Parents with an autistic child or children face enormous challenges. Their marriage is stressed, perhaps to the breaking point. Other children in the family may feel ignored and resentful and start acting out in a bid for attention. The financial challenges are another never-ending problem. It is a very difficult situation with no easy answers.
In some of these marriages, one parent assumes much of the responsibility for the autistic child. Often, that parent will pursue one “cure” after another, hoping that a new therapy or diet or communication aid will produce that long-awaited breakthrough. At times, there may be minor improvements, but not enough to significantly improve the situation.
Doing anything enjoyable as a family is a distant memory if that. Some autistic children dislike new situations to such a degree that taking them anywhere is too difficult for everyone else. If they find the money or energy for a vacation, it may be a split vacation, with one parent going with the other children while one stays home. If the family is fortunate, there will be a relative or friend who is able to take care of the autistic child to give them a break, but not everyone is so lucky.
Everyone may feel resentment and anger at the situation. That’s only to be expected. People are vulnerable human beings, with strengths and weaknesses, not saints. Feelings of guilt because they feel resentful add to the toxic mix of emotion. Everyone is living in a permanent state of crisis. Typically, one parent stays home with the autistic child while the other parent uses work as a temporary escape. The other children may use school and friends in the same way. As those children get older, they may become involved with drugs, have trouble at school or develop inappropriate relationships.
These families needs help. Marriage Counseling in Madison, AL may help the parents find a way to reconnect and once again work as a team. The other children would probably benefit from counseling as well, but the parent’s marriage has to be the core issue. Kent R. Brand has been counseling people in trouble for 39 years. If the problems associated with a disabled child have caused serious problems within your marriage, please consider Marriage Counseling in Madison, AL. There is help available. Contact A Family Matter First for Counseling and schedule an appointment.
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