. :-)

  61. Alex's Mom
    February 15, 2011 at 9:49 am

    My son has always been ‘different’ and was finally diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was 6. Prior to that, it was just ‘Alex being Alex’. He is what he is…. the label made no difference except that it made available help at school with his social issues. His ‘biological donor’ as my son calls him, has not been involved since he was 2. Our relationship had been pretty good until the stress of a child was introduced, but that may have been partly my own Asperger filters way of seeing it. I was diagnosed at about the same time as my son.

  62. al viera
    February 15, 2011 at 9:51 am

    it has bought myself and my girfriend father apart the reason is that i give him much needed attention in teaching him i feel she does not contribute as much as i do but if we did it together i would think the outcome would be rewarding im always trying to find ways for him to beat this

  63. Andrew
    February 15, 2011 at 9:54 am

    it made me a better father and husband and feel very blessed everyday

  64. Vickie
    February 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Autism broke my family up when I was growing up, parents stuck together older brother left as soon as he was old enough. Younger brother was severely Austic, He has passed on now. As an adult I too have autism, just enough to disagree with the “Normal” world, marriages always an argument about something ended in divorce. My younger son is more autistic than my older son is on the norm side…ex raised my younger son, but he is with me now he has grown, got a job, socially struggling with his friends..and girlfriends are short term, I finally have a boyfriend now a year and his is older than me and very understanding, very flexible with everything does not argue about much, very quiet man, does anything for me..God gave me someone who can really take care of me now and accepts my son as he is…

  65. christine
    February 15, 2011 at 9:57 am

    our son Josh, was diagnosed tentatively when he was 2 1/4 yrs old. after having already raised 2 children who were in high school when Josh was born i KNEW something was wrong. Like many of you, I went from Dr to Dr trying to find one who believed me and could tell me what was wrong. At age 3 Josh was officially evaluated by a Psychologist and diagnosed as Autistic. His dad was in denial for YEARS before finally admitting that the Dr’s were right. Has it taken a toll on our marriage? YOU BET IT HAS! (I thoroughly believe that my husband is Asperger’s syndrome big time) Our marriage hasn’t been a real marriage in 14 years. We live like celibate best friend-type room mates. We haven’t loved each other in a long time and we are beyond the “fighting stage.” We get along very well and are together for Josh’s sake and because we cannot afford a divorce. ((I am handicapped for the last 3 1/2 years – severe mobility issues (power chair) plus severe diabetes, Neuropathy, Asthma, Fibromyalgia and other health issues))
    Has raising an Autistic child taken a toll on my health? to some degree, YES but you know what? I love my Josh more than anyone in the world and I wouldn’t trade him for a million bucks. In spite of the demise of the marriage Josh has been such a blessing to me. He has come a long way thanks to God working in him, and most people upon meeting him now have no idea he was once autistic. They see a fairly normal 16 1/2 yr old teen-ager. Which is exactly how Josh wants to be viewed by the world. This year he has even made TWO friends at the High School. Oh he still has issues, destructive temper flare-ups, still struggling to get passing in grades in school, especially since i quit home-schooling him after 7’th grade and returned him to public school, etc. but he is SO much better than what he was as an infant. I thank God for Josh. I love him and that’s all there is to it. God is good. Halleluia!

  66. melissa seavey
    February 15, 2011 at 10:01 am

    my son was diagnosed with autism and m.r at 3 years old.over the years he needed alot of help.with o.t,p.t,dev therapy,speech.early intervention,and behavior therapy.brad never wanted to be cuddled or kissed which made me sad.his dad was a big drinker so reality didn’t matter to him.i raised my 2 kids and step son basically alone.my son is non verbal which makes our situation alot harder.he is now 11 and needs meds for his aggression.i have been divorced for 6 years.i feel there is no time for a relationship due to brads needs and my 13 year old daughter.i have no support from family or friends they never visit anymore.its almost like they are scared of my son or can not accept his disease.i wan’t to thank all the wonderful parents out there that choose to raise your special kiddos.i have seen alot of kids go into residential care and it makes me so sad.your all amazing.

  67. Valerie
    February 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Valentines day card read… ‘I miss you,well,I miss the girl I married at least’That just about covers it. After advocating, coaching, and all the other things that life has to add to the mix, we become someone else over the years. I didn’t even know what the word ‘perseverating’ was 17 years ago!

  68. Juanita
    February 15, 2011 at 10:13 am

    I think our son’s autism has brought us closer. When he was born we were married, but living very independent lives. It has made us interdependent and we now work as a team. Without my loving and caring husband our son wouldn’t have been able to make the progress he has.

  69. Jeanine Cantrell
    February 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I feel really blessed after reading some of the posts.If anything,our relationship has grown stronger since our son’s diagnosis 11 years ago.It allowed us to prioritize our lives and gave us more focus than ever before.He’s a smart,funny,loving teenager now and we focus on a bright future for him.

  70. georgette
    February 15, 2011 at 10:22 am

    My son is 3 and me and his mother are not together. we broke up before he was diagnosed. And ever since he was diagnosed, it has brought me and her and him closer together. however, the relationship his other momther has with this other girl, it has made them grow apart from eachother! mainly bc the other girl is not mature and doesn’t understand. We both love our son, and even tho we aren’t together, we are great mothers to our son, and he has made us see eye to eye !!

  71. Lori
    February 15, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Like most of my close relationships,my 28 yr. old son’s autism has had substantial effect on my marriage. The disorder teaches others to have empathy and patience yet can also divide attention and priorities. Unfortunately, divorce is common within families dealing with autism because of lack of love and committment. Hopefully, other families will not experience what my son has from his stepfather’s abandonment when the separation began. Family support varies in degrees just like autism! My son, who changed my life forever, will be in it until the end with or without a father!

  72. February 15, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Autism in my life is a very real impediment to any new relationships, but certainly not the only factor.

    I’m a 53yo single father of a 15yo autistic daughter who will continue to be with me until she is well into her 20s at the very least. My ex and I adopted her when she was 2 and our marriage ended several years later when she decided to pursue a lifestyle with men free of parental obligation. She abandoned her custody when we split and has had no contact nor made any effort to have contact since. That choice has actually been a blessing to my daughter and me.

    Women don’t date men my age with an autistic teenager, and they certainly don’t think about marriage. While I would like a new life partner, my daughter chose me to be her father and I’m happy to honor that as my first priority.

    • Julie W
      February 16, 2011 at 9:38 am

      @ Mark Olson- I don’t have adequate time to respond to your post right now, but want to say how great it is to see a father responding. So often it is the mom’s who bear the main responsibility of caring for an Autistic child; whether by maternal instinct, societal expectation or sheer circumstance. Therefore it is women who usually respond to these type of surveys. I applaud you as a single father, least not for not abandoning your daughter as your ex did(which would never even seem an option to a true loving parent such as yourself!) Also though for setting your own wants & needs aside for now to give your daughter the treatment, help& support she needs at what’s a difficult transitional time for ANY girl, but especially one with the added issues Autism entails. Bravo to you & all the fathers like you!

