We had an incident of sorts with Simon today that made us feel pretty defeated and generally lousy about being his parents. Honestly, we've had a lot of days like that lately. It's been kind of exhausting, and acknowledging it actually makes us feel worse. For me at least, it's because I feel like Simon's issues are "easy" compared to what other parents go through. Nothing quite like invalidating your own feelings. No chance that could lead to issues of resentment!
We're very much in a transitional stage with Simon. Between school and therapy, he's starting to catch up with his delay issues. The advice of the therapist for some of his behavioral issues are also really helpful, because some of the ways we react are somewhat counterintuitive due to his ASD wired brain. The motivation in his head for things like pinching and hitting, and the responses we offer, aren't at all logical for the neurotypical.
I find we have to hang on to the progress he's making, because it helps to offset the exhaustion he unintentionally causes. For example, we see motor skills like walking on stairs, alternating steps, suddenly clicking. We see him engaging in imaginative play, finally, which is huge. He's even ordering for himself in restaurants. I focus on those things, because at the same time we're starting to see more of the classic "autism shutdowns" and complete disregard for certain social contracts.
I know people like to say we're doing an awesome job, and I appreciate that support, but sometimes we need to just vent. I'm also tired of hearing people say things like "he seems normal" as some kind of comfort, because he's not. (That's undoubtedly a future blog post all its own... we live with the kid, we took him to see experts, and no, your conventional wisdom won't work.)
Fortunately, we know that this is a cyclical phenomenon. We have days (sometimes weeks) of suck, and then he's the sweetest and easiest kid ever. We get more answers every week on how we should handle the difficult behaviors. Right now, I think we both just need a break. We haven't even been sticking to our regular date night plan, which makes a day or two on an overnight trip even harder to fathom, so we need to correct that.
Sometimes, just unloading the blog vomit makes things better.