Step six: Take Care of Yourself and Your Marriage:
Once you have a child diagnosed with autism, it is very easy to eat, breathe, live, and sleep autism 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to the detriment of your health and the relationships with your family and friends. The gamut of emotions you experience can be overwhelming. The stress on your family and your marriage can be more than you thought possible. It is estimated that approximately 50 percent of all first marriages in the United States eventually end in divorce. The divorce rate among families with autistic children may be higher than this. There are studies trying to accurately determine this. Regardless, autism is going to create a lot of added stress in your life. There will be stress over financial issues. How are you going to pay for all the expensive therapies your child needs? Who is going to pay? Is your insurance company going to deny your claims. Will you have to fight with your insurance company or school district to get therapies covered? You can only afford a limited amount of treatments . Which treatments are you going to choose? There will be stress over time constraints. How are you going to get everything done today. You work but also have to get your child to and from school and to speech , ABA, and occupational therapy . You may stress over the appropriate way to handle the tantrums your child will have. You may stress over what the future will bring. The list goes on and on. You become physically and emotionally drained. Because you are tired it is very easy to put exercise, vacations, down-time, intimacy, and romance on the back burner. Ignore these for too long and you will create a whole new category of stress. My wife and I have come across two very powerful and helpful books that you should strongly consider adding to your autism home library. The first book is Married with Special Needs Children A Couple's Guide to Keeping Connected. The second book is the Autism Mom's Survival Guide, Creating a Balanced and Happy Life When Raising a Child with Autism.