Saturday, April 21, 2007

Autism - Parents Can Be Prisoners

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.
Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun

The following excerpt from Part One of the Vancouver Sun's six part series Faces of Autism portrays the realities of life for many parents of autistic children. Sun columnist Peter McMartin, and photographer Glenn Baglo, are painting a graphic picture of the realities of life with autism. For doing so there will be outrage from the joy of autism crowd, as there was following release and showing of the Autism Every Day video, but Mr. McMartin is speaking the truth and painting an accurate picture of autism realities. The biting and other experiences described in this article have also been part of life in our household and in that of many other families with severely autistic family members.

Parents can be prisoners of child’s condition

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

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.

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. ....


Maddy said...

We have some experiences in this area also and it is distressing for parents, but often reflects the child's state or arousal [or lack there of] Sometimes, especially with biting, we have found that the equivalent of 'teethers' to bite on and or vibrating teethers, massage of the jaw. lips and face, often help considerably.
BEst wishes


You think about it, and we probably spend as much time and effort on our autistic kids as those with NT kids. The difference is the goal: Parents of NT kids are pushing so their kids will take care of them in their old age. We're pushing so that we will not have to care of THEM in our old age...