  73. msherrett
    February 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Our son Mark’s autism+undiagnosed depression in my ex played a part in our 1986 divorce. He also has narcolepsy, which I knew of and for which he takes meds. Anti-depression meds help so we’ve emailed each other since 2010. He retired due to it all+prostate cancer treatment. A plus is our oldest son’s SSI ended once he got SSA $ based on his Father retiring. So, our son has no earnings’ limit. My youngest son is pleased my ex and I are civil to each other.

  74. Hillary
    February 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Autism definitely played a big role in my marriage ending. I don’t think at the time my ex was able to accept that his only son had severe autism. For a while he would not have him stay overnight at his apartment even though the girls got to go. Now he is involved in his son’s life.

    It is very hard to date when you are the custodial parent of a child with autism. Your time is limited as it is, and unfortunately I have met many men who run for the hills as soon as you mention you have a child with autism.

    • February 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

      I’m so sorry for what you had to go threw in your marriage! My husband had a hard time at first too, but now he understands because his brother of age 31 is disabled. I’m sure you’re a very good mother!!! :)

  75. Jennifer
    February 15, 2011 at 11:09 am

    so far, my boyfriend has been wonderful, and he doesn’t seem to mind my ASD at all, in fact, he seems to like it. but it has affected my parents. my brother and sister also have aspergers, and my parents show some symptoms of it. my brother has a worse case of it than i do, and everything he does seems to drvie my dad nuts, which mom sometimes defends him because he didn’t do anything, which leads to problems in their marriage.

  76. Marie
    February 15, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Our son is now 19 1/2 and is a high school graduate and Eagle Scout. Our relationship took a back burner to son’s care and I attended every last seminar that was available, trying to learn everything I could about Autism. There were times when I resented the fact that my husband’s work schedule conflicted with IEP meetings and he was never available or able to pick up our son from school if he was sick, etc. I have come to realize that my husband has worked as hard as he could while I did all I could to help our son have a meaningful educational experience. We know our lives would be different without Greg but we also realize how humdrum and boring it might have been, too. Our son has taught us to be thankful for what we have because he has enriched our lives so much. He is also a Type I Diabetic and has a seizure disorder. Greg was told at age 13 that he had Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of Autism. His response was ‘I knew there was something wrong with me.’ I reassured him that nothing was ‘wrong’ with him. it just meant he saw the world differently and that just because he was in the minority, it didn’t meant the majority was ‘right.’
    We continue to do all we can to help him maintain his dignity and independence. He is not allowed to get his driver’s license because of his seizure disorder but he did pass the written exam before his older brother and scored higher, too! He’ll catch the bus home from College and call Dad for a ride since we live about a mile uphill from the stop. We constantly remind him that he has much to be thankful for. He has helped to keep us married and working together, focusing on what needs to be done, instead of feeling sorry for ourselves and worrying about things that don’t really matter! We often ask ourselves, ‘What would our lives be without Greg? Boring is one word that often comes to mind!’

  77. Carol Brown
    February 15, 2011 at 11:35 am

    Long story. For starters I cried my self to sleep for the first 3 years of our marriage. Literally, and he never knew I was crying. In October of 1984 I called my Pastor and said I was getting a divorce. I was told not to and having a solid relationship with a personal God I accepted that. Several years later when my son was formally diagnosed at the age of 13 (or there abouts. He was already in Special Ed and went away after this to a special school for a year)(I had known for some years and he could have been diagnosed at the age of 1) followed by my daughter (only 4 out of 16 characterisctis and she didn’t qualify for any services) I read an article on how 10% of the fathers have 10% of the symptoms. A light bulb went on in my head. I put stories his mother had told me along with my experiences and said “WOW!” This guy is NOT a jerk and does not do these things on purpose. I began reading everything I could lay my hands on, attending conferences etc. Several years later Sterling came to me and asked “You think I have Autism WHY?”. And that started a healing process. We talked for hours and he began watching others to see what they were doing, and trying to figure out why and what he should be doing. Also, he brought home Temple Grandin’s original book “Thinking in Pictures ” (he works out of town and had gone to the local library) thinking I would be interested. I took him to our local hangout restaurant for coffee thinking it was his son and he should also be interested in the book. Funny, but forget Peter. He kept stopping me every other page telling me “Remember my parents saying this about me?” etc etc. He saw himself through the whole book. Later I found Tony Atwood.s site with a 10 question survey for Aspergers. He answered YES to 9 of the 10 questions. I’ve looked since but can’t find the same questionaire
    Bottom line is that all of my kids (3 of them) have scars from the way they were treated (physical and verbal abuse do to fear and lack of understanding coupled with a sensitive neurologicalal system and sensitive hearing)but they are healing (thank you Lord). We have come a LONG ways (including Elizabeth who has none of those symptoms any more) and I’m so glad I didn’t walk out on him. He would NOT have understood and would have been devastated. We are going on 40 years this December and I love him dearly. He still has problems understanding feelings and he can still get thrown into overload by crowds, kids etc (puts his nervous system into overload and causes confusion which can lead to anger and fear) but not like he used to be. He gets over it much quicker and sometimes he forces himself NOT to react which is incredible. God has done miracles in our family, including in Pete’s life but that is another story for another book. :-)He loves his family and they love him.

    • Carol Brown
      February 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm

      I would like to add that when I found out about autism (thanks to a wonderful special ed teacher) and realized that’s what was wrong, it was a tremendous relief to me. Pete was 9 at the time (he’s now 34) and I had cried and cried asking him to tell me what was wrong I could help him. Doctors were of NO use and he was classic autism at one time (according to Dr. Rimland). Peter was a boy and boys are slow maturing. I was a mother and mothers over react. GRR!. I cried myself to sleep when I finally had my answer. For once I knew I WASN’T CRAZY. :-) I could literally write a book but haven’t had the energy. You get me started and I could go on and on with stories. Isn’t it nice to know we are NOT alone?

  78. February 15, 2011 at 11:40 am

    I have a boyfriend with autism, It has brought us closer together. We have telepathy. A relationship that most people dream of. Sometimes I get frustrated, we are 8 months pregnant with our first girl. He has been dealing with the pregnancy pretty well. Except when I get hormonal, with mood swings. he isolates himself in our room for hours. I try to bring him out of it but sometimes its impossible. I help him as much as possible. With remembering his appointments, his Rx, and I got to appointments with him so he can comprehend what people are saying to him. When he has his moments he gets scary. He gets violent with people and starts threatening them. All in all We really love each other. even though this is one of the toughest relationships I have ever been in, it is also the most beautiful one I have ever been in.

