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Updates & New Issues (Grieving/Mourning with a Child who has Autism/Asperger's)

Posted by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM
  • 5 Replies

Updates: I was giving my son melatonin, and it was working beautifully. Now, nothing is helping, and neither of us has had a good night's sleep in about two months, I think. He sleeps maybe 2 hours at a time, and his night terrors have worsened. The lack of sleep is causing a lot of irritability. I'm at the end of my rope again, and I'm SO tired. I'm falling behind in my classes, and what's worse, I cannot get him back on a sleep schedule and school starts soon.

New issues: My grandfather passed away in May, and my son was very close to him. He is taking it extremely hard, and I believe a lot of these new issues are due to this loss. His nightmares are worse than ever, and he constantly needs to make sure I haven't disappeared or died. He has erratic mood swings, and he is increasingly angry. Something very new are his violent outbursts. These outbursts are mainly directed toward his younger cousin (5 y.o.) and my little brother (9 y.o.). For those who are unaware, my son is 8 y.o., and was only recently diagnosed at the end of last year's school year. His sense of time/chronology seems skewed. He is angry at people for things that happened 2 years ago, but it seems that in his mind, these things are new. His eating habits have worsened. To be honest, it seems like he is regressing in many ways, and this is worrying me. I have a doctor's appointment scheduled soon, but I still haven't found him a better primary care physician, so I don't hold much hope for that.

I'm just feeling overwhelmed and unprepared for this. I'm trying my best, but it's not good enough. I have tried everything I can think of, but nothing helps him/reassures him/calms him down. My family tries, but they don't understand... And as a single parent, I've never felt more alone and helpless.

I don't know how to help him grieve, nor how to reassure him. He has always had a fixation on mortality (he fears death & losing me), but now it is even worse. He always says "I don't want to die. I want to live." He cries out of nowhere and is HYPERsensitive now. Firm tones are mistaken for "being mean" and picking on him. He also wants to act like a baby a lot lately. I never baby-talked him, but now he wants to talk like a baby. He'll tell me, "I'm talking like a baby now, ma-ma."

I know no one has THE answers, but I just need... Help, advice, reassurance--SOMETHING. I am so tired and stressed and just... Lost.

Being a parent requires excellent multitasking skills, the cunning of Sherlock Holmes, the patience of Buddha, the nerves of the Man of Steel, and encyclopedia-like knowledge for the innumerable amount of  why's," "but, why's," and "how's?" each child has stored up, then releases the moment they learn to speak.

by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 1:23 PM
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by Amy on Aug. 13, 2014 at 2:29 PM

I don't have any answers for you, but wanted to tell you that I'm really sorry for the loss of your grandfather.

by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 2:59 PM

 I am so sorry for your loss and how hard your son is taking it.  I wish I could offer advice, I have never had to address death with my son.  I am starting to try to get him to know a little about heaven, so at least when the time comes for him to face this issue, he can feel a positive conclusion to the life lost.  I wish you the best, big giant hug.

by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 4:15 PM
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Oh sweetie.  I can relate.  My Seth is 6yo and I just started melatonin because I have been sleep deprived with him since his birth.  And he also has night terrors.  I know that is scary.  I have no way of knowing how to deal with death and a child.  Or being a single parent.  But I can relate to your frustration and your fear.  I truly hope that things get better for you.  I am always a shout away.  You can vent to me because I am there with ya.  That is why I joined this group because I felt so alone.  God bless you!

by on Aug. 13, 2014 at 4:27 PM

He is probably depressed.  Losing someone you were close to is hard on anyone.  Kids just seem to take it harder.  Is he getting therapy? A few things that you can try that are completely drug free are inositol powder (helps anxiety) and Bach's rescue remedy.  It now comes in gummy like candies so you can give those to him to suck on.  You might want to talk to his doctor about St. John's wort.  There are a couple of studies with children and St. Johns Wart for depression.  

by Member on Aug. 13, 2014 at 6:31 PM

I'm sorry to hear about your grandfather, I can't imagine what that is like when you have a ASD child. My son sounds a lot like your son. We have tried every kind of therapy and even medication and I don't feel anyone can give us answers or tell us how to make things easier on him or on us. Just know that you are not alone in this. The thing I do to try to get some sanity in my life is think of a few things my son did during the day that were cute or made me happy. When you think of how cute and sweet these little guys can be it can help get you through the toughest days. You are a strong strong strong mother, especially having to do this alone! Keep your head up and try to push through this.

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