This post is in response to a blog carnival called How Do I Cope? I came across it when a friend posted her answers to the questions posed. Her answers can be found at
The carnival seems aimed at mums, but I figure what the heck, a dad should add his perspective as well. So here goes:
1. What is it about your life which has made
someone ask how do you cope?
Well the obvious answer is having an autistic son. Latterly it was compounded by my master’s thesis which thankfully has finished.
2. What is the best thing about the situation?
My son is without the best thing. Every achievement of his is a victory which resonates with joy in us.
3. What is the hardest thing?
The hardest thing is the uncertainty of the future. My wife and I are both in our 50s. Our son turns 9 next month. We in all likelihood will not outlive him. What will happen to him after that? We hope that he will be sufficiently remediated to ensure that he can survive without us. We hope that the hope will not be futile.
4. What gets you through the day?
Lord what a question! I am not sure. If I had to give an answer, it would be stubbornness. A stubborn refusal to not believe that he has a future. The belief in the possibilities of him is what drives us. That and the rare time I can find with a novel.
5. What would you change if you could?
This too is a hard one. To change his PDD-NOS condition seems obvious, but then I do not know what son I would have. Xavier is the son I love, I am not sure I would want someone different.
So what would I change? The strains it causes between my wife and I. Exhaustion affects us both and leads to stress. The strain does neither of us, nor Xavier any good.
6. What piece of advice would you give to
someone finding themselves in your situation?
Research, research and more research. Know your therapies, your rights and remember always to ask questions. You are the expert on your child.
Posted as part of the blog carnival at