Traumatic Stress and Moms Of Children With Autism

Traumatic Stress and Moms Of Children With Autism (and many other special needs) go hand in hand. Here’s why. 

I recently read a study that found moms of children with autism, have also been shown to have stress levels similar to combat soldiers. (I know, very encouraging way to begin this right???)

I have been thinking a lot about it. I often feel a level of stress that I cannot describe, and so many of you have shared that you feel the same.
Traumatic Stress and Moms Of Children With Autism
I decided to do a little bit of research and you know what I found?
Besides all kinds of crazy images of special needs moms looking haggard and being described as superheros, I also stumbled across this term and it started to make sense.
Hyper-vigilance is defined as an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity accompanied by an exaggerated intensity of behaviors whose purpose is to detect threats. Hyper-vigilance denotes a constant scanning of the environment for threats, exhaustion, and abnormally increased awareness. (source)
Sound familiar?
Yeah. Me too.

Traumatic Stress and Moms Of Children With Autism

Hyper-vigilence is an element of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Because “a constant scanning of the environment for threats, exhaustion, and abnormally increased awareness” is traumatic.
Because getting out of bed, knowing that you have to do it all again today, seems nearly impossible sometimes.
Because you find yourself cringing and tensing up in Target when a baby cries, worried that your son might react to the sudden noise, and then realize he is not even there with you.
Because you automatically turn off the blinker once you enter the left hand turn lane, because the clicking noise can and does cause meltdowns in your moving car.
Because the exhaustion is so real, you feel like you are trying to get over a flu that you never had, but never seems to quite go away.
Having my son sobbing and knocking his head against the wall for an hour, biting me, throwing things at me, trying to hurt himself, wrecking our home, our car, his little brother – it is traumatic.
Some days, this sh*t just gets real. (I tried so many other ways to say that – but they all seemed a little sugar-coated. This is harsh. Harsh language seems the only way to adequately describe it. I did include the * for anyone who might be offended.)
Hyper-vigilence comes from all of this. None of us are surprised that it utterly exhausts us, messes with our thinking, and often has us living with a constant sense of anxiety.
And it doesn’t just effect moms of children with autism. Moms of children with anxiety, ADHD and mood disorders also fall into this category.
Traumatic Stress and Mothering A Child With Autism

Traumatized Moms of Children With Special Needs

There was a news story this week about a mom who threw her son, who had autism, over a bridge in Oregon. She then called 911 and calmly let them know she had done it.
It’s so awful. The little boy is so cute in his picture. “London was a good kid. He loved hats. And his Dad,” his uncle is quoted as saying.
He loved hats. Oh my goodness you, sweet little boy.
So. Much. Loss.
It makes me cry and get a little sick, every time I think of it.  And just a few months ago, this mother made a plea online as her husband was stricken with a grievous medical condition.
If you are a praying person, pray for us,” Jillian McCabe wrote. “I love my husband and he has taken care of myself and my son for years and years and now it’s time for me to take the helm. I am scared and I am reaching out.”
I have to say this today –
If any of you are feeling like things are too far gone, like you can’t see how it will ever work out or get better… if any of you feel hopeless or angry or both, and are actually considering hurting yourself or anyone else… please, please, please let someone know.
Call your doctor, your child’s doctor, email me, call a friend, ask for help at your child’s school.
Please Tell Someone.
There is no shame in admitting we can’t do this on our own. Because of course we can’t. It would be unrealistic to think that we could.
No one can.
You are not alone. You are not beyond help. You are not somehow worse than or less equipped than any of the rest of us.
Traumatic Stress and Mothering A Child With Autism
I am praying today for that sweet little boy. I am also praying for his mother.
May God have mercy on them both.
Traumatic stress and moms of children with autism and so many other special needs is very, very real. And the consequences can be devastating.
I am praying for all of you. Because I would be devastated to think that I had the opportunity to encourage you here, and didn’t. That you might be here looking for hope, for a friend, for someone who understands, for the chance to feel a little less alone – in the world and in your own head.
I am praying you hear me, believe me, and can’t help but feel better when you read my words.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
You are not alone.
There is a whole community of moms here, who want to speak the truth and be encouraged just the same.
Please reach out.
I am not sure how we do this. I am not sure what today will bring, or how exhausted and undone I may feel tomorrow. But I am sure of this.
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…And we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good.” Romans 8:26 and 28
When we don’t know what else to do. When we are at the end of ourselves. When we feel bereft and abandoned and alone.
May God help us all.

