Feeling Low about the Future

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ML, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. ML

    ML Guest

    Today I am feeling defeated. I had a visit with the psychiatrist today who was just as frustrated as I was that it seems like all the medical interventions of the past year and a half have gotten us no where except to trade symptoms for side effects. We’re changing from Tenex to Clonodine to help with the insomnia and tics and hope that it helps.

    She made a comment about another patient whose parents can’t accept that their child will likely never live independently and I asked her if she felt that way about manster. She said it was too soon to tell. I was expecting “of course not, this situation was much worse than yours”. I feel kind of socked in the gut with a reality I’m not prepared for. I guess I see him as aspie”lite” which to me means, yes he has it but not to the point of not being able to function independently. Now I wonder if I’ve been over-optimistic.

    I’m questioning every parenting decision I ever made today. I’m grieving all over again and I need encouragement.

  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    ML! My heart goes out to you. Allow yourself to grieve, but I urge you to keep something in mind: Medical Doctors are hesitant to tell you that a cold is just a cold because if they're wrong, they've inflicted more damage. Now, considering that: unless there's a DEFINATE (physical or handicaps such as mental retardation that are clearly evident such as Downs Syndrome) a psychiatrist or therapist won't be committed to a result at such a young age.

    With Aspies, social skills are extremely important. Have you gotten him into any type of social skills classes? Learning to function within society will lessen a lot of his anxieties, frustrations and anger that he's existing with now.

    The right counselor will be key as well.

    Don't put the cart before the horse - you've been dealt a blow, but you have to believe that there are better things coming down the road to you and your family - it's important to our survival to keep this in the back of your head.

    Feel better my friend -

  3. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Hugs. Indepence is still many years away, and many things can change before them. I have been worrying about "tommorrow" too much lately as well, and it is no good. Sometimes we do best by keeping to today, and leaving tommorrow for tommorrow.

    Try not to overwhelm yourself.
  4. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    Please don't worry too far ahead into the future....

    I think we all have stories about medical opinions that just weren't true. My uncle comes to mind--he was given two months two live because of an inoperable aneurism. Doctors advised him to make his final preparations...

    And he lived another three years...eating, drinking and making merry.

    Let your son show you what he thinks he can do when the time comes. Don't let the doctors put limits on his ambition, optimism or imagination.


  5. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    One thing that my difficult child was struggling with two years ago when he started falling apart was the future. He became so afraid because he did not know how he would be able to get a job and support a family. He was looking at the skills and talents he had as a 10 year old and giving up on an adult life because he could not handle it.

    I told him of course you can not handle those responsibilities yet. You have not been given the knowledge or tools on how to do that. It takes time to gain what you need.

    I told him that he did not have to worry about what life will be like as an adult. He would be given tools as he grew and if does his best in school he will learn what he needs to. Then he stated he was afraid of college being so hard.

    I tried to explain to him that he will be prepared as he reaches college. Of course he is unable to make it work as a 10 year old. There are so many things for him to learn and understand and that takes time.

    I think for your difficult child like all kids, it will depend on how he tackles the challenges in his life. How well will he use the tools given to him as he grows. Much of him being able to be independent will rest on his attitude toward living independently. It is too early for him to start looking toward living alone and facing life's challenges.

    Continue to give your difficult child all the opportunities that you can for him to experience life. Encourage him to be a smart thinker in facing problems. He is still learning and the next 4 -5 years may just build the foundation he needs to want to take on the responsibilities it takes to gain the priviledges of living independently.

    You may keep that doubt in your mind and prepare for it however, allow yourself to continue to work toward your son's independent. You will know his heart and determination better than the doctor does. The saying is, "Prepare for the worst but expect the best."
  6. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Some easy child's can't make it on their own.

    When we were first looking for help for K, we were told to look into SSI and to have in the back of our minds at all times that she may never be able to live on her own.
    Our therapist was trying to ready our hearts and minds for the just in case.
    So that we were not living on the "River of Denial" as she put it.

    So that if that time ever came, we were not saying to ourselves, "Wow, how can this be, I never saw this coming!"

    Whether or not it was a "nice" thing to do, I am glad that somewhere in my mind I am a bit aware that it might be a reality.

    Obviously I am going to do everything to make it not so.

