Just as I have my support group – the “Guys’ Talk” group – late in the month., the wife has her support groups earlier on. She’s still on the fence about going to the mom’s group because it’s the night before the autism-specific one at a nearby hospital, but she may well go next month.
The impression I’ve gotten of the group she goes to is that it’s very much like mine – there’s a broad diversity of ages, but the Monster is not necessarily close in age to the other parents’ kids. There’s good aspects to this, since when I’m at my group, I get to hear from the other parents about how their children were at my child’s age. But there’s bad ones too, since there’s no one to really commiserate with, since their children are older and there’s an aspect of ‘been there, done that’ to the discussions.
So, she came home last night from her group to mention that there was a new parent there this week, who has a child just a little bit younger than the Monster. They don’t precisely live close to us – they live over the city line in the county – but they’re going through a lot of the trouble we went through early on in the diagnosis period, and then some since the county’s giving them a bit of a run-around on getting appropriate therapies for their child.
I’m trying to draw from a lot of what we wish we’d had when we initially started having our concerns with the Monster, and apply them to try to help out. I remember the feeling of isolation, the lack of normalcy in the interactions with other families with children. Because our children are at least close in age – separated perhaps by a little more than a year and a half – it just seems like the right thing to do. Being the parent of a child with an ASD can be tiring enough at this stage to be honest.
Plus, if it means the Monster gets someone new to play with… all the better.