Keep Reading

What No One Tells You When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Autism

20 Things I Have Learned Since My Son Was Diagnosed With Autism

When Your Child Has Meltdowns Every Day

Similar Posts


  1. You are just so awesome!!! Truly! I do not have any children with special needs, but I read every one of your posts. You are quite inspiring for EVERYONE! God Bless and keep up the positive attitude!

    1. Jennifer, you are so kind! Your words bless me. Thank you so much.

    2. Mom in NC says:

      I have two kids with autism and they also go to the school that I work at. I am at level of exhaustion that I really can’t describe either. I am tired, angry and then I feel guilty for needing a break and then sad. My husband refuses to give me a break. My kids don’t really go to anyone. They don’t like strangers. I feel like I am drowning in autism. My family is 3 hours away. My husband’s family is only one hour away but so far they haven’t help me. I really don’t know what to do. I’ve gone for days without combing my hair. My son’s and daughter’s autism is high functioning with my son being a little worse off. He has extreme sensory needs.

      1. I know what you mean! We have two beautiful Autistic children also! When I demand a break ( like actually leave to shop with my Mom once MAYBE a month) I am made to feel guilty and timed ( aren’t you headed home now, late getting out the door to go, and NEVER am GONE from home overnight! I literally have to beg, pre plan EVERYTHING, have NOTHING else that could even begin to conflict with me being gone for even 5 minutes! Comb hair, shower, yeah RIGHT! No one BREAKS me for those minutes! I look like a bag lady pushing a shopping cart most days! You sound better off, to only me, as our school district has even insulted me by NOT allowing me to hire in to work at any of the schools! I even recently obtained my PARAPROFESSIONAL license ( which is what I do EVERY day of my children’s lives) to ” qualify” for the jobs I have volunteered for when the district is lacking staff or funds or is just to inexperienced to help our kids! The district sees me cleaned up for concerts and stuff so it is not a professional reason and I sent all necessary paperwork, resume, etc. I just brought it up at our youngest kid’s IEP meeting ( was not planning on it) that I felt it was discriminating against me application as the superintendent ( 1st time EVER one has come to IEP) came to meeting to give a bunch of BALONEY! I have never raised my voice, cussed, and or caused a problem at a school! THEY HAVE! I just look stressed, seem stressed, look tired and anxious! If one more person tells me ” oh, all kids do that” or ” everything is just fine…. DON’T worry! I think I will run down the street screaming! I hope someone sees your anguish and your plea for help comes in some relief very soon! I absolutely loved this article and post! I could not have said it better, and have actually said all these things prior myself! I have also come to terms with PTSD and hyper-vigilance and 100% agree that is what and who I am! We have one high functioning mentally, but he actually needs just as much support ( organizing, attention to EVERYTHING, and ALL safety needs, school, ETC.) and then or other child is lower on the spectrum with a ton of other health/medical needs. She needs EVERYTHING! But, per the school district **##%^## she is just ” FINE” ! Grrrrrr…. So, to all you Moms! God bless you and Happy 2017! Ps… Our’s is cow sounds! Causes little one seizures! Remember, god gave us these little angels because we are warriors! My husband and I tell the rudest of people who say ” oh.. You have two…..” That ” we had one and feel complimented by God that we did a hell of a job and then we were given our next angel baby! AMEN! Thank you Shawna for such a beautiful post! I needed it! 🙂

  2. This is so true, Shawna! I realized about a year ago, that I had been suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, most likely from those hard, hard years of being hypervigilant when my son was a preschooler and the autism was at its worst…Your description of cringing in Target when you heard another child cry was so me! I was anxious 24/7. Over the past year, I worked with a therapist who used a technique called “brainspotting” to help me release the energy that I had stored in my brain from those early years of being a mama and am finally free of that feeling of my heart being squeezed….Still anxious, at times, but much calmer, in general! Thank you for all that you share, affirming what we mamas experience along this journey!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Kristin. I really appreciate your experience and your sweet words.

