• Wed, Oct 11 2006

Working Mothers of Autistic Children

Parenting an autistic child is a full-time job, no doubt about it. Very anecdotally, it is mostly mothers who stay at home to take of their autistic children.

I work full-time—teaching Latin and ancient Greek at a college in New Jersey—and sometimes the balancing act gets interesting (this morning, for instance, when I was rushing to get Charlie on the bus so I could rush off to teach a 10am class……).

Are you an SAHM of an autistic child? A working mother?

 

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  • bethduckie

    Working. Well, studying, actually, teacher training. And working here and there to pay the bills… I’m a lone parent. It gets ‘interesting’ sometimes *grin*

  • KathyIggy

    I work full-time; my husband stays at home with my 1 year old and Megan (ASD) and Emily (age 6), when they’re not in school. Luckily, I work just a 40 hour week and traveling and weekend work is very rare, so I have time to spend with the kids, but it’s never enough!

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    I ought also to have asked “are you a SAHF” or a “working father” to the dads our there—-

  • http://compostermom.blogspot.com Daisy

    I am a full-time teacher in a public school. My husband works full time, too. There have been times when we’ve had to balance Amigo’s (blind, Aspergers) needs with my need to remain employed. It helps that I speak the lingo of “educationalese”, but sometimes I wish I taught in a district other than the one that is educating my child; I would be able to be a much stronger advocate then.

  • jamie

    Working single mother (6,ASD) and lone caregiver to my aging father. Involved in community support and advocacy. It IS a balancing act, but it always balances out.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Agreed.

  • Lianne Sahu

    I worked full time up until the diagnosis of my autistic daughter at 15 months. I gave up work to run her home program until our return to England in 2001 .In 2005 I returned to training as genreal practitioner part -time and am now a single parent. Getting a balance for myself and her needs not to mention my 15 year old daughter is hard. I really need more energy and more hours in a day! otherwise its about pacing and hoping.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    More hours in the day—–now that would be something I could use! And ‘pacing and hoping’ is a good to describe our days too.

  • Pam H.

    I have a 7 yr old boy with ASD, I am working full time and trying to manage a household and finances. My husband is a great help. How can I get everything done and still keep a structured schedule to avoid meltdowns. My house is a disaster and there is no time to clean. Any suggestions?

  • Joanne

    I have a five year old high functioning autistic daughter whi si the light of my life…other than NOT SLEEPING!!! Even with 3mg of melatonin…we fall asleep at 9-10pm- wake up at 2-3am and mostnights can fall back asleep for two hours, but MOST..we are up and going at 3am with no stopping until bedtime the next night…..HELP HELP HELP!!!!! I am feelign so clsed in lately…it is too much. I ahev no time for me period. NONE. I have gained 20 lbs, look like hell, just so my house looks “neat”. Help me be a woman again!!! IDEAS???!!! WE also cannot find private time and feel apart as a couple because of it…help me feel normal…even for a DAY!!!!!!

  • Joanne

    I have a five year old high functioning autistic daughter who is the light of my life…other than NOT SLEEPING!!! Even with 3mg of melatonin…we fall asleep at 9-10pm- wake up at 2-3am and SOME nights can fall back asleep for two hours, but MOST..we are up and going at 3am with no stopping until bedtime the next night…..HELP HELP HELP!!!!! I am feeling so closed in lately…it is too much. I have no time for me period. NONE. I NEED SLEEP! I have gained 20 lbs, look like hell, just so my house looks “neat”. Help me be a woman again!!! IDEAS???!!! We also cannot find private time and feel apart as a couple because of it…help me feel normal…even for a DAY!!!!!!

