Musings from an anonymous parent carer

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‘One thing I find really hard about my 4 year old son’s autism is the emotional volatility. He feels every frustration, or everything that isn’t precisely to his liking, so keenly that it’s almost impossible for him to go anywhere or do anything without dissolving into tears or rage at some point. I do my best to pre-empt these frustrations, and this vigilance is exhausting in itself, but something will always catch us out – a bus diversion, a squabble with his two year old brother, another child being on the swing, his pizza not arriving the moment we walk into the restaurant. Even treats that have been tailored specifically to his needs and tastes will see him distraught at some point, while I inwardly scream: ‘Why is nothing ever enough?’ It puts a strain on our family life, partly because that short fuse is horribly contagious, and partly because it feels like we aren’t able to just enjoy an outing – or even dinner – together without these flares of misery, and that makes me sad. He is getting better, though, and we are getting better too. I really want to end on a positive because I feel so strongly that we parents of these special children owe it to them to believe they can make progress. I think that’s the least we can do.’

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