    2. vanessa estrada says:

      To all the Moms who have added stress/ hyper- vigilance in their lives due to the 24 hr. care of special needs children or from high-stess jobs, etc. please look into Yoga, Beginner or Restorative classes as an on-going part of your life; these one hour classes are your time, your hour to decompress and to learn to let go and relax; to be in the present with yourself only. Not only does it relieve stress but it is a wonderful way to strenghten and tone the body in and out.

  3. It isn’t just autism. My daughter’s autism is very mild by autism behavioral standards. I don’t have to deal with melt downs or otherwise bad behaviors, but she is non-verbal and medically fragile/unpredictable. And of course she never presents with an illness in a normal or recognizable way, and being non verbal she can’t/isn’t able to communicate with us what is wrong. Hyper vigilance is my LIFE. I have to be a fortune telling medical expert of the weird and bizarre. At the end of the summer after an episode that shattered my normally impenetrable exterior I knew I needed some sore of intervention for myself or I was going off that deep end and I wouldn’t be able to pull myself out. Thankfully I was able to hang on a few more weeks and attend our church’s annual Women’s Silent Prayer Retreat. Thank you God for your healing power! A big part of that healing came in the form of being transparent with my friends and family about fragile condition I was really in. It was a shock to many who normally see me as the strong one. It was liberating to allow myself to be weak and completely broken for a change. I let go and the world didn’t fall apart. I will be much more careful with the state of my heart as I go forward from here. Our hearts are fragile things and not meant to carry the burdens of the world alone. Thank you for sharing on this topic.

    1. I love your story. Thank you so much for sharing it here, with us.
      Praying for you and your momma’s heart tonight!

    2. I loved this! Yes I am crying now. I feel overwhelmed every single day, and half the people are like why are you stressed, you don’t work, ok take a day to do what i do. Most people can’t handle this much stress, and moms like us deserve a bit more respect, I’d love to chat with more one-on-one. Feel free to email me anytime, you gave me hope that I CAN DO THIS! THANK YOU!

    3. Stacey Dickey says:

      Hey there. I read your comment and wanted to know if you’ve ever heard of RPM. It is a communication method we use for our no. Verbal daughter. Look up HALO SOMA. She’s in Austin Tx and is a Godd send!! Basically she teaches our kiddos to communicate via a spelling board. It’s amazing what our kids know and how smart they are. You can PM me on FB if you’d like. My name is Stacey Mink Dickey.

  4. Hi friend, thank you again for an awesome post. I feel like I have been going thru similar bouts of this lately. Jeff ad I were referred to Karen D Wood for counseling, to help us understand our sons brain, how to deal with all this and pray. Her book is called Brain Prayers and it’s on Amazon. Let me know what you think!

    1. I will check it out for sure! Love you.

  5. So true…so sad sometimes…so friggin hard…and yes so utterly alone…but truly worth it. My autistic daughter turned 15 today and what an amazing girl she is. She’s genuinely kind, caring, fun and smart. She still has her difficulties with emotions and figuring how how to be a teenage girl and everything that comes with it…but oh how far we have come. I’m still waiting for the “hyper sensitivity” to go away, but I’m not sure it ever does. It’s part of who I am now, she has shaped me in the same way I have shaped her…but I don’t think it’s a negative thing…it’s just us, me and her…and we’re going to be ok. There is hope. There is Always hope in god.

    1. I love your words. There is always hope.
      Praying for you and your girl tonight.

  6. I’ve never read your blog before, but someone shared this on an Autism Moms support page. I am so glad I read this today. I have two girls, 6 and 2, both with Asperger’s. Sometimes I feel so, so alone and I can’t possibly see how I can keep waking up every day and doing this. By God’s grace I do. Thank you for sharing this today.

    1. I am so glad you are here! Thank you for your sweet words – and yes, by God’s Grace we just do. We take the next step and then the next, right?
      Praying for you and your little luv’s tonight.