  79. Annette Deming
    February 15, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’m amazed at how close my husband and I became. We’ve had our share of disagreements over certain therapies but, at the end of the day, I’m so blessed to know he concedes to his trust of me. Two years after my sons’ diagnosis we renewed our wedding vows after realizing our new life with our son was taking its toll on our marriage. Five years since that time, it’s like we’re still newly weds. I think we needed to share that re-commitment to each other now that we realize how much the diagnosis asks of us as parents and as a couple everyday.

  80. Boston Terrier Planet
    February 15, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    My divorce was final in 1998, & that was BEFORE our son was diagnosed. Soon after his diagnosis I stopped having boyfriends. The reason for this is because I KNOW an outsider will most likely be unable to accept or even want to deal with it. A couple of years before his diagnosis (while I was trying to find out what his diagnosis was) I did have a bf. This a-hole had one worthless suggestion for me concerning my son, after another, & I did not appreciate it. His suggestions were always that I needed to be harsher on him in order to whip him into shape so that he act like other kids. Uh…no amount of corporal punishment is going to cure an autism spectrum disorder. After that I held off dating for almost 5 years. My son (THANK GOD) has improved greatly over the past year & a half & I am dating again. I still won’t let guys get to know my son. He is the biggest & most important part of my life, but he stays separate. He is for me to deal with, not some outsider who knows nothing about autism spectrum disorders.

  81. Lydia Fernandez
    February 15, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Having a child with autism is not easy for anyone, married or not. My husband and I love our son soooo much we can’t imagine life without him. We have a teenage daughter who is very proctive of him. Were just blessed to have great families and friends who give us unconditioal support and pitch in when they can. My husband was never in denial, but it was not easy to accept. After our son’s diagnosis we agreed not to feel sorry for ourselves or ask “why?”. We accepted it and agreed we’d do everything in our power to do what we can and should do to make sure he gets whats best for him. He is doing well and continues to amaze us everyday. To all those who may not have the support of a husband or partner. Please don’t give up in finding someone who is understanding, accepting and loving toward your child(ren). Smiles to all :)

  82. Gail
    February 15, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Before our son was diagnosed our household was a bit chaotic, to say the least. He was misdiagnosed bi-polar and was prescribed heavy duty meds which only made things worse. We were at our wits end and arguing all the time. We were divided and distancing from each other. The only reason my husband and I managed to stay together is we both felt our commitment to our marriage was paramount. We actually separated for 2 months. We both decided that since we were going to stay together, no matter what, that we could choose miserable or happy. We decided happy was best. Everything came together when our son was finally diagnosed correctly. We knew what the issue was and began to seek the solutions. We are now completely aligned with each other and this provides great stability for our special needs child. Our marriage is stronger than ever today and we are 19 years strong. We would NOT have been able to stay together had it not been for our deep and mutual belief in the commitment to marriage. It is especially important to stay married when you have children. It was a very, very difficult road for us for about 6 years. We are both so very grateful we worked through the feelings and issues having a special needs child brings. Our 16 year old son transitioned to public school this year, after being at The HELP Group for 5 years, and is doing great! I do believe our son has progressed so well because we stayed together. Thanks for having this blog. I hope someone will be inspired to stay together because of our story. Marriage is a blessing! Fighting through the tough times serves to make a marriage strong.

  83. yolanda
    February 15, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    my sons autism really affected my marriage, my ex husband wouldnt believe my son had a problem even when he was diagnosed. I was just a ‘paronoid’ woman. he still doesnt accept the autism and frequently leaves my 12 year old home alone despite my begging him not to. personally i wouldnt change a thing as my son is very loving, caring of others and unique to myself and his big sis, we love him so much and will do anything to help him in whichever way we can.

  84. Tonya
    February 15, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    My husband and I were statistics before we had Cannon because we had our oldest while I was still in high school. We have managed to surpass every stereotypical belief about teen parents and do our best for our family. We stay together because we are better together than we are apart. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our moments where we just want to rip each other’s hair out, but we get over it and we stick it out because our kids deserve that. When we found out we were pregnant with our oldest, we said we would stick it out no matter what. We have been through a lot and Cannon’s autism is just another aspect of our lives together. We will continue to do what we can for our kids and for one another because we are a team.

  85. Gail
    February 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    After posting I read all the other posts and have more to say! The key for us was education car read everything there was to read. We wnt to conferences and workshops. While in one conference, learning about Autistic features, my husband and I would look at each other and say, “You have that one!”. We now believe my husband is an undisclosed Aspy; we have always knownbhe has ADD. We were fortunate one workshop to meet Temple Grandin who autographed 2 books for our son.

    We have come to believe that our Aspergers son is “wired” differently. He thinks in ways we do not always understand and will often agree to disagree. We honor and respect our son’s “differences”. He is extremely bright and has become very capable, due in large part to his Father’s parenting style, which is consistent and firm. We do not judge. We do not use the words “right” or “wrong” or “good” or “bad”. We use the words “working” or “not working”. We often ask our son, “How does that serve you?”

    My husband and I have moved from the initial feelings of confusion, denial and fear, to feelings of total acceptance and understanding and the realization that EVERYONE has special needs. Our world has opened up with this realization and I can say without a doubt that we are all more enlightened human beings because of our experiences.

    We have overcome so many “challenges”. Our attitude is this: our son has brown hair, wears glasses and has Autism. It’s just who he is. It’s not good or bad, right or wrong. Our son speaks of his Autism very matter of factly. One of the smartest things we ever did was tell him he had Autistism. He actually believes everyone is on the spectrum to one degree or another!

    After reading some of the posts, my heart breaks for those who cannot accept or deal with the diagnosis. I think it is difficult for some to accept because Autism may be viewed as “something wrong” with my child. We just view it as different, though we started out wondering what was “wrong” with our child. Our older daughter is very “typical”. Our journey has led us to a change in our fundamental belief system. This change in belief system is the hardest thing I have ever done but it has changed my life and saved my marriage.

    I have learned more about myself as a human being and feel very, very blessed by this journey. We are all “special” and unique. I have learned to appreciate my son’s and my husband’s special characteristics and I honor them, and myself, for the willingness and openness to life’s special moments. If you are struggling with the diagnosis or challenges you face on a daily basis, I would encourage you to form relationships with other parents of special needs kids. Sharing stories and solutions, and venting when necessary, help to not feel so alone. I am always open to learning more. If you have a story to share with me I’d love to hear it! gopowershome@att.net.

    Thanx so much for letting me share! I didn’t realize I had so much to say and am so happy to express my gratitude.

