You ask yourself, does it ever get better?
How do you discipline your high function child? Do I give him a pass? Perhaps special treatment because he has special needs. I think this question arises to most parents of special needs children. As with most days, they certainly are never easy. Some days are so good you think to yourself that possibly they are learning how to control the behaviors and then two days later it happens all over again.
You deal with so much on a day to day basis but some days are much worse than others and you find yourself questioning why they do certain things, Today was one of the worse days. As the day began, my son who decided this morning to crush boxes of new toys with a hockey stick and while I repeatedly told him to stop, he refused. Because we needed to leave the house to make an appointment, I mentioned to him that as soon as we get back, he must clean the mess. Of course, they yes us to death. We leave the house on a great start, even though you feel great that so far so good, you can’t help the building anxiety you feel the entire time while you’re out. We ran 2 errands and then it started to kick on. I have 3 more places to go and didn’t know if they would even happen.
Anyone who has a child with High functioning autism, anxiety and sensory issues knows that their child can not keep it together for a full day of errands. My child not only doesn’t get enough sleep but he forces himself to believe that he is never tired, he can never let his body rest and I truly believe that because of the lack of sleep that he can’t even control his behavior, by 3pm anything undone is going to be just that, we posted pictures of just hanging out, he showed off a picture of his new haircut but what people didn’t see, is the meltdown that happened after he got his haircut and how I knew it was going to be impossible for me to finish my errands. I knew it was time to go home and let him express his anger and energy out at home weather it was him playing with his toys, jumping on his trampoline or anything that can make him calm down. Once we arrived home it was our plan to clean the playroom from the mess, he created this morning, leaving the rest of my errands undone, these are the things us parents must do. Some can’t understand and just say you are the parent he will just have to deal with it, not this not the case with a HF child. You know their limits and have to do what is best for them and for your sanity.
So, we started to clean he told me he doesn’t want to do it and we fight, I yell and he gets punished, I continue to clean it up and noticed that he has destroyed so many of his toys, some band new in boxes just thrown all over the place. I ask him why he does this and always the same answer, I don’t know. The scary part is I believe he really doesn’t. I found a book I had of valuable memorabilia that he destroyed, ripped and drew all over. I ask him why and he say he didn’t know it wasn’t his. When I have repeatedly told him that don’t touch anyting that isn’t yours and if your unsure you need to ask first, as with anything when he is in trouble, it goes I one ear and out the other. I was furious because he ruined valuable stuff but I was also so upset that I started to feel like I am failing as a parent but the truth is, I am not. I am trying to teach him respect and how to know right from wrong but his special needs make it so hard for him to comprehend. Anyone in the world who is tired gets cranky and nasty but when someone can’t admit they are tired and doesn’t know the example of rest, they turn into overdrive and it only becomes harder because the nasty attitude he had continues till he goes to bed for the night.
When we have good days, it easy to forget the bad, but when we have the worse days, it keeps you feeling upset and sad, sad that you are doing shitty job. It makes you angry because you blame yourself. Hurt because you don’t know what else to do. We already have several therapies three times a week on top of medication that took me two years to even try, when you feel like you have no other options what do you do? I sit and cry because I feel helpless, I question my own life that maybe I need to sacrifice more than I already have. It leaves you guessing and stressing about what tomorrow will bring.
To any moms with children of special needs, especially the single parents like myself, sometimes the breaking down we do at night is ok because we fight battles most can’t and won’t ever understand.