    I would just take it as a challenge to prove her wrong.

    I know it hurts. I am sitting here watching my just about to turn 8yo getting terrified of "Strawberry Shortcake".
    Yet she wants to be treated like a big girl, then I look over and she is humping on the coffee table!

    But we have time, we have time to help them.
    You have to believe and keep pushing him as much as you can and as much as he can take.
    I keep thinking with the time we have this will help with society and acceptance, better therapies for older kids... all of those things hopefully!

    Hang in there, please don't let this weigh you down too much.
  7. jbrain

    jbrain Member

    I too would say it is good to be prepared but I wouldn't let the psychiatrist's response carry too much weight at this time.

    My difficult child 1 had a therapist she was working with who really tried to emphasize that difficult child 1 might not be able to make it in the real world because of her emotional problems. Well, she is making it in the real world--it might not be how I would choose to do it but she is on her own, has a job, got her GED, has a baby she seems to be caring for properly, etc. She was far more capable than her therapist thought and I'm sorry we were so ready to buy in to the therapist's viewpoint (of course this therapist was really awful, I don't know why we bought into her viewpoint anyway!)

    Never say never--so much can change.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    The honest truth is, they CAN'T know. Aspies can be very functional or not able to function with complete independence. Part of is that in my opinion Aspie is diagnosed even when it's not Aspergers, but Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)-not otherwise specified (aka a speech delay took place). Also, Aspies are wired differently. Some can be independent and some simply can not. If they also have mood disorders and other co-morbids that also factors in.
    My son is very high functioning. He got all A's on his current report card and one B. I am still not sure his intelligence will be enough to make him completely independent. He has a lot of social deficits and life skill deficits and intelligence alone is helpful but not enough. He is a kind, wonderful boy and I'm sure he will live a HAPPY life, but he has no interest in girlfriends, proms (although he grudgingly went when asked) and he always says he never wants to marry or have kids--just a big dog. And I think he means it. Driving will be a real issue for him because he has such high anxiety. If he can't drive, that alone will cause him to be quite different--most people drive. I am hoping he gets his license next year. To be honest, he doesn't want it, but we are going to work with him on this.
    Nobody can give you the answer that you want--or the answer that you don't want because at ten years old you can't know nor can professionals. My son will be sixteen in August. I still don't know. His future is still a big question mark. I would just relax and take one day at a time. (((Hugs)))
  9. ML

    ML Guest

    Thanks everyone. I truly need your encouragement and support to stay optimistic and to do the best I can do today, in this moment, to provide my son with the life skills he will need. I just sometimes worry I'm not doing enough. I strive for the belief that I am doing all that I can and hopefully it's enough but if it's not, I will KNOW I did all that I could. I hope that makes sense.

    A special thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you for being here for me today.


  10. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I have often wondered if my difficult child will be able to live independently. She is certainly intelligent enough, but lacks the life skills and self-direction. That is what we are working on now. That's pretty much all we can do.

  11. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    ML I'm sorry you are so down. Try not to look too far in the future. Our difficult child's change over the years and while it doesn't look like they make much progress day-to-day, over the long term it's different.

    I don't know what's in store for your difficult child, but I don't think anyone does. So take it one day at a time and celebrate small victories.

  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are having a hard time with this. I don't know if it is better to not expect our kids to live independently or not.

    Maybe we need to hope for the best but keep a backup plan in mind in case of emergency?? We also need to figure out what we could let our kids "fail" at and then learn from so that they can get the skills they need?
  13. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hugs to you today. The others have given good advice. There are many times when the thought has crossed my mind that I don't know if my difficult child will be able to live independently. I try not to dwell on it, to focus on the now and trying to give him what he needs to hopefully be independent some day. One thing that helps me is hearing the success stories here.
  14. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    {{{ML}}} He still has a lot of growing to do. He may not be ready at 18 or 25... but he may be ready at some point. You just don't know yet.
  15. ML

    ML Guest

    I really like what MWM said. It's more important to me that manster be happy than independent. I like what all of you said. It might not happen at 18 but maybe at some point. Some of our kids are just a little behind the curve. It won't matter if he has the maturity of a 30 year old when he's 35. I'll try to keep it all in perspective. Thanks again for your support xo