  86. Gina
    February 15, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    I think that it has made our marriage stronger. We have to communicate and work through issues. You cannot sweep things under the carpet and pretend problems don’t exist. We seem to balance each other out, and can “cover” for the other one when things get tough. I would be lost without my husband. He is the best father to our kids, and he is my best friend.

  87. Jamie
    February 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    My boyfriend has autism, I found out a few months ago. We work in the same place but in different departments. People were alays a little rude towards him and yes, I’ll admit he does have a few quirks about him but it makes him even more special and loveable. I notice though as well, since he told me about his autism, that I don’t mind these quirks anymore. The biggest thing I noticed about him is that he is the sweetest most loveable boy I’ve ever dated and have had the pleasure of getting to know better.

    • February 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

      I know what you mean about rude people! Some people don’t understand that Autistic people/children have a hard time out in public communicating with others. My daughter use to have terrible fits out in public and I had to leave the store within 2 minutes because of her breakdowns. She is doing a lot better today because of the good school she is in that takes her on field trips. My daughter says hi, hello, and how are you today? I know exactly what you mean! :) I went threw this problem for years with rude people not understand why she would act like this out in public. People are just rude and I would look the other way!

  88. February 16, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Loreen :Your husband sounds like my dad. My brother and I are both autistic,and our dad just ignored us growing up.I cant remember him ever doing anything with us.He just left it up to our mom. He has improved since we have grown,but I still dont think he is capable of loving us.He grew up in a stiff,strict family that didnt express their love for each other. I look at all the men nowadays who really know how to be dads,and I realize my dad didnt do that good of a job. Amazingly,he has always been able to love my mom.That hurts my feelings. Why could he love her but not his children?

    Loreen, don’t feel that way, men are creature of another world. What I mean by that is that sometimes we can’t really see what’s going on inside, making it even harder when they do not know how to verbally express emotions. My husband says he IS trying to be more loving with our son because he knows how much it hurt him growing up and he wants to change. Maybe your father realized that later on (explains the fact that he got better with the years). It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you the same or perhaps even more than your mom, it’s like I said, they’re just different at expressing how they feel. Talk to him, tell him how you feel but don’t hold on to any hurt from your childhood, it won’t do YOU any good, you know? Best of luck.

  89. M
    February 16, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I have 3 sons, the oldest has Asperger’s and the middle child has autism. My youngest son is in the process of being diagnosed with ADD. My husband and I separated 2 years ago. Towards the end of our marriage he was gone constantly, and inattentive and verbally abusive when he was home. I had pretty severe depression due to the stress of the state of my marriage and being the primary caregiver to children with special needs born very close together with little to no help from day to day. We went to marriage counseling for a few weeks before he decided to end the marriage.
    While I feel marriage is for better or worse, I know we are both better parents now. I have some down time now, when he has the kids, and he understands my position better now that he has the kids by himself, as I had when we were married. He spends more time with them now than he did during our marriage, and is much more involved in their lives than before. Because we share children, we will always be in each others lives, so we might as well make the best of it. We have agreed that no matter what our differences were in our marriage, raising our kids properly is the most important priority.
    I don’t blame my kids for my marriage failing. I think a strong marriage would be able to withstand anything, so obviously ours was not strong enough. The bright point is, we are both good parents and I am happier than I’ve ever been now that I can concentrate on my kids and myself. I sincerely hope he is happier, too. While we will never be together as husband and wife again, we are friends and support each other in ways we could not when we were married.

  90. February 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

    My husband and I are in our early 30s. We’ve been married for 7 years now and have a 6 year old Autistic daughter in 1st grade doing a great job! I’m so worried about her behavior at home once she gets off the bus from school. I think its so hard for her at school to listen to the teachers when she has to pay attention so much and it makes her confused at home! At home we go by a schedule that will help her remember things so she won’t get confused and frustrated. I can’t believe how well she is doing in school! :) I just wish we knew why she has these terrible fits once she gets home from school? Its so hard when she throws things, tells us NO, hits us, falls on floor, and pulls her hair with scratching herself. Its so hard because I try to figure out what the problem is, but she starts crying and screaming and tearing up the house. It takes hours for her to calm down after a nap. My husband and I both have been threw so much the past year! We’re going threw forclosure problems because of a messed up title “not our fault”, just lost someone with cancer, and its SO hard when my child throws these fits. I’m a student part time in school and I get so much school work coming in threw the morning time while my daughter is in school. I’m trying so hard to pay attention with school because I don’t want to fail in my classes. When my daughter is home I try so hard to play with her and show her love like a parent should do! My daughter Libby is doing very,very, well in school! Just wish I could figure out why she has a hard time at home not following directions? I’m so stressed dealing with forclosure problems losing my home and so much school work due all at once! I really need to spend time with my daughter more! I feel so bad because I wish there was some way to help my daughter out when she has a fit like this at home. There are good days at home and she loves to help me clean, and loves to laugh, and play with her dolls. But it hurts me so bad when I can’t figure out why she is having these problems at home not minding her parents? My husband is out of work right now because of his job slowing down and because of his arm not being stable after the car accident from bad weather. We’re going threw a lot in our life and I feel so bad that my daughter has to go threw this! I just wish I had more help with her behavior fits at home. I changed the schedule at home again seeing if that would work, but she continues to throw more fits, kicks back, scratches, and tells us NO. I will be taking her back to the doctor here next month to follow up with her Autism behavior. It took me years to get all this testing done, good school for her, and the right help!! But still “confused when it comes to her behavior problems. I know that Autistic children have a hard time communicating with others and this could be why they have breakdowns and scream loud! I will do whatever it takes to get my daughter extra help to work on her behavior problems at home. Libby is talking now a little, alphabet, great at going to the bathroom, and does a great job at naming picture objects in a book or magazine. She is so smart!! I love her so much and wish things could work out better at home. Life has been hard everyday dealing with financial problems, but I will do whatever it takes to get her more help with the behavior fits.

    Lizzy morales :)

    • Craig
      February 16, 2011 at 11:29 am

      Lizzy, You are really going thru a lot now and i feel bad for you and your family. Have you talked to the school about having a home counselor come and evaluate your home environment? The school should pay for this. a trained special ed counselor would come for some peiod of time and evaluate the environment there at home to be sure things are as organized for your daughter as possible such as having a quiet area in the home where she can do homework and play (for example), things like charts/pictures that help her with her daily routine. She may be coming home into what she percevies as a chaotic environment (which drives autistic kids crazy) and is then acting out agsinst it. i am sure her school experience by contrast is more organized for her. Autistic kids thrive on structure and a home aide would help to provide tools for a calmer home for all of you. hope this helps (it helped my 7 yr old PDD-NOS son).