  7. I’ve never read your blog before, but this was shared on an Autism Mom’s support page I’m on. I really, really needed to read this today. I have two girls, 6 and 2, both with Asperger’s. Sometimes I just don’t see how I can wake up and do it all over again every day, and it is a lonely place. By God’s grace we do it, I guess. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Hyper vigilent…that’s an excellent way to describe the oth.er awareness that parents of autistic kids need to maintain for a long time. Now when I go with my adult daughters to the mall…they walk with me. I used to have to constantly watch Mary to makr sure she was with me…even into her late teens.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Ann. It is encouraging to think at some point in time, we might be able to relax this hyper vigilance a bit.

  9. Thank you for this. Just, thank you.

    1. You are very welcome. I am glad you are here.

  10. I wish I could say I have no idea what this is like – but it is all too familiar. The level of desperation that mother felt is real. Its becoming painfully frequent – parents of autistic children trying to bring suffering to an end. But I am blessed beyond measure and hope others will see my post and know…it gets better. Mine is almost 18 and with the right supports, recognition (and avoidance) of behavioral triggers, and maturity – we live in a completely different world. If someone told me that the place we are today was possible, back when I could barely get through the next moment, I don’t think I could have believed it. Don’t give up.

    1. Thank you so much for this testimony and for your encouragement! This is exactly what I needed to read this morning. I am grateful for your willingness to share.

  11. So incredibly well said! Thank you for this truthful and hopeful post! Sending many blessings your way from one autism mama to another!

  12. Reading this brought me to tears. I’m having one of those days feeling pulled in many directions. I’m raising two children with special needs, my 10 yr old daughter is high functioning Autism and my yr old son has a extremely rare genetic syndrome – MECP2 duplication syndrome. It’s beyond frustrating that the only support I feel I have is thru social media. I feel isolated living in a world that no one in my life can appreciate the stress and anxiety I experience on a daily basis.

  13. Andrea Holden says:

    Hyper- vigilance, anxious, desperate, sad and alone aré the day to day feelings we experiment on a daily basis. Sometimes i really dont know how we can go through it… How can we live like this? Its beyond words, only love can keep us going. Im a Mom of three kids (6, 4 and 2). Im trying to deal with Autism of my older son and it hasnt been a joyride, same stress as in combat? Never.. Combat will end someday… Autism does not. Bless you all!

  14. Thank you so much .. I have zero support other than my husband (long story trust me ..) who is more of an enabler on many levels for the behavior and progress of our twins, both with autism – one is moderate to severe who is stuck at about 4 years old to every degree (they are 7) .. earlier this year my eldest son, 23, committed suicide in our home and I found him. His stepdad and little brothers only a few steps behind in witness. I was able to revive him with CPR by truly the grace of god until shock trauma swarmed in and a helicopter landed in our front yard at midnight .. .. That in itself is another story… Needless to say, my traumatic stress feels as though I am drowning. I keep a positive attitude and my household in order whereas deep down my heart just aches beyond description. In the meantime life goes on here where I am on caretaking and homeschooling duty 24/7/365. .. I am most grateful that my level of spirituality keeps me lifted most of the time, even when that time does not give me an ounce to myself to reset. Bless us all and the ones that we hold dear in our heart. Self healing .. is crucial .. self care. Thank you for this blog entry so much.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Oh my goodness, it is so very hard sometimes. Your words capture that beautifully.
      I am praying for you and yours this morning.

    2. So sorry to hear of your struggles! I could feel it in my soul just reading your words! We had the helicopter for our daughter too! It flew over our house after JUST putting her in it! I did NOT know if I would see her again as she was in SEIZURE as it left! I am so proud of you! REALLY! And I admire your courage, strength, and faith! I homeschool on top of trying to support the children attending the local school district too. Every year I say I am going to remove them! That is how much I believe in homeschooling! Between care taking, school needs, and NORMAL family life it leaves just about ZERO for a special needs parent to breathe! I hope 2017 finds a less stricken time for your family and tons of needed support! My prayers are with you as you are a WARRIOR MOM! Take care!

