Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Monday, 20 February 2012

It CAN Get Better

One of the things I’ve been noticing is how few blogs there are out there written by parents of teenagers (special needs or not).  I’m thinking mainly because if your teens are “typical”, you as a parent have probably moved on to other things whether it is work, travel or even better…play.  Although there are always the frustrations that go along with parenting a teen/young adult, the chances that you would want to blog about them is probably not at the top of your list.  Babies/toddlers/kids are a different breed.  The urge to want to share your vents, rants and raves or just plain laugh/cry with someone…ANYONE is overwhelming.  I found the need for adult conversation and company to be especially therapeutic when the boys were young. 

So many years have past and it's sometimes easy to forget what it was like back when the boys (now 19 and 17) were little and soooo very needy (both of them) although  I can still remember J2 as a toddler/ preschooler standing in the driveway in his PJ’s tears rolling down his face as he waved goodbye whenever I went out on my own.  One of my “alone” times was my once a month book club.  It started as a group of preschool moms and 15 years later we are still getting together.  Some things have changed over the years.  We no longer are racing in with drool/food on our clothes barely saying hello before that first gulp of wine.  We are much more civilized these days…now our clothes are clean.  ;P  I digress…

Fast forward 10 years.  Sure the meltdowns aren’t occurring daily (or even hourly) as when Riley was younger nor are we having to spend the hours of sensory stimulation (usually soft touch to his head/arms/back) throughout the day to help keep him grounded.  Yes he is better able to cope with change without said meltdowns and his need to be constantly moving has decreased substantially to the point where he is able to “usually” stay in class for the entire 80 minutes!  I know…pretty amazing when I think about it. 

Since pictures speak louder than words, here are a few of life with Riley when he was younger.  We finally decided that having a meltdown in order to get a picture wasn’t worth it anymore so we have a large gap where there aren’t many pics of R.  

Riley's 2nd Birthday Party.
He was not happy when it came time to open his gifts.

His cousin Sara's 3rd BD Party.  Riley - 2-1/2 years old.
Even family parties weren't exactly his cup of tea.

A Company Christmas Party (age 3-1/2)
What were we thinking?!?!?

Riley at 8 plugging his ears as
we sang Happy Birthday.  Surely
it had nothing to do with our voices?!?

So when I blog about life with Riley these days, it may seem as if our lives are relatively typical compared to those early years.  We are able to travel, go out to restaurants and even the odd movie together.  But trust me when I say it hasn’t always been that way.  One final picture taken this past New Year’s in Mexico. 

"I'm relaxing" (as R likes to say). is good!   Age 17.

 Yes…things CAN get better...D


  1. What a wonderful post - I love the last pic compared to the early ones. I retweeted because I think this can provide a lot of people with a lot of hope. The word needs to spread!

    1. Thanks for this! Really the reason I'm blogging. My friends/family have been encouraging me to do something to show people that things can change as they get older. Hard to imagine when you're in the midst of it all really can. R is proof of that for sure. :D

      BTW...I absolutely LOVE your blog!!!!! Thanks for reading mine. :))

  2. This is such a great post, and provides so much hope and perspective! All kids have difficulty in the early years, and with ours it can be even harder for them to regulate, express their needs, etc.

    I completely relate to your book club getaway. Mine is my sanity every month. This year is our 10 year anniversary!

    1. Thanks Jennifer! R still has communication issues but it really is amazing how he has "settled" with age.

      I was never much of a reader (well still only pretty much read our book club book each month) getting together with my girlfriends though. :D