  91. February 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

    My daughter was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. I never could figure out what was wrong with her?? I didn’t have her until a few weeks late, so the doctors had to induce my labor. I think sometimes the c sections and weight of the baby at birth have something to do with Autism? I could be “wrong”, but I did EVERYTHING right when I was pregnant with my daughter! I had a very, very, healthy pregnancy! “Its never the parents fault!! :) People will say rude things and blame the parent, but its never our FAULT! I just wish people had more love for Autistic people/children, they’re very smart people if people give them the chance!

  92. February 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Temple Grandin very smart lady!! :)

  93. February 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    My husband Dave and I are parents to Matthew, 18. There is no reason, there is no why, there just is. I stayed home for over 10 years to supervise his 40 hour per week ABA program, as well as, school hours, Speech Path hours, Music therapy hours,OT and PT hours and additional therapies such as brain activities, etc. At 18, my son is in college, taking charge of his own life, and will be taking driving lessons this month. Proud Mama

  94. February 18, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Hello, it seems that this is another topic that needs to be put into research. Many men and women are in denial, but it is whether you are able to move past the denial and move on. I have an ex-husband that denies having ASD. He asked for divorce many times and kept telling me things like I love you in my heart but not in my brain! Typical ASD, he is ritualistic,has a short -temper and throws tantrums like a 2 yr. old when you can’t see his point of view even though , it makes no sense. I asked, pleaded and begged for him to get the testing done. To no avail. He asked me to chose between him and others. I immediately filed for divorce. I think for him, it was the realization that he too had it and he didn’t want to be to blame. He shuts us all out and doesn’t communicate his children. I pray or him and no one else can understand why I do. I know the Lord has a plan to shake him up and make him see there is hope!! I have distanced myself from trying to shelter my kids from his negativity. Now they know who their real daddy is. It saddens me how I thought those quirks were cute in the beginning, but after 30 years of trying to find the answers he gives up on his family. I believe I was to blame for protecting all in family from feeling the pain. I am strong and will continue to advocate for my son. NO ONE will ever know the real reasons. You bet I pray to God everyday to help us find the CAUSE!!

  95. Bryan
    February 18, 2011 at 10:15 am

    As I have read the comments of others on this board, I have begun to wonder what “in sickness and in health” meant to us in the wedding vows. I realize now that most newlyweds take it to mean sickness of the partner – and see it as a reference to occasional short-term illnesses like cold, flu, hayfever. We don’t let it equate at the level of ‘richer or poorer’ section, which seems more long-term. I would imagine that even the most cynical, pessimistic, pragmatic people who start a marriage and family have no vision of caring for someone with long term conditions like autism.

    It’s not the hand we expected as adults, as spouses, or as parents.

    Given that, many couples in the midst of supporting children or other relatives with chronic physical or cognitive problems should take time to praise and thank each other, their ‘normal’ children, and anyone else in the immediate household or extended family who have helped us all to get as far as we have come.

  96. Jeana
    February 18, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    My ex-husband and I didn’t make it after our son was diagnosed with ASD. Our philosophies for dealing with it were just too different. After our divorce, I had a couple of relationships that ended when they told me they couldn’t handle my son and didn’t want to accommodate for him. THEIR LOSS!!! My son is the most loving, intelligent child I know. Fortunately, the Lord blessed me by bringing a wonderful man in to our lives who is now my husband. Before we married, he told me that if N lived with us 1 more year, 10 years or forever, he was great with that. It made me cry. My husband and my son are very close now and I am so thankful for his counsel and support. There is hope!

  97. George
    February 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    Robby was 2-when diagnosed “probable for autism” it was confirmed severe, non-verbal, officially, when he was 4. Next week he will be 9.
    I truly mourned the loss of my son when he was 2. Every day for years, I asked God “why did you give Robby to me”?? One morning I woke up and Gods answer was in my mind. “You were lost, I sent him to find you”. Oh my he sure did. Now, I look at my wonderfully healthy, happy, loving little boy who doesn’t have a clue in the world that anything is wrong with him….And I Thank God for Robby everyday.

    I’m an older “Dad” with a comparatively young wife. Robby changed our lives completely. We are more loving, more patient, more understanding more tolerant and this is important because each of us have “built-in” capabilities that may not be the same as someone else. My wife is a wonderful “teacher” for Robby. I’m not a teacher or a “playmate”. My wife accepts these limitations I have. This contributes to the “peace and harmony” in our home. I love my family… I think Robby brings us all closer together. We have another teenage son who fine.

  98. Meg
    February 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    I am a single mother of a 14 year old, extremely bright, autistic son. He is funny, talented and a joy to be around – most of the time – he is also a typical teenager with a bit of attitude consiting of talking back, which accompanied with the perseveration can be a challange. My son’s father and I spit up when my son was 4. At first his father was in denial about his diagnosis, but eventually came to accept it. He is a very involved father, but has left all the research, specialist appointments, school meetings, etc. for me. For a while when my son was little I drove him 3 hours one way to a specialized speech therapist. Now my son and his father want to have a closer relationship, maybe even live together. I want to be pleased for them, but I am a little afraid to let him go. I don’t know if his father has the skills and the gumption to keep up with everything that I have been doing. My son is on the honor roll at school, he needs constant reminders to keep him on track, guidance with his social skills, and gentle but firm nudges to start on the path towards independence. As a single woman for the past 10 years I have dated some wonderful men. They still remain family friends and my son calls them to chat every once in a while. I am now in a new relationship with a man that knows very little about autism. I suggested to him that he educate himself. One of the hardest things for him understand is that while my son is a typical teenager in some aspects he is a little boy in others. One thing in my dating world has always remained the same – I am a package deal, there is no way that I will date anyone that cannot accept my son. I know that it will take a strong man to want to be in my life, not only to be patient with my son, but to realize that my son will always be first in my heart.

  99. Christy
    February 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    My son’s father isn’t even aware of his diagnosis. When my son was 23 months old we left an abusive home. I found out while his father was in jail that my ex has FAS and will never be able to control himself or fully understand and cope with “our” son. Thankfully my background is in special education so I know my son has a great chance at picking up all of the pieces of the puzzle that he will need to be as successful as he chooses to be. My only fear is that his father may someday interfere. I live in constant fear that he will kidnap the children, especially my son. He would have no clue how to cope with the children’s special needs. As a single mom I know that I am doing everything I can to ensure that he is both safe and receiving all that he needs…except a dad. Dating is difficult. Trusting is harder. I pray that someday my son will have a father figure to look up to in order to learn the good things that dads can be. A male role model is so important for him when everyday he mimics what he sees. Thank goodness he no longer has a negative influence, but I regret that there is now no influence as well. I am positive that no influence is still better than what we had or could have. I am thankful that I was unknowingly prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. I mourn the lack of a father for him, not the loss of his. I can never mourn the loss of my child as he is amazing in every way. I am excited to face the challenges that he will bring, even if I will be doing it alone. He is in good company with others like him: Bill Gates, Jim Henson, possibly even Einstein himself. Just because our children don’t quite fit in, doesn’t mean they are not brilliant rays of light in the world.