  15. Good article

  16. What a wonderful post, it has effected me in a way i didnt expect , it has brought tears to my eyes. I have not looked at it like this before (Traumatic Stress) but this post is so true you describe the way i feel on a regular basis. Ive been through some dark times regarding my child’s Autism but luckily in my case things are getting better due to getting a diagnosis and extra support and of course the sheer love of my child have got me through , but if you dont have the support it could and does lead to tragedies such as this little boys death. God bless those of us who are struggling and are lost in it all and I pray they get the help that is so desperately need. Hugs all round.
    I also feel a lot of parents/carers of disabled children in general experience Traumatic Stress.

  17. Jessica Steward says:

    I REALLY needed this today happy I stumbled across it, and God bless you because you wouldn’t believe the things we are going thru lately

  18. Beautifully real …. As a mum of a 24 year old severe autistic son …. My friends and I would judge how stressed and alert ,we were, with the chair test ….
    Totally on alert Sit on front of chair … 13 years to work my way to the back of a chair , and even then alert was full on front chair status rocking and chewing my nails , just more able to project a false relaxed mode lol….
    Different issue with each stage in life .. Many precious moments too…, and as my son signed to me , ” I’m here so you will never be alone ..”

  19. Shalae Massey says:

    THANK YOU! My son is 17 and finally diagnosed. We are still lost, but not feeling alone is amazing. Period.

  20. Thank you for this! I know I’m not alone in this, but it feels like it. I know now that I’m not crazy! I couldn’t verbalize it, but there it is! I feel some relief. Thank you!!! My daughter is an amazing girl, and I am blessed. The meltdowns are not like they use to be, but are still there. Traumatic stress could not be more accurate when I see someone has left a door open and fly has come in or you forgot to pack the iPad charger for a road trip. Praying has got me through so many difficult times. But I’m embarrassed to say, so has self-medicating. I’ll keep praying for you! God Bless!

  21. I have four children ages 6, 5, 3, and 16 months. All suspected of having mitochondrial disease, one of being on the autism spectrum, and one has FPIES, is G tube dependent, and we’re told likely has cerebral palsy. I not only relate to the autism end, but every time I am able to get out without the little one with a feeding tube, if I hear a beep, I find myself reaching for his feeding pump to see what the problem is. There’s never a moment when I’m not “on guard.” Thank you for this.

    1. I am praying for you and that feeling of always being “on” this morning, Amber. Thank you so much for sharing your life here.

  22. alicia @autisicandmore FB says:

    I noticed I was showing signs of PTSD this last year, but autism is not the many reason. MY oldest son does have Autism (dx at 12) but he also has bipolar and ADHD, very violent and aggressive at times. I was only 19 when I had him so I think the stress took longer to hit me; for a couple reasons, one I was young and thought thats just what all parents go through and two he was my first child. Well needless to say, after all the medical issues and the developmental issues I thought I was over the hump, nope. Bipolar has been by far the hardest part of his list of dxs to handle (yes its a long list). With 15 hospitalizations in 4 years, I realized he is making me and my other kids sick (scared). I do have 2 other kids and yes one of them has Autism too, he is more typical in his meltdowns and developmental issues. But after the last 2 outburst my oldest had, when my little ones went into my room for safety, did I realize they probably have PTSD too. Not an easy thing to know that one of your children is destroying your family, not to mention I am a single mom, so I get no breaks at all. The higher vengeance makes a lot of sense, like in combat they are always watching around them, I do the same thing. At one point I could turn my back on my oldest or he would hurt me.

    1. The whole article – so true indeed. I wouldn’t change my 16 year old non-verbal son for the world, but darn – it gets hard sometimes. Nobody really understands.

      Thanks for your inspiring words 🙂

  23. ElizabethFree says:

    I am attending a workshop on PTSD for Autism parents in a few weeks. I can’t wait! I had a conversation along these lines with another autism mum last week and we both recognised the hyper-vigilance in our lives and just how exhausting that is. I have been struggling severely over the past 2 years, felt like I wouldn’t survive at times. Physically my body was breaking down. I read a fantastic book on adrenal fatigue and it described me to a T. I am getting better at putting on my own oxygen mask first and regular afternoon naps when my boy is at school. Good luck every momma, you are all amazing! Elizabeth (Australia)

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Elizabeth. Very well said!