  • Noni-Ayanna

    Joanne,
    I can so understand how you feel! My son has ASD (4) and I am starting to lose it being trapped in my house all the time in constant therapy schedules. He has ABA 9-12pm and then OT/PT appointments 12;15-1:15pm and then if I am lucky and my home team doesn’t change all of the schedules on me last minute, I have another session from 1:15pm-2pm. Its crazy! To top it off, I have another child 2 yrs old and one on the way!!!!!! I am exhausted and I totally understand your fustrations with how it affects your ability to care for yourself and your marriage. Me and my husband try to hold it together as well, but the stress of it all can definitely be a strain. I will say this though, I still believe autism is curable and I am not sure if you have already looked into biomedical intervention for your child, but if you haven’t I strongly suggest that you do. My son used to wake up in the middle of the night as well until he started the gluten/casein free diet. We are still looking into his digestive struggle, but I hope that helps a little bit :) Check out these two websites: gfcfdiet.com and tacanow.com….
    write me anytime:
    pcmama98@yahoo.com
    Take care-you can do it!!!

  • http://autismspectrumdisorders.bellaonline.com Bonnie Sayers

    I homeschool the HFA 13 year old and am the home health care worker through the state of CA for the nonverbal 11 year old son.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Following up on what some earlier commenters wrote, Bonnie—-how do you manage time for you yourself?

  • http://autismspectrumdisorders.bellaonline.com Bonnie Sayers

    Before homeschooling this school year I went to the gym after taking kids to school and that was my time. I put my membership on hold for six months and now going to start back in that routine once the state testing this week is over.

    Now my time is basically at night when they both go to sleep and I dream of having a home one day and watch HGTV shows. I am looking forward to the six weeks of daycamp so I can spend more time at the gym and browse around malls.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    Just trying to get in one week of daycamp in August here!

  • Rosa

    I have been workin with auistic children for three years at a school along with two different homes as well. i have been helping one family for 2 years and another family for 1 year. I am teacher certified and took courses in child abuse, violence provention, aba, and skip. im lookin to help more families at home. please contact me if you are lookin for help.

  • Tara

    i am exhausted…I work 60 hrs a week mostly evenings…I feel soooooooo guilty. I cry a lot. My husband does a good job w/ our son…but like every other parent out there…I think I could do better. Bills are high and there is no end in sight. I feel dead inside.

  • http://www.autismvox.com Kristina Chew, PhD

    hang in there, we are out here, with you.

  • Judi

    Just found this email thread. I think it is incredibly difficult trying to balance work outside of the home with a child who has autism. Hard for all working moms, but harder for us I think.

    By the way, regarding the sleep trouble, we’ve been successful with melatonin and a very, very tiny amount of risperidone at bedtime — it is a very tiny dose, but it’s really helped with her sleep.

  • Larisa Badger

    I am the mother of two children: a nearly 11-year-old low-end-of-spectrum autistic boy, and a nearly 8-year-old girl. I am divorced and receive little-to-no financial help from their father. If it weren’t for the fact that my son went to live in a residential home operated by his school when he was 8, there is no way I could have worked outside of the home (I am a librarian). Thank you for pointing out the difficult realities of being in such a situation!

  • Geoff B

    We have a 4 1/2 year old she was diagnosed autistic disorder similar to the rest of you guys except a few things mum works as a nurse and me Dad looks after the young she does for days a week at pre school her language is poor and her sleeping patterns are difficult 11.30 up at 9 sometimes 12.30 up at 7 all depends never balanced she seems very high functioning and takes long periods of time to absorb and understand our language and in turn re-interprite it back into hers
    I’ve chosen to teach her traditional celtic symbolism as it is her culture and also the symbols used to identify planets and so on, i found that since i’ve started using a symbol based system that she learns far more rapidly and retains the information wether she knows what it means i don’t think so.
    i also get her repeat latin words plus there meaning to try and influence the language centres in her brain and this also seems to be working as the pre school has reported an increase in language receptivity weather this is environmental or from latin i don’t know but she still has lots of echeloloia and meltdowns and she so beautiful she goes through funny obsessions like carrying sandwich bags full of food everywhere she goes
    hope this helps and is any body else teaching these methods
    thanks
    Geoff