  100. Llari
    February 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    My son 19 year old is asperger’s. I will say honestly it has been very difficult.
    I divorced my sons dad when he was 4 I remarried when my son was six. I have always had to deal with 3 other adults opinions Dad, Stepmom and my husband and it has been very hard. My son was diagnosed with everything under the sun, all the other dx’s that go along with being Aspergers. 1st grade adhd and SI, 3rd grade NVLD and adhd, 5th grade NVLD, adhd and ocd. Finally he was DX with Aspergers when he was in the 7th grade. I had to pay twice for that evaluation because I had to have proof for his dad that he would be DXed with our own (separate) questionnaires. Turns out his dads answers scored my son higher on the Autism spectrum than my own. My son has a very high IQ 0f 149 and does not exhibit a sing song language pattern so most people don’t even see it. They just think he is odd.
    or wierd. Of corse having to deal with my ex and his wife and sometimes my husband has been horrible. I have had to hear from my ex through the year: Ryan needs to be doing this or he should be doing that. He still refuses to acknowledge that he has aspergers or what that even means. And my own husband just thinks I spoil my son too much and that is why he doesnt have friends or doesnt do things for himself. I am really sick of dealing with all 3 of them. Really I think getting the people that are in the kids life educated on the issue and therapy for them is just as important as it is for the kid. Good luck with that ever happening! Im just pooped!

  101. Suma Frazier
    February 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Well, I’m 33 Years Old And I Had Just Resently Borke off My Relationship With A Young Man In L.A After 12 Years And Sad To Say That It Would’ve Been 13 Today.

    I Was Hoping For A Future Plan For Adoption Since I Couldn’t Have Any Babies And Reason For That Is Because I Was Afraid That Even If I Had A Child I’m Fearing A “Worse Case” Scenario And A Posible Worst Prionosis Like For Example “Down Syndrome”. So, I Thought That Adoption Seemed Like A Good Plan At The Time Since I Couldn’t Alow These Prionosis That Are Far Worse Than Mine To Happen.

    To Cut The Long Story Short : When Before I Turn Five I Couldn’t Speak At The Time And When I Was Somewhere Around Two I Was Taught Sign Language Which Is My Only Communication Up Until I Finally Spoke At Five……. Odd Huh??

    I Graduated High School In Conn. When I Was 17 On June 16,1995 It Was My Best Year Of My Life When I Got A Diploma.

    Over The Years I Have Accomplish Things That Normal People Did, But Now I’m Wondering If There Is A Way To Do More Things That No One Else Could Do Like: Reading,Writing,Tieing Your Shoes And Stuff Like That.

    Now I Have Some Questions: Besides My High IQ Level And All The Things That I’ve Done Over The Years, 1: Will My Autsium Effect My Other Relationships? And 2: Is There Still Hope For My Future Even When Things Don’t Work Like They Plan?(Like For Example: Living Independently).

    BTW, I’m Now Living In Arizona And I’m Going On 34 This Year.

  102. rainmom2
    February 18, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I know that my son having Autism, has been an absolute blessing to me & my family. Yes, there have been very tough times, but it just made us closer, & hang on to eachother a little bit tighter. My husband & I, have been brought so much closer, then I ever thought possible, when we have been through so many good AND bad experiences in life with our son. Actually, one of our son’s is severely Autistic, & the other is at the total opposite end of the spectrum & has Aspergers syndrome. Any ‘bad’ problems we had, were always with unknowledgeable people, professionals (so called ‘experts’). Never, ever either of my Autistic sons.

  103. February 18, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    With three boys on the spectrum ages 15 months through 7 years, our faith in God and each other as committed partners in this challenge together is the glue that keeps the family together. I am blessed to have such a strong, patient and committed wife to serve the needs of our boys and to also be there for our marriage as well. Autism in our family is a large part of the family dynamic, but at the end of the day the marriage is between my wife and I and the autism is irrelevant in respect to it. We give everything to help our boys develop and grow through their autism, but seperate from that we also do our best to grow, nurture, love and respect each other. Is it difficult at times? You best. Do we sometimes feel like quitting? Yep. But we’ve decided as a team that both of us will never quit on the same day, lol.

  104. Christa
    February 19, 2011 at 8:23 am

    We actually married since having our daughter. We had been together 12 years prior to getting married and our daughter is almost 4.5 yrs old. Her being diagnosed was tough on both of us, especially with having no experience with Autism at all. I have to admit that some of the “stuff” that we deal with was pretty overwhelming and unbelievable at first, and now that “stuff” is old hat to us. I think having a child on the spectrum has brought us closer and taught us to work together better.

  105. Marilyn Bosworth
    February 19, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    My 30 year old son is aspergers. We had some very hard times when he hit puberty. He lives on his own but does need some assistance at times. My husband is also on the spectrum. As we age, some symptoms appear stronger than 15 years ago. He is more rigid now. His self centered nature ( Theory of Mind issues) are worse. He learned great strategies as a young man and into adult hood but as he ages, he does not call upon those strategies as often. Has anyone seen any books or articles on this? I am an SLP and work with people on the spectrum. Let me know.

  106. Brittany
    February 19, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I am a senior at Central Washington University, and I’m conducting a short survey on relationship satisfaction with families that have a child with Autism. Please take a few minutes to complete this survey for me. After graduation in June I hope to work with families affected by Autism, and later develop a parenting education curriculum.

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9YGBTFT

    Autism survey
    http://www.surveymonkey.com

    Thank You for your help!

  107. Becky
    February 19, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    The diagnosis of our son has been quite hard on our marriage. I spent nearly two years fighting both my husband and the doctor that there was “something wrong” with #3 child. When I finally heard the word “autistic” I shouted “vindication” because I had known it all along. The school system where we had our property was NOT supportive at all, so I moved in with #1 child (me, the autistic son, and #4 child–normal) to see if that school system would be supportive. In the mean time, we got our son involved in a special language preschool where he “got turned back on” and I dragged hubby there to watch. It took over a year and a half for him to accept the diagnosis, and another year to decide to really study up on it. He has refused to leave our property, so the two youngest boys and I live apart from my husband. After 5 years, you would think he would get a clue that this is permanent and to come in to town with us. Nope, WE have to go out there on the weekends, etc. and mess up a pretty hefty routine. I do believe my husband has ASD traits, but I’ll probably never be able to prove it. Meanwhile, we live apart, and probably will for the forseeable future.

