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Thread: Parents can be prisoners of child’s condition

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Default Parents can be prisoners of child’s condition

    Parents can be prisoners of child’s condition

    Vancouver Sun
    Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun
    Published: Friday, April 20, 2007

    [Excerpt]

    Marriages and friendships come under great strain as the family’s time and energy is gobbled up by the disorder’s demands. Parents of children with autism are not like parents of typical children.

    This truth is easily said but not easily understood.

    Depending on the severity of their child’s condition, parents are prisoners to that condition just as their child is.


    Her autism often prompts Kristi Jansen not only to bite her own knees, hands and feet but to pinch and bite her mother Sandy. She would pinch or bite Sandy up and down her arms 'really hard,' her mom says, and even while her mother slept.

    They often lose friends to it, and sometimes family. Their free time and social life evaporate. Their other children suffer unintended neglect because the child with autism commands so much of their attention.

    Autism also puts its own unique strains on marriages. In married couples, one of them, usually the wife, must often give up work. This sacrifice creates further sacrifices: To finance their child’s obscenely expensive therapies -- think of spending the entire cost of a four-year university education every year -- many parents are on a first-name basis with credit-card juggling, multiple mortgages and the threat of bankruptcy. You think onerous health care bills only impoverish families in the U.S.? Think again. Many families of children with autism forgo vacations, investments, even half-hour strolls down to their local Starbuck’s.

    In the more severe cases, many must deal with more mundane unpleasantries, like the “feces issue” -- or what blogger Kim Stagliano, a Connecticut mother of three autistic girls, called “crapisodes.” To a parent of a severely autistic child, toilet-training isn’t a rite of passage taken for granted -- it is seen as a major accomplishment, in lieu of smeared walls and a life lived in pull-ups.

    Then there are the symptomatic self-stimulatory behaviours more colloquially known as “stimming” that make going out in public difficult and often impossible. A child might spin in circles continuously, or flap their hands, or walk on their toes, or scream or tantrum unexpectedly, or obsess over a single object.

    And there are real physical dangers to worry over. Some parents suffer injuries at the hands of their children, while many must be vigilant to prevent their children from injuring themselves. Children with autism can be self-abusive, and many have no sense of personal safety. They can wander off or walk into traffic. It can take years of intensive therapy before they can be trusted to do something as simple as crossing the street, or talking to a stranger.

    Rest of article

    The series of articles - Faces of Autism

  2. #2
    angeleena is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default wow, thank you

    wow, thank you for this...

    it is SOOO true.

    -angi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    601

    Default Thanks for sending.

    In addition to appreciating the truth of this article, it was interesting to hear the Canadian perspective. (It states as a given fact that 'onerous health care bills [normally] impoverish families in the U.S', which is a very strong statement.)

    Thanks again for sending.

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