  24. Yes…God help us.

  25. I have no words….just tears. Thank you for this blog that gives voice to what autism moms feel every day. Thank you for letting us know we are not alone.

  26. Liane Guthrie says:

    thank you and please keep my daughter and her children in your prayers.

  27. beautifully says what I have felt for a long time. Thanks and Hugs

  28. My son is 22 months old and June 2nd sitting in the doctors office and hearing the word “Autism” seemed life shattering.Then I read post like this and there is almost a since of relief that we aren’t alone in this. Even now awaiting diagnosis I’m laying in bed watching my sweet boy sleep while I fight through the exhaustion to read up on anything and everything involving developmental delays and autism (and to comfort him every five min. When he stirs around and I pray silently that he wont wake up screaming). Even with that since of relief from knowing we aren’t alone I feel a little lost, everything has changed in two weeks time. The same day our four year old was referred to a Cardiologist. I have always been super mom, not sure I have slowed down in four years. But they are worth it. Thank you for such an inspiring article. Some days Little things like this are what help keep me going.

  29. Thank you for those beautiful words. I have those days that I feel too deep in a whole and I don’t know what to do or which way to go. It makes me feel less alone when I know someone gets me, even if we have never spoken. The struggle is real, the pain is real, the heartbreak is real and the stress is real. I just want someone to acknowledge how real s****y things can be when caring for a child with special needs, no sugar please. I appreciate you being honest ; it’s refreshing. My son is cute and smart and I love him more than words can say. I have hard day, but only because I can not give up on him. He needs me to keep fighting the good fight everyday. It’s only because of God’s mercy that I have not gone crazy and ended up on the news myself.

  30. Thank you. It’s hard to put into words what I feel everyday, and you did it beautifully. My Aspie daughter tests me everyday. The more I learn, the more I understand, and the easier I can change my perspective. It’s hard. It’s just so hard, and only moms of special needs children can relate. I need to find the support group that some of the moms on here have mentioned. I’d love that!

  31. Oh my God. Wow. Tears streaming down my face reading this. Hypervigilance…that is exactly it. Always on edge, waiting for something to happen: for him to disappear in a crowd, for him to do or say something inappropriate, scanning the room for the disapproving looks–even from those I consider/considered friends. Nobody gets it. There is just no way they possibly could. Thank you. Thank you.

    1. I felt the same way when I read the word ‘Hypervilgilance’ – because that is it…exactly.
      Thank you for your kind words, Liz. Please know, some of us do get it and you are not alone.

  32. and here I thought no one understood……thank you

  33. Fantastic post. I love having terms to define what I feel every day. Hyper-vigilance. YES!!! Never-ending was the best I could describe it before this. My son is happy and loving, but DOES NOT STOP and puts himself in danger constantly. And it is so lonely and isolating. Thank you!!!! <3

    1. I have been so very blessed to receive notices on this post (love this blog thank you – it is truly a gift!) for months .. and I must say that I have yet to find anywhere (online) yet such a profound empathetic beautiful group of mama/parent-souls gathering in support of such a deep level. I can only wonder if there is a way to coordinate some of us (website blogger mama ? hint hint <3 ) to gather on a deeper level as a group in a private community board and even better by location geographically! I have slowly taken on the "symptoms" of my children over the years and have grown to be very introverted in the physical world. But I would feel blessed by the faery godmother herself to even know ONE mama with similar shoes that we could chat here and there .. get the kids together two or three at a time (that is all my very sensitives could handle I think – we homeschool due to very high sensory processing issues) .. any thoughts? NAMASTE ~~ again such deep gratitude <3

      1. There is power when women gather. Even just 2. I am open to any type of group collaboration for support. I consider myself an ambivert. I can be very social, but then get overwhelmed and need loads of alone time to decompress. The situation with caring for young children, especially special needs kids, prevents much alone time, much less social time for me. I enjoy what I can carve out, and it seems easier to do so with like-minded moms.

