MSNBC has run an article that basically says mothers get more stressed when their children have behavioural disorders. They focus on ADHD, but come on — your child acts up and all’s serene? Not likely, yeah duh.
At least, that was my first thought. Then I thought that hey, maybe someone will see this and possibly take a second look at parents with kids on the spectrum. Because it’s all about us, especially at the end of a 14-hour day that saw 130-miles of driving (at increased gas prices), painful copays that further eat at our reduced family income, several hours of appointments with therapists that will give us good insight but sound iffy re: helping our son get more covered services, and repeated meltdowns of both children for assorted reasons.
Oh, and James deciding at the beach, about an hour and a half before his appointments, that he was just going to ignore me and my loud voice and lie down on the wet sand and let the Bay waves wash right over him in his street clothes? Then going boneless when I attempted to physically remove him from the surf? Yeah, I rate that right up there with overly long nightmares about missing trains and running to deliver lost luggage. While my shoes fall off.
That will teach me to not pack a complete backup set of clothes. Ah well, maybe the sandy undies will make him think next time. Yeah, not really counting on that one either.
Anywho, for all you people who’ve come across this story, there are many parallels, are there not, in parenting and emotional experiences for parents of kids with Autistic Disorder and ADHD? We too operate in “constant vigilance, a high level of energy” when dealing with our children, whether or not they are with us physically. And oh so definitely yes, the CA state and federal budget butcherings to schools and Regional Centers have totally ratcheted up our emotional stress rollercoasters. We are at Defcon 2 and ready to nudge over into Tortured Mode.
Author Dudette, you hesitate to voice an opinion because there are no official studies done yet on the effects of of state budget cuts on special needs children? Here’s all you need: “The effect? I’ll tell you the effect! It’s pissing me off!” (Who knew that Ghostbusters had so much wisdom?)
Let’s see: Less money because I have to quit my job to manage getting services for children + rise in prices + huge cuts in budgets to Regional Center + services being dumped on schools to provide + schools getting less money, their funds raided, and non-repayment of robbed funds + fewer services for our child all way around + way burned out husband + rising costs everywhere + financial institutions getting bailed out for bad behavior + grandstanding politicians = really pissed off parents who feel like they’ve been hung out to dry after being as responsible as possible.
I know we’re all more stressed these days. I know that not only ADHD and ASD parents are stressing out more and more. Which brings me to this question: What was this article really about?
It almost sounds to me like:
“Oh, parents of kids with special needs are more stressed out that parents of regular needs kids. What a concept. But we’ll wait for an official study before we really care.”
If this is actually the case, here I am, waving my arms around and yelling:
“Yes! YES, YES, we’re REALLY STRESSED already, OK?! Skip the sodding test and help kick some political entropy to lessen the mess. Studying our misery won’t help us or our kids as much as sounding out a rally call for change in the way monies are appropriated and services managed in these tough times. Parents and children need some relief and access to services and therapies. If we shut our eyes to this now, it’s going to come back and haunt us all years down the road when we have a sizeable percentage of the population who is more dependent for their support because there was a lack of services up front that could have greatly lessened the effects of the disabilities.”