Hi guys, I’m a single parent and I have a wonderful son who is 7 years old he has ADHD and ASD, long story short he was in mainstream and couldn’t cope he came home at dinner times every day and he then went into an assessment unit for 1 year which he loved they then decided he was able to go back into mainstream, I expressed my concerns as I didn’t think he would cope with the amount of children. He started back in September in mainstream and 2nd week in they asked me to come and told me it wasn’t working he had been suspended 3 times in 1 week not down to naughty behaviour but down to behaviour of him not being able to cope, they then suggested he only came to school for 2 hours a day and put in for him to be statmented. I had to give up my job as I worked in the day and we have tried a child minder but 4 days in she had to stop looking after him with immediate effect as she couldn’t cope with him and he just wasn’t in school long enough for me to carry on with work . Since September I have been coping but I just feel so lonely my son doesn’t like to go out anywhere not even to the shops, we had some good news he had his statement through and he starts a transistion into a specialised school end of February which I’m so happy about as he’s able to finally have an education and be happy, but I just feel so empty inside, my family do help me but there so busy themselves to, I love my son so much I just feel like I’m going insane at the moment I see my friends going out and having a good time and I just have the four walls, I feel guilty for feeling like this as I know a lot of people are a lot worse of than me ... so very sorry for the long paragraph I just need to get it out.
It sounds as if you have had a lot to deal with, a lot of conflicts and battles with schools, a lot of recent changes and loss too, such as the loss of your job and the loss of your son’s previous school placement. I am wondering if you may have slipped into depression? Depression can make us feel numb and empty, and give us a sense of hopelessness too, as well as making everything feel like too much to manage. Perhaps it may be worth going to your GP to see if you can get some Anti-depressants, just to take the edge off things until you are on an even keel once again.
I understand how lonely and isolated you may be feeling, I really do. I think this does happen when we see other families out and about, other people’s kids thriving while ours have often had little but upset and struggle, other parents seemingly leading some sort of ‘normal life’ while ours feels to be everything but normal. And, unless they have been through it, even the best of friends and family often don’t understand what life is really like when you are living with a child with additional needs.
I think it is therefore really important to meet other parents and families who are in a similar position as you. It might be worth contacting any local Autism Charities in your area to see if they run any family activities and parent coffee mornings which you and your son could attend.
I fully understand that your son doesn’t like to socialise or go out, but I think sometimes you have to reserve (hang on for dear life) to a little bit of sanity for yourself. So, perhaps it would not hurt if you were a little bit adamant from time to time about attending some local autism friendly events. You may find that your son, once he is there, really enjoys them too; and that spending time with likeminded and understanding ASD friends and families might also give your son a much needed positive experience of spending time with other people which he might not have experienced in his previous school. But also, equally importantly, it may give you the much needed opportunity to make some new (understanding) friends and have something social (outside of the house) to regularly look forward to.
Best of luck.
It sounds like you're doing a brilliant job in difficult circumstances, you might be interested to have a look at our Parent to Parent service - they offer emotional support to parents and carers of children or adults with autism. This service is confidential and run by trained parent volunteers who are all parents themselves of a child or adult with autism .
You contact the team on 0808 800 4106. Please leave a message and the team will call you back as soon as possible at a time that suits you, including evenings and weekends. Alternatively you can use contact the team via web form: http://www.autism.org.uk/services/community/family-support/parent-to-parent/enquiry.aspx
Or perhaps you might like to search the NAS directory to see what is available in your area for either you to build connections with other parents or for your son to socialise: http://www.autismdirectory.org.uk/directory.aspx
Hope you find something that is helpful.
Heather - Mod