My happy 10-year-old boy, and our struggles

Claudia Lopez


I have a 10 year old happy boy. I love him so much and want for him the best that life can offer. I realized he was autistic before he was diagnosed because I would pay attention to him. I didn't want to accept it and cried a lot at first because we always want our children to not have to struggle in life. It didn't matter that my handsome boy was different, I just wanted him to have a normal life.

I'm going through a rough time right now with his school and my work. There are some people who don't understand the struggles that the parents of autistic children endure. For example: I have been working with the same company for 10 years, and when I started I had to wait my turn to work 1st shift when I requested it after my son was diagnosed, since he would sleep most of the day. Right now at my work they want to change my shift every 2 weeks to work nights and that would mean that I wouldn't be able to help my son to maintain a routine to keep him calm, secure, happy learning as much as he can because I would have to leave for work before he got home from school.

He is going to have a rough road ahead of him because he is non-verbal and I just found out about a month ago that the school has never tested him on paper, but he scores high because someone is always helping him and now they want him to take the “regular” test with no help. I need to teach him to write because his writing is that of a 2 or 3 year old.

I asked the behavioral therapist to give me a letter of recommendation so I can give it to HR Dept and she gave me the run around and asked for a paper from my work asking what they want. I asked the teacher and she has to see if the school can approve it. He will start speech and ABA but I haven't had a chance to meet with the therapist to ask if he can help me with a letter of recommendation where he explains the way changes and breaking routines can have a great impact on my son.

When we change something he throws himself on the floor or at the wall. He also fights with his sister a lot when we break routines. Some people just don't realize the struggles a parent has when they have a special needs child.

When he was younger I used to go to stores and I would always take him with me. He had one of those back pack straps of a puppy so he wouldn't walk away. He was a runner and we always had to be very on the alert with him. I cried so much for at least a year because I refused to leave him at home but I had to go grocery shopping and he had a meltdown every time we walked inside a big store. He would throw himself on the floor and he would cry, kick, pull, scream and sometimes push me. I would just stand there, hold his strap and wait about 45 minutes to an hour before he would get up and walk but still pull and cry along with throwing himself on the floor throughout the store. It wasn't until about a year later that I realized that he wanted to enter the store through the far right entrance of the store and come out the opposite side.

When we were taking him to therapies then, there were some parents that would say that they wouldn't take their child to a restaurant or stores because they didn't know how to behave. I would feel sorry for those kids because they were just autistic and the same as my son, struggling with their feelings and not knowing how to communicate.

Right now my son doesn't know how to tell me if someone hurts him or is being mean to him because he is non-verbal. I'm trying to help him at home with how to express he's feelings instead of hurting himself when he is upset.

I know that I have a long road to go with him, and as his mom I'm going to try as much as possible to help him; that's why I'm trying the best that I can to stay on day shift and see him every day and not just every 2 weeks. He has a lot habits that I need to help him overcome like spitting, throwing water bottles up in the air so they can explode when they hit the floor and other things.

I wish there were a lot more understanding people in the world when it comes to children, especially when they are special needs. They need more help and understanding.


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