  108. Joanne
    February 19, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I recently married a man who was divorced who has a 12 year old son.I am new to Autism and yes, life can be challenging, but I am educating myself so I can help my step son achieve his goals in life. I find that my husband and I grow closer each time we have a tough day, we are all we have.Children are a gift from heaven and God has a plan. No one said life would be easy, Jesus has shown us they was and with our eyes on him we can move mountains together.

  109. Donna Pennington
    March 2, 2011 at 2:57 am

    Our 2 year old grandson, who lives with us, has recently been diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Our daughter and her husband separated when he was 10 months old and she was expecting a second child. Now, almost 2 years later, the divorce is not final and a big problem is that his Father does not believe our grandson has Autism. He has fought this diagnosis since the beginning of early intervention and diagnostic studies being performed. We made a decision to move to a larger city that had much greater Autism opportunities for this child. In a perfect situation, visitation would go smoothly and all would be well. That is not the case. Our grandson has serious problems with transistioning and changes in routine. When he goes to the visitation, upon return he has “melt-downs” and becomes withdrawn. This has been noticed by teachers, ECI therapists and others. All has been documented. Recently (completely by accident) we discovered that this precious 30 month old child has been being left alone in the vehicle, the motel room and other times. These have not been lengthy, but I can imagine it is very frightening for the child. This explains his behaviors when returning from visitation. We were advised to notify CPS and the court. We did. No investigation was initiated. Visitation has been continued. AND, the court added that the children be required to SKYPE for 15 minutes twice a week. Neither of the children are talking. Our oldest is saying words, not any phrases or sentences. He does not know his name. He is fearful of any new activity or environment. The baby is 1 year old. All we want is for the children to be safe and for the progress we have made in the past year with our older child not be put in jeopardy. How can we educate our judicial system that is supposed to “protect” the children to understand that Autism is NOT the same as dealing with a typical child, certainly when we are talking about a toddler! Are there any Legal Aide organizations that specialize in working with situations like this? Our daughter is working 2 jobs to support these children and we are providing care as well. We just need help with navigating the family court issues that are prevailing because of lack of acceptance and education on the part of the Father and the Judge. Help!!!!

  110. Kathy
    March 2, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    My marriage is in constant transition because of the strains with Autism. My son is now 15. I’ve noticed that as he gets older he needs me less and needs his father more and that puts a stessor on my husband. He resents that my son doesn’t want me to help him shower, or that he wants his father to do other things for him.
    Autism doesn’t let you sit and watch tv after work. I have battled since my son was born with his autism. The roles are reversed to some extent. The balance in our marrage is off. My husband is tired. I find he now is experiencing what I had to deal with when the children were small. Autism eats away at your emotions. You have to constantly be aware of who you are, what you want, and why you are still in this marriage or you will loose yourself.

  111. Donna
    March 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    There is no doubt that our daughter’s autism has brought us closer together. I don’t think we realized how selfish that each of us were until we had her and she needed the majority of our attention. We still have struggles, I do most of her her scheduling, and seeing to it that she gets the help that she needs, but when he comes home from work, he is very involved and loves to spend time with her! I have 3 children that are quite a bit older than her and I can honestly say that we have all been touched in such a tremendous way. I can definitely see God’s hand in our family and on our daughter!

  112. Linda
    May 24, 2011 at 2:46 am

    I am dating a wonderful man who has two children. The youngest child has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. He has really bad meltdowns and he is very rude to me most of the time. When he is having a good day though, he is great. I love my boyfriend very much and I want this to work out, but we have been having problems lately because I am having such a hard time dealing with the rudeness and the meltdowns. Any advice? I feel like such a horrible person because there are days when I just don’t like his child and I don’t want to be around him. I want to be a better girlfriend and learn ways to not take it so personally when his child is being mean to me.
    Would love to hear any advice you all might be able to offer.

    Thank you.

    • Michelle
      May 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      Hi Linda, as a mother of an autistic child, I wonder if my husband and I were to separate, would I ever find a man who could take on and manage my special child…even parents of typically developing children wonder if a new partner would be loving and accepting…I had concluded that i would never remarry or bring another man into my family…it’s not worth taking the chance of the other becoming neglectful, abusive or mean towards my child because, the TRUTH IS,it IS very hard to deal with and not all people are made to handle the UPS AND DOWNS of these childre…It’s not that u are a horrible person, you are at least admitting the truth about how u feel and there are MANY out there that feel the same way but would never dare say it. So I congradulate you for that and I think that you may want to figure out a way to manage being that mother role model to his children…This is what I think you need to ask yourself, how tolerant are you with misbehavior, or rudeness or maybe hitting and biting or anything else that may happen, cuz you never know with autism…it can be very unpredicatble…and I have to say that it is a life changing and perhaps life long..You know, you may really like this guy but you have to ask yourself, are going to be able to play the mother role to this child who will need you to become educated on autism and how to manage behaviors and learn “special” parenting skills that are NECESSARY to apporpriately raise this child. If not, then this may not be the guy for you…you don’t want to stay JUST FOR THE GUY, these are his children who he must love very very much to be raising on his own…you have to look at the whole package and whether or not it is something u are willing to take on Lovingly, Understandingly and Commpassionately…if not this child does not deserve the responsive behavior that you will sooner or later begin to express, it’s not his fault that he has autism and much of his behavior, although it may seem as though it is not, is the side effects of frustrations, emotional instability or just lack of something that is out of his hands….So please if you are not very tolerant now, chance “may” be that your tolerance levels made become even more challenged as time moves forward…dont’ let your feelings for this man pull the wool over your eyes on the reality of what you will be signing yourself up for….the last thing you want to do is Verbally or physically HURT or Neglect this child…he has a lot of challenges to deal with now and the rest of his life, he doesn’t need anymore…You may not even mean to react in a negative way, it may just be out of frustration and then anger because you may begin to feel as though “this child” is ruining your relationship and thus your future with this man….when this indeed is not the case, the kids come first, then love…then hopefully a unity of all. Good Luck and really consider everything I’ve said. There are a lot of men out there and maybe this one (One = family) is not the one for you. Lot of Luck to you…Love and Compassion may be your only way through, because only the love of the father won’t cut it…They are ONE and love will have to be for ALL! Sorry so long, I have a child that sometimes drives me insane, but I love him more than anything in this world….it takes just that to accept and love every bit of it.

