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Overwhelmed

As you read through this site and what I have done or tried with my son, I want you to understand that I know that all of this is time consuming. I know you have more things on your daily to-do list than most people have in a year. I know you are frustrated and tired of dealing with different doctors, therapists, educators, and well-meaning advice from friends and neighbors. I know because I’ve been there (I think I’m still there).
 
My family is a busy one. I never really thought of my household as chaotic but when I went to the feeding team evaluation, their report stated, ‘this is a busy family’. I think that was a nice way of saying the kids are swinging from the chandeliers at home. My husband and I have three children ages 10, 4, and 2. Obviously the four year old is the one with the autism spectrum disorder. We attend speech therapy four times a week, he goes to preschool, he does as many other activities that we can fit into our week for social exposure, and he has multitude of doctor visits per year. He uses an augmentative communication device that, as expensive as it is, doesn’t program itself. I do all of the programming for Ewan’s device and continually think of new ways to bring the world closer to him through it.
 
Of course, the ten year old has her own busy life bereft of doctor visits but full of extra curricular activities and homework and birthday parties. The two year old is, well, two. I think you can feel my pain on that one. My husband works full time and is a full time student so as supportive as he is, therapy is all me. I am a stay at home mom but that doesn’t automatically mean I have tons of downtime on my hands. Because we are a one-income family, sacrifices are made all the time. My husband and I share a car, we live close to where he works and his school so that cycling is an option. So I know what it means to be a busy family and to be a family with little to no disposable income.
 

There are things that are important in this life and things that we think are important. Understanding the distinction between the two is important for any family, but especially for the family living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Above all else, our families come first—over the kind of car you drive, above the kind of clothes you wear, above what’s in your checking account, the FAMILY has to be the number one priority. Families living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder face enormous challenges, divorce and debt are only two of many. If you’ve read through this site and you’re completely overwhelmed, don’t be.  It’s not an easy life, but it’s ours and it’s yours. We all make mistakes in this life but it’s how we learn from them and share that with others that can make a difference. We are here. You are here reading through this site. Together, we can create a virtual community that supports each other in our challenges, and shares the joy in our triumphs. Here we can learn, grow, laugh, and cry together. At the end of the day you are not alone, you are a member of a much bigger family than you ever thought you would be.

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