This is Autism. Some Days are Harder than Others

Well, would you look at that. It’s Friday again already and just like the last couple weeks I had a plan for today, but then we had a rough morning and I’m drained. It’s only two in the afternoon and I feel like taking a nap, but I’m not going to do that because we have sunshine today and Cody and I need to get outside. Here’s the thing. It goes without saying that I love Cody with all my heart, but sometimes autism is just plain hard. Most of the time it doesn’t even occur to me that we live with autism because we’ve been doing it for many years and it’s become woven into the fabric of our family. Sometimes, though, it rears its ugly head leaving me feeling like a horrible mother. This morning was one of those times.

Autism

There was never a question Cody would always live with us, but we moved earlier this year so we’re still in the process of getting some services in place for him in our new city. I say we, but in all honesty most of the responsibility lies on my shoulders. Some days I feel overwhelmed and would like to run away to the local Starbucks for a coffee and my favorite wrap and just sit by myself for a bit, but most days that’s simply not an option. Cody and I are at home together most days of the wekk. He likes to listen to music and watch videos on his iPad and I try to manage the household, keep track of his services, and tend to my blog. I can do a lot of that with distractions, but sometimes when Cody gets frustrated a simple distraction becomes a meltdown that requires my full attention. Things quickly go from bad to worse when I can’t help due to a communication breakdown.

Cody is pretty high functioning (I don’t really like that term, but it’s one I’ve used for many years to describe him), but it’s sometimes hard for him to convey what he wants or needs, especially when he’s agitated or frustrated. This morning it was something as simple as one of the apps he uses every now and then wasn’t working on his phone. I checked my phone and was having the same problem, so I knew it was the app and not his phone, but that’s just not an easy concept for him to grasp. It certainly wasn’t enough for him to switch gears and find something else to do. To make a long story short, I tried to get him to tell me what he was specifically trying to do, but he just stared at me. I got frustrated, raised my voice, and then the tears started to flow. First mine, then his. I felt terrible for yelling and for upsetting him and he felt awful because I was angry. I apologized and hugged him, but I still felt so helpless. As I sat there looking at him trying to control his tears, wiping his face with a tissue, my heart felt like it was breaking into a million pieces. I lost my patience and I’m not proud of that, but autism isn’t going anywhere and these moments are a harsh reminder of that fact.

Now I’m going to take advantage of the sunshine we’re having today and bring Cody to his favorite place. A place where I can pretty much guarantee he’ll feel no frustration and the tears from earlier will be replaced with nothing but smiles. Big, bright smiles.

 

Comments

  1. I’m sorry you had a frustrating morning. I hope tomorrow is better!
    Nichole recently posted..A few words about schoolMy Profile

  2. Thank you for sharing this. Your honesty helps me see what you’re experiencing, and gives me a reminder that we moms have tough days sometimes. And as for many, they seem to be a struggle when they happen, but you’ve got yourself and your child through it and smiles hopefully were shining!
    Andrea Bates recently posted..Six Books I’m Reading for Nonfiction NovemberMy Profile

    • Your comment means a lot, Andrea, and it’s exactly why I did write about it. Not all parenting days are perfect, no matter how old our kids are or what challenges they face, and if my sharing makes someone feel less alone then I’m grateful. The afternoon was much better and filled with smiles for Cody. 🙂

  3. I am so sorry for your frustrating morning. I do hope y’all made it out to his favorite place, and were able to wash the morning’s irritations away with sunshine!
    Kim @ The ReInVintaged Life recently posted..Music Monday – Thankful EditionMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kim. It was rough for a bit, but the afternoon was definitely much better. We visited the airport and saw a few planes, so definitely big smiles on Cody’s face. 🙂

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