    • Barbara
      May 25, 2011 at 10:17 am

      Michelle you said that so well. I loved it and it is so true. Linda please don’t take it to heart. These kids say things when they are frustrated/angry then apologize later. Try to pay attention to what you are saying that is upsetting him. My son use to have melt downs all the time but i usually try to hug him. I get down to his level and try to find out what he is so upset about. Once you find out the problem he calms down and we talk about it. Praise him when he talks nicely to you. I tell my husband to ignore the harsh words my son says to him. Instead of getting mad work with him. teach him different words like I’m really angry. teach him to take space. Sometimes he just needs to walk away for a minute. I hope this helps a little.

  113. May 24, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I understand what you are going through. My son Kyle has autism, adhd, severe anxiety and is developmentally delayed. He can have very bad meltdowns be mean
    and crude and call everyone names. We have finally got him into a charter school
    and we have started being very structured in routines. It his hard to deal with
    but I try to put myself in his shoes, and remember that this is also part of their illness. I would suggest trying to find resources and people to talk to
    about this that will help, also very important keep talking openly and honestly
    with your boyfriend, goodluck and I have you in my prayers.

  114. Nita
    August 26, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 2 yrs and didn’t really look into autism till my boyfriend told me I should look into it. I feel he may have aspergers but, right now I’m wating on children’s to give me a call back so they could check him out and diagnose him. If he is, I’ll still love him the same. Just been readin on aspergers to get a better understanding of it. My boyfriend feels I don’t give my son enough spankings and need to be tougher on my son but I can’t spank a disibility out of him. I appreciate the time he do put in with my son because his father is a deadbeat but, at times, it gets old sayin I give in to easy,I baby him, when he don’t always do what I say, he wins. I never think why me, I know I’m very blessed and want to get my son the proper care he needs and if my boyfriend isn’t strong enough to deal, I can go back to just being single. It was less of a headache.

  115. Nita
    August 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I haven’t got the chance to tell my son’s dad because he chooses not to be involved with our son. My son hasn’t been diagnosed yet but, I do feel he may have aspergers syndrome he shows a lot of the signs. My boyfriend is very helpful as well as his family. My mother was upset I even feel my son has a disability. I just always felt it’s better to know than to wonder even though I do have a good man, he has his days of feeling fed up and want me to spank my son till he does everything we say but, I can’t spank a disability out of my child. Just read up on it so I can get a better understanding on how to handle my son. He’s a true blessing to me and to this world and I hope my boyfriend keeps that in mind otherwise
    , we’re just wasting our time

  116. Algarao
    January 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I wish I had more positive things to say. My fiancé has a 15 year old with autism and his son is extremely difficult to handle. Since the birth of our daughter, who is now 1, his behavior has only worsened. To make matters worse, we share custody with his mother who literally does nothing for him. She leaves him alone with his older brothers every chance she gets and really just uses him to get her $1800 a month from the state for ‘caring for him’. We are the only ones who take him to the doctor, therapy, his football games, everything. Every step we take forward gets squashed the minute he goes back to his mother who bad mouths me and my daughter and every time he comes back he’s worse and becoming more violent. I love my fiancé but I cannot have my daughter grow up in this environment. How lucky all of you are that things work out better for you.

  117. lindsey
    January 30, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    HI
    I have a 3 year old and all the dr i have been to just tells me to go to another one every one is pointing to autism but its hard been hearing the same stuff over and over for about a yaer now he was talking to us we have a 5 year old also ans my 3 year old was talking more then the five year old then he just stopped and we cant go any were with out him crying to get out with in the frist 5min i just need answers so i hope it comes fast and it has brought me and my husband closer if it was not for him i dont know how i would go though this but i would never take any thing back i love my baby and we are having an other boy in the end of april we are so happy .

  118. Shaun Holman
    February 7, 2012 at 6:33 am

    Distance. Coldness. Seperation. The stress of my childs autism has caused myself and my wife to deal with the stress in our own ways. We are growing further and further apart. I feel hopeless and helpless.

    We don’t support or apprecciate each other.

    Divorce almost seems inevitable.

    • Barbara Pons
      February 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

      Don’t give up! I had filed for divorce last summer and after thinking about things for a LONG time realized that Im not going to let our special needs child separate us. We are still working on things $3,000 later. I know my husband has a hard time dealing with our son and i have to handle most of it. It is hard. We disagree at times but we are trying to talk more about things when the episode is over. Try to go out alone once and awhile. I know its hard. Im always just too tired to go out. Im hoping this can bring us closer. We need to agree on things and keep working on it. Good luck to you!!

  119. JD
    February 18, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I am a 50 y/o father of 5, the two youngest who are on the spectrum. Our youngest one is moderately autistic and sparingly verbal. We diagnosed them both about 2 years ago.They are ages 5 and 6. and are wonderful kids in many ways. however, the challenges they both offer has greatly limited our lives to the point where we are the satellites circling their sun. My loving wife took the bull by the horns early on, an we have seen huge gains in speech an cognition in our second youngest daughter,who now attends kindergarten. I work frequently and do not spend nearly the amount of time Id like with my famly, and my wife is often at wits end. We have a good support network, but recently my wife said that if I wasnt on board more with our younger ones that she planned to divorce me. I find that I act short with them while they melt down periodically, but I am trying to be and become a better father. I feel ive lost the intimacy with my wife that was one of the most life-affirming things about my life, and so little of how i try to connect with my younger ones seems to have the permanency that growing families seem to radiate. I dont want to lose my wife but sometimes i feel overwhelmed by how the path should be for my children.i will keep trying to learn and reach out to my younger ones, but my way of interaction sometimes seems pointless and even abusive from my wife’s point of view. I know the stats about marriage in our demographic, but i want to be married. God help me, sometimes I fear that they will never change and i’ll be 70-something and wondering if any of what we are doing will yield functional adults(us and our children). How do successful parents of autistic kids maintain progression for their children and nurture the best lives marriage has to offer? I already see a negative feeback loop between my amateur attempts mixed with frustration and my wifes ‘sensitivity’ to my ‘hamhanded’ approaches.We love each other, but I worry that ive pushed my wife to the point where she is contemplating going it alone.

    • Tammy
      February 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      I understand where you are coming from. My son also has autism the only differnce is I did not get the help he needed early on. Just keep looking for resources and support systems, they will be able to live an adult life, it just might not be what we expect them to have. I had a very hard time realizing that for my son. Just keep having patience and talk with your wife, since she has been getting help for them she can teach you what she is learning. Also try and see what your kids likes are and then focus on that when they are doing it. Also what might help is they do like to have structure and routines. Hang in there I know it is very hard to handle. I also was married and my husband did not want to listen on how things would work, I have left him and we are doing good. Just remember there is always help out there, you should try easter seals if they are in your area, they are a good resource. Good luck to you and your wife, you will be in my prayers.

  1. February 14, 2011 at 10:57 am
  2. February 14, 2011 at 11:58 am
  3. June 28, 2011 at 10:24 am

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