Our journey in the Autism Spectrum

Posts tagged ‘respite’

Respite Inducing Anxiety

respite, a usually short interval of rest or relief.

induce, to bring about or give rise to.

anxiety,  a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. A state of uneasiness and apprehension.


Last week we found out that we would be eligible for respite care. In our case, this would mean that we can  have someone come to our home to play/work  with our son on the Autism Spectrum to help give us a bit of relief in our daily caring for him. This is a very big and helpful opportunity! We have been so excited about this and a bit overwhelmed by the prospects! All week I have been pondering on how I will best utilize this time of respite.

Today TouchPoint Autism Services came to our home and we were able to meet our new support person! We did the necessary paperwork, chatted, talked about the parameters of this service, even mapped out a bit of a plan to get us started. Our support person is absolutely LOVELY and I cannot wait to get to know her better! This has wonderful potential for Henry! We will start with two mornings a week and I could not believe that she offered to start this Thursday, the day after tomorrow! Too good to be true!

But as today wore on I found my anxiety increasing. How could this be?!? This respite care is a good thing! An awesome thing! This is something that many families with special needs kids do not get. I understand that and truly appreciate and treasure this opportunity! So, why do I have this increasing tightness and pain in my chest making it hard to breathe. (Given that I have survived most of the day with this I am pretty sure it’s not a heart attack but thanks for your concern. )

Why is it that my feelings of excitement feel the same as what I feel when I am apprehensive and full of dread? And why, in turn, does this then morph into worry?  Why? Why? Why? How is it that I somehow manage to turn something so good and positive into a anxiety-ridden worryfest?!?! Will we all click? What if I say something wrong? I worry about the awkwardness of it all. Someone new in our home. Watching me be a mom…What if she thinks I am a complete neurotic lunatic? Or worse, some horribly unfit parent? Or at the very least, a very messy housekeeper! (Well, at least this will motivate me to keep the house cleaner…at least a bit…for awhile…)

Okay, I know that this is all ridiculous! In my head I know that she is not coming here to supervise or judge. (If she whips out a white glove I am in trouble!) She is just coming over to play with my kid for pete’s sake! Now, can my head please relay this to my thorax region?

Suddenly I see my son…I see him fill with anxiety even in situations that should be good and positive for him. You can see it in his eyes and hear it in his voice. Oh God, that comes from ME! I gave him that.  And I imagine that the Spectrum must, at times, multiply that by ten-fold!  Oh little dude, I am so sorry!

I know it will all be okay and we will get through this new experience. And it will be GOOD! For Henry AND for me! I have to learn to let go…just a little…and embrace the new. I have to learn to be the example on how to do that. For Henry. This is going to be COOL! Right?!?!  Sure. Right!

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