Autism can be stressful, mix it with bipolar disorder and it becomes difficult.
I am 44 years old, married to my lovely wife for almost 19 years. We have a 12-year-old that we adopted and have raised since he turned 1. We have two other children of our own; that are 6 and 7.
When we began seeing behavior issues in our oldest son, we didn’t know what to think. Maybe he’s just being a kid, being our first, we didn’t know what to do. I think every parent thinks this with their first child. But, it continually and progressively got worse. It wasn’t until 1st grade that we decided to get our son tested to find out at first that it was ADHD. Those tests were only the beginning.
Public school was not easy, constant phone calls, trips to the school office, parent/staff meetings due to our son’s behavior. Eventually, in 5th grade, our son would be expelled many times. My wife and I didn’t know what to think. We knew our son can be difficult, but he is still a good kid. During his elementary years, we had several other tests and countless therapy sessions, meeting after meeting with school staff and doctors.
Needless to say, our lives have been filled with anxiety, fear, joy, love, frustration; just about every emotion you can imagine. We love our son, and from the beginning, have wanted nothing but the best for him. We have had many great times together as a family, great memories, we love each other. We have taken lots of trips together, played, laughed, cried; you just don’t know what life has in store each and every day. Some days are great, others are hard.
My wife fights tirelessly for our son, through paperwork, case workers, doctors, you name it. There has been plenty of sleepless nights, tears streaming down our cheeks, empty bank accounts, trying to provide for our son. Don’t forget we have two other children that we love and care for.
We had to make a tough decision to place our son in a private school after elementary school, that services his needs and his learning abilities. Public schools just do not offer the staff or services that our son needed. Now you should understand, that puts a huge strain on our finances, its tuition is as much as a top 4-year university.
This year continues to show the difficulties of raising someone on the spectrum. My wife and I both work two jobs each, it’s been a slow but steady progress through therapy and support to get where we are today. Because of the current situation in the world, I lost my second job and my wife’s second income has dwindled. We are currently behind on several bills and mortgage payments. Our checking account is in the negative, and we have needs around the house. Our Backyard has several trees, many that are decaying and are putting us and our house in danger. We need to have them cut down; one tree fell recently, thankfully away from our house. Our roof needs to be replaced, which has caused several leaks inside our home.
We live very modestly for a family of five, our home is only 1800 square feet, our two vehicles are both 4 years old. We have done the best that we can do, but life hits hard at times. We are asking for help, to get back on track and above our current situations.