Dating a parent of an autistic child

If your friends aren't supportive of your boyfriend, they aren't real friends.

This article originally appeared in Family Therapy Magazine in May/June 2008 Family life is all about relationships and communication: relationships between two people in love, parents and children, siblings, extended family members.

Unfortunately, usually the stress of dealing with autism and all it entails – the constant and necessary advocacy at school, the fighting for services and supports, the added financial burden, trying to handle behaviors and meltdowns at home – becomes a wedge pushing the spouses further and further apart.

Overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted, the couple’s communication becomes impaired and even autistic-like, lacking emotion and reciprocity. Grandparents Unlike the parents who are totally focused on the autistic child’s needs, grandparents are concerned about the effects of autism on their adult children (the parents), other grandchildren and future generations.

For those whose child develops normally and then regresses around 18-24 months, there is the added loss of the child they knew slipping away.

Consider also that a couple looks forward to having a child, and each person had his idea of what the expected child will be like.

Leave a Reply