When does it end?

As a parent of a child with autism I find myself wondering "When does this end?"

He's nearly 13. When does he start sleeping?  When does he stop wetting the bed?  When does he start telling us when he needs to pee?  When does he stop flushing washcloths down the toilet? When can we stop locking knives and pills and sweets and tools and powdered everything in the basement?  When can we have more couple time?  When do I get to take time away without feeling that my husband is being put upon?  When does he get time away without me feeling overwhelmed?

Autism often feels like a perpetual toddlerhood with increasingly large kids. I am grateful our sons have learned to use the toilet, because so many I know haven't. But I want so much more. 

I admit much of it is for selfish reasons. 

Although much of it is for our boys too. I want Sam to achieve his goal of driving. Of getting his own apartment. I want Nathan to be able to declare his goals so that we can work to achieve them together. 

I talked to a parent of a grown child with no known disabilities. She has moved back home. So many parents I know who thought their kids were independent and now on their own are finding their kids back home with no plans of moving out. I laugh when I tell them we are already planning for our boys' future. That we are setting up special needs trusts. That we have investigated various living arrangements. 

These parents always assumed their kids would find their path to independence with little effort. And now they aren't. Perhaps there should be transition planning for Neutotypicals too!


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