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For Parents of Children With Autism: Do your family members help you out with the care of you child to give you a break?

I have 2 small children my 5 year old son has autism and I have no resources. I've been feeling horribly overwhelmed lately but nobody in my family is willing to babysit my son. It is easier for me to find a babysitter for my baby daughter but nobody wants to take my son and I was wondering if there were people who had children with autism who's family helps them, also how involved are they? Do they try to research or give you tips and advice? My mother is constantly on me about how she doesn't think my son has autism and that the doctors diagnose children with autism too often.

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Asked by Anonymous at 4:47 PM on Jan. 12, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (6)
  • No. Both of our boys (ages 8 and 6) have autism, and my husband and I have been going it alone. My 76 year old MIL babysits on occasion--but just so I can take one of the children to a doctor's appointment (I can't bring both at the same time!). I am completely estranged my family, and they live over 300 miles away from us, so even if we weren't estranged they wouldn't be any help. My husband's family is supportive, but each has their own "full plate" with regards to their families and don't have the time to help us.

    My husband is my rock, and we lean on each other. We're proud of the fact that we're doing it on our own! Now that they're both in full-day school, and I'm able to work FT (teacher), it has become MUCH easier to manage. and everyone gets a "break" from one another. We tried using a TSS, but I was really uncomfortable having a stranger "instruct" me on how to managing my children!

    Answer by LoriKeet at 4:57 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • I'm sorry you can't find anyone. My 4 year old doesn't have autism or anything, but family still won't help us out!
    If you happen to live in the Cleveland area, PM me. My church offers a free Friday night respite care once a month for families of special needs kids, to give the parents a chance to get out. Maybe there is some sort of respite care near you?

    Answer by JonesMama at 5:15 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • There is respite care in my state but due to budget cuts I don't qualify. My son goes to full day school Tues-Thurs. but even with that I still have to be close to home bc his school is ill equipped to handle my son. They even unofficially suspended him for a day bc of his behaviors. He was fine at home and at preschool last year but once he started kindergarten everything went downhill.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:20 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • Look up Respite Care in your state. Perhaps your state's Dept. of Health and Human Services. Out here, we qulify for respite, but the wait list is so long. We do have some help from my MIL.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 5:48 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • My mom lives 90 minutes away and watches my 8 and 5 year olds (both on spectrum) over the weekend every few months. She would not watch my 5 year old over night when he was a baby and toddler because he never slept. Otherwise we have had our friends watch them maybe 5 times. The last was a disaster because the kids did not want to sleep in the same room and insisted on certain routines. I don't think they will watch them after bedtime again. My husband works a lot so I am always with the kids. I looked into respite care when we were under the Regional Center but the only paid $8 an hour towards the total cost which was $15 an hour. So I could not afford it. I have never had a baby sitter that I hired.

    Answer by jthor at 7:41 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

  • My mom lives about 2 miles away and she's a huge help in taking care of my 12 year old with autism. She always has been willing to watch my son whenever for whatever amount of time. She doesn't pass on advice or judgement, if she sees an article on autism she will cut it out for me to read but not because she is trying to prove something, just to provide me with as much information as I can possibly have to make informed decisions.
    Is he mainstreamed in a typical classroom? If he is and he's exhibiting behaviors then maybe that isn't a correct placement for him. Does he have an IEP? Maybe they can look into a different type of classroom, or some resource time added to the typical classroom?
    What state are you in? Have you linked up with the local autism society? I have non income based respite provided by the state thru a program I was on the waiting list for 4 years to get.

    Answer by missanc at 7:50 PM on Jan. 12, 2010

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