Hi everyone. Been lurking here for years, especially on the bad days when I despair of having any sanity left after 9,526,485 questions about the same things from my kid. I apologize for the long post - I'll only do this once. About me: I'm a 42-year-old part-time massage therapist, studying web design in my spare (?) time, and I'm married to a flat-out amazing 46-year-old man who works full-time in advertising. We have a 7-year-old girl who was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) (asperger's at the time, which is an out-of-fashion term now). She didn't talk until she was 2 and we had almost no eye contact and very poor attempts from her at communicating before that, and I called in the Early Intervention people and they got her started on developmental therapy, speech therapy and Occupational Therapist (OT) until she went to preschool (special needs) at 3. Around the start of preschool, we had a pediatric neuropsychologist evaluate her and he diagnosed the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Haven't had another evaluation since, as we currently have no health insurance due to my husband and my career status as being self-employed, which in NJ means your insurance premiums are almost $20,000/year for a family. She does have an IEP for one more year before we need a re-evaluation, however. She doesn't take medications right now because she seems pretty stable despite her Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) quirks. Anyways, my kid is very smart, was reading at 2 when she was learning to speak, and does multiplication and division math on her own outside of school, for fun. She's also great at drawing and can figure out basic animation programs on the computer. She's very social and has lots of friends (this may change when she gets older, because she just doesn't "get" a lot of regular conversation - she just plays, and so far, her friends are OK with that). She's in regular grade 1 classes with an aide in the room (she is evaluated every month by speech and Occupational Therapist (OT), but currently doesn't need it), and is excelling. She suppresses all her stims in school, I think. Has great eye contact and loves to be touched and hugged. And she is a sweet, happy girl. But she is demanding. She'll decide to wander away from the house without warning if I don't keep a constant eye on her. She can't play alone for more than five minutes without yelling for me to be with her. Tasks like doing household chores are almost impossible for her, even with an illustrated instruction page to follow - I've given up for now on this. She does hand-flapping and furniture-bouncing, and jumping in place, along with some vocal stims. She has trouble dressing, brushing teeth, eating anything except about six foods, or doing anything without stimming movements and repetitive questioning. There are days where she can't seem to understand anything you say to her. Clothing, food, smells, changes in temperature, noises and crowds all bother her. And she has lots of tantrums, too. I've been glared at more times than I can count when she tantrums or inadvertently knocks stuff over in public, and I've had many people make patronizing judgements about what I am/am not doing right that is somehow aggravating her condition. Utter bull****, but there it is. I know you all go through this, too. I find this so exhausting, and I only have one kid and she's on the easy side of things. How do you parents deal with stuff like this? God, it's tough. I admire everyone here....and hope your courage will rub off a bit on me.