Having an autistic child is something that is impossible to understand unless you have walked it yourself.
The sleepless nights because they don’t sleep, and when they do your mind is going at maximum speed thinking of how to help them better tomorrow, what you can do that won’t cause a meltdown, if they will ever get a job, be able to live independently, cook, dress appropriately independently, tell you how they are, ask for what they want, say where hurts, if they will ever have a partner.. and many, many other things.
The worry when they won’t eat and have an extremely restrictive diet if they will be able to keep healthy on the select few things they eat. When they stop eating a certain food and you are left with even fewer foods, and they are losing weight and no one has ideas or provides you with help to get them eating more.
When they go into school in floods of tears clinging to you and you worry and stress through the day if they have settled, are they ok, will the school be honest with how they were, will they forgive and are they happy.
Buying new clothes entails turning the items inside out to see how they will feel to them and having to hunt out clothes that don’t have seams, and when they decide they like something and will wear it happily bulk buying them in every size to ensure that your child will go out with clothes and shoes on.
When you go somewhere they have enjoyed having your fingers tightly crossed so that nothing has changed and hoping it will be really quiet so that they can enjoy it and it won’t start a meltdown.
Will they ever make friends and have a proper friendship with even just one person. Be able to go to the cinema together, out for a walk, lunch, or even just have a conversation together.
How are you going to be able to cope with meltdowns when they are older if they are still lashing out, head butting, and how will I prevent them from self harming when they head butt the walls, hit themselves, scrab at their body, pull thier face..
Would someone else be looking after them better and providing them with better chances and helping them more than you are.
What happens if you end up in hospital and have to spend time there, how will they cope, who will look after them because no one knows them like you do and an even bigger worry.. what happens when you die, who will care for them like you do, love them and understand them like you.
The constant fight for help from services which are meant to want to help but show you the exact opposite.
The need to cuddle and protect them when they are sad, overloaded, having a meltdown but infact it just makes them worse and the only thing you can do is watch and ensure that they are safe and are not harming themselves.
Ignoring the stares, tuts and comments made when out in public and your child is having a meltdown and you can’t do anything to help them or stop it.
And the over whelming feeling of continuous guilt.