  34. Heather Rocha says:

    Amazing. I’m laying here as my boys nap and every night I wonder how I’m going to get up and do it all over again. It’s so hard. And you don’t want to sound like these precious children are a burden because they’re not, it’s just the appointments, the paperwork, the therapy, the tantrums, navigating the system, most the time.. carrying it on our shoulders as we strong mommies do. Thank you for this read. I too had read the combat veteran analogy and I also do feel hypervigilant. I could go on and on, but thank you so much for sharing!

  35. Hello my name is loretta hudson my son james is 3 years old and has autism, it’s been a long rode and real hard, James is my first babe and when they told me james had autism i made me afraid and worried for him james has come a long way since that day it’s easy right now i am hardly makeing it though the day my life has change so much and part of me not sure how to keep going though this rode but in ways i am a very blessed mama.

    1. I think that is what we all experience, Loretta. The hard and the messy and the good – it all kinda mixes together. You are the only one who can be the mom to this little one – the one God has chosen especially for James. I am praying for your heart this morning. Please know you are not alone.

  36. But I am all alone that’s just the way it is and it SUCKS!!!! ITS SO HARD THIS IS SO HARD I HAVE LOST HOPE AND IM SCARED!!! SO SCARED!

    1. Tina, I am so so sorry. I have felt this way too. Please reach out to someone. It just takes one step at a time – not trying to figure it all out. Just worry about the next hour. Then the next, then the next. Praying for you and yours sweet friend. For strength and peace.

  37. I needed this so much. It’s 2am and I’ve gotten up while everyone else is asleep because I cant switch off. I felt so alone. I felt so hopeless. I needed this. Thank you.

    1. I am so glad this helped. I can’t say it enough – this is not easy. You are not failing and you are not alone! Praying for you right this minute.

  38. This is exactly the correct description of what I feel every day. I have one Aspie and triplet siblings that are two years younger all with some challenge – OCD; SPD; ADHD. Even though they are older now – ages 15 and 13, most days I feel as though we have not progressed past childhood. Tantrums in the car, unfinished chores, unfollowed directions – just waiting every moment for another crisis to work through. It is exhausting and robs my hope so many times. I don’t even know how to pray any more. Thank you for putting a name to what I feel.

  39. What a beautiful, real , honest,,true, raw and gritty picture of daily life as the Mom of a child with disabilities. Our beautiful son Ryan has ASD, high functioning, Tourette’s Syndrome (severe the past 2 years ) , learning disabilities, ANXIETY ,PTSD, OCD-, severe allergies and asthma , and I have probably missed a few…but he is EXCEPTIONAL, HE IS MY HERO …I HAVE MET NOONE OLD OR YOUNG BRAVER OR MORE RESILIENT THEN HE IS …
    How well you described our daily “feelings ” as a Mom was PERFECT…
    WE now are in a battle with our school district to keep Ryan in District , since they just fought to bring him back in District from a private school and in 2 weeks GAVE UP ON HIM…THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE…CONSIDERING THEY DID NOT FOLLOW HIS IEP AND ARE DISCRIMINATING AGAINST SYMPTOMS OF HIS DISABILITIES OF TOURETTE’S &ASD.
    THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AND YOUR LIFE…it helps to know we are not alone …
    That this complete and total feeling of EXHAUSTION is normal for many parents of children with autism …we are not alone ….
    We are not alone
    We are not alone
    Thank you!!

  40. Thank you for your article

  41. I live day by day— maybe even less than that when all kids are home….I’m a blended Family of 7 kids, my two / three step kids — one diagnosed aspergers and two undiagnosed ….and our stress level is up there …..one is in a program, she’s 15, but some days you want to pull your own hair out…..it’s like stepping on broken glass cause anything sets her off….it’s a teen stuck in between two world’s ….she’s a young woman child …..my step son has his days too….I swear the two are Yin Yang—- ones good and other has melt down….or vise versa ….well tonight, I said why can’t I ever just have one day when everyone’s all good? Well now it’s time for my long hot shower to forget my day….till tomorrow …..

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