I want to share another page from the book I am reading.
In studies on the stress of parenting, the parents of children with autism, compared to the parents of children with any other type of handicap, are consistently the most stressed.
One study compared the stresses of parenting children with a serious, chronic physical illness (cystic fibrosis which results in physical incapacitation, the need for lifetime care and eventually death), children with autism, and children with no physical or psychological disorder. The mothers of the children with autism scored significantly higher than all other mothers on the amount of overall stress experienced.
Parents of children with Down Syndrome are frequently compared to the parents of children with autism. In one study, the Autistic Disorder sample of mothers had significantly lower perceived attachment and significantly lower gratification than the Down syndrome sample of mothers. For example, in response to the question, " Do you wish your child demonstrated affection toward you?", 9 out of 10 mothers of children with Down Syndrome said no, whereas 9 out of 10 mothers of children with autism said yes. To the question, "Does your child worry about or make an effort to win your approval?", 9 out of 10 mothers of children with Down Syndrome answered yes, whereas only 3 of the autism group said yes. When asked, "Do you ever feel like your child views you or treats you more like an object in his/her world?", all of the mothers of children with Down Syndrome answered negatively, while 7 out of 10 mothers of children with autism answered positively.
Other major stresses for the families of individuals with autism may included financial burdens (for specialized medical, psychological, speech, and respite care) demands on the physical health and well being of the parents, and housekeeping burdens. For example, one child was in the habit of smearing his feces all over his bedroom when he was locked in for the night to prevent him from roaming.
Wow....I totally agree!!! You CAN NOT be around Trenton for only a few hours a week or a few hours out of a month to understand what it is like to raise a child with autism.