Whenever I have the time, I do a lot of reading on autism. I am lucky if I get one chapter read a week. I would like to share a paragraph from the book I am reading now.
Any loss involving a child is traumatizing. There is no relationship more intimate than the one between a parent and a child, and feelings of attachment begin even before the child is born. Parents often fantasize about how their child will look or act, projecting their own hopes and dreams onto the child. When parents learn that their child has autism and come to accept the diagnosis and its implications,they begin the process of mourning, both for the child who will never be and for the present losses in the child with autism. The mourning for a child who has died is considered to be one of the most severe types of grief. however, this grief is usually resolved, albeit over a long period of time. The mourning for a child with autism may never be totally resolved, because the presence of the disability serves as a constant reminder of the loss. Some researchers have referred to this type of mourning as chronic sorrow.
This chronic sorrow can vary in intensity throughout this life span of the child, often increasing in severity at times anticipated developmental milestones are not reached. For example: when other children of the same age are out playing, the child with autism may be engaging in solitary play, not playing at all, or distressed by playing; when other teenagers are dating and driving cars, the teenager with autism may be uninterested in the opposite sex and unable to drive; when other adult children are leaving the nest, getting married, and having children, the son or daughter with autism may have no fiends and is still dependent on their parents. A person with autism may not reach many major milestones
On some days, I think my chronic sorrow is taking years off my life! If I would have known that my first 30 years of life were going to be the only years without chronic sorrow, I would have cherished those years a little more.