I read this article quite a long time ago, a friend just emailed it to me, and I thought I would share it with you.
AUTISM MOMS HAVE STRESS SIMILAR TO COMBAT SOLDIERS
|you can read the whole article here|
The bottom line to the study is that those of us raising children with Autism suffer chronic stress, comparable to the levels suffered by combat soldiers. Now, while I am in NO WAY trying to liken my situation to these brave men and women that put there LIFE ON THE LINE for us, I do sort of understand what this survey is getting at. When you have a child with autism, ESPECIALLY a child that has behaviour issues, you are pretty much "on high alert" at all times (even when the child is NOT causing any trouble) It's hard to switch that on and off, I've found myself in plenty of situations over the years where I was worried that Limefreckle Jr. wasn't going to handle something well, and I've been "stressed" about it -- lately I find myself stressing and worrying and trying to "manage" a situation that I think is going to be a problem - only to find that it's not a problem at all. I'm working hard to not let that "impulse to worry" go into automatic mode.
I wrote about this before when I talked about our trip to Disney, I have come to the realization that the many years of managing my sons behaviour has really taken it's toll. I will literally "tense up" and feel, deep down in my stomach, a sort of "fight or fight" reaction if you will, to something that is happening. I used to joke around with my friends that my many years of fighting the school board has caused post traumatic stress, but I bet I wouldn't have to go far to find a doctor that would tell me that I am correct in that assumption. Day in and day out stress, over a long period of time, takes it's toll on a body, and on a mind.
There was something oddly comforting when I read this article, and I hope that if you haven't already read it, you might find some comfort in it too.