I don’t know if this is too personal a topic but I just wondered how you felt or decided about having another child with the possibility of having another autistic child?
We love our son dearly and we don’t want him to be the only child but we just don’t know how to decide whether we have another or not as we read all different kinds of resources saying what the % of having another autistic child is but they all seem to vary from 4% right up to 20%. Plus we are both almost 40 years of age and I know that adds to the %.
Just looking to see how other people felt in this position
Apologies in advance, but I tend to ask direct and difficult questions.
How well do you perceive autism? How are you finding dealing with your son? Is it burning you out or is it a joy? Is having a 'faulty' child damaging your self image? How accepting are your extended family and friends? How much time and energy can you give to your child?
An only child is hard work because you have to be their playmate, parent, teacher, annoying older brother (to fight with them and knock the edges off) and mentor. A second child can be good for the first child. I've no idea about how much stress having more than one autistic child could be.
My little boy struggles everyday as he is non verbal, I see him struggle daily to get through without a tremendous amount of support from me which is why I stay at home with him. My son at the moment has some challenging behaviours and doesn’t sleep very well either so those long nights yes sometimes it catches up with me and it’s difficult. My partner works away through his job because he has to to provide for all of us to enable me to be the one bringing our son up. I would by no means call my child faulty he’s perfect to me as he is and thinking of it as damaging to my self image I couldn’t care less what people think of my self image. Immediate family are struggling acceptance but they are getting used to it and how my little boy sees the world different. That is what I am most concerned about when my son needs me as he does then how would I find the time for another child or would I just find it without realising.
Hi Julie. I ask the difficult questions to make you examine your own thoughts. When parents think about having children they imagine what their child will be like and how successful they will be and what high-powered job they will get - like rocket scientist or nuclear physicist. You dream about being grandparents one day when they are happily married with 2.4 kids and a Labrador.
When you have a child with special needs, all those dreams go out of the window and you're then left with perpetually worrying if they will be ok and able to live indepentently. There's every chance that he will turn out perfectly fine but there's a chance he may not.
As a parent, you will find yourself grieving for what might have been. This can cause a lot of stress and anxiety as you re-evaluate their future. It can also cause a lot of marital and family stress because everyone knows what to do with a normal child (the same as everyone else with children) but they also have a strong and possibly conflicting opinion on the best route for a special needs child.
These opinions can cause a lot of arguements and, as you only get one chance about bringing up a child, it causes a lot of blame if things don't turn out well.
It all comes down to how you feel about your son's difficulties and how well you cope with everything and what support you have to manage it all.
You couldn’t be more correct in everything you have just said. It’s like you read my mind. We think after lots of talking that we have made our final decision now. Really appreciate everyone’s comments.