Saturday, October 9, 2010

Relationships Between Parents Dealing with Autism

I was watching the sitcom ‘Parenting’ last night. I have to confess I was watching it so I could pick at my typical 16 year old son. He argued with his girlfriend (who’s not his girlfriend, he tell me it’s complicated). Anyway he said the small dog was a rat. She was mad. I told him he might be right about the dog but he was wrong. I also told him to say his three “I’m sorry’s.” Hence watching ‘Parenting’.

In the course of the show two of the women were talking about the statistics of failed marriages in a family with a child with Autism. I suppose the theory is that one or both of the parents become so focused on the Autism they forget why they are a couple. I already knew the statistics. I guess I was annoyed at it.

I wonder how many other factors contribute to the failure of the marriage, like money problems associated with any family member requiring more medical care. I supposed hindsight is 20/20 in this respect too. I’m ‘single again’, more than once. Autism was not the only reason but it was part of the situation. It definitely isn’t the first reason.

What do you think? Is Autism the first reason that your relationship dissolved? Or are you still in a committed relationship? How did you do that! Go ahead and post so we can share the little insights we all have.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Daughter-in-law and Autism

I met my husband about 13 years ago. After meeting his family, I found out that his sister, Dominoe, had Autism. Meeting Dominoe was awkward at first having never been introduced to Autism.

I did not understand her behavior and how to react to it. I also did not know that my behavior sometimes set the tone. At first Dominoe did not like me. She was very tense around me.

I was new, and involved with her brother, and she did not like it at all. Dominoe’s mother, Mylinda, has as long as I have known her been involved in an organization that is devoted to helping people with disabilities.

I asked her a lot of questions about Dominoe, even sometimes offending her because of ignorance. I learned to slow down with Dominoe and talk to her. We got to know each other and our relationship turned.

Mylinda and my husband helped educate me on Autism. No one really knows why it is caused although people have therapies there is no real proof. I learned that getting involved with individuals with disabilities is very rewarding.

Be it autism or anything else, they have a wonderful impact on your life. Dominoe has been a wonderful sister to me and aunt to my daughters. She has a great full life. She has taught me to slow down and pay attention to my own temperament.

She has taught me that my mood can set the tone for those around me. Those lessons have taught me to be a better mother. I have watched her grown from a child into a beautiful woman. She owns her place in life with no explanation why.

I enjoy listening about her boyfriend and how her nieces aggravate her and how her day has been. She has given us so much. I just hope I have done the same for her.