Last night, at faith formation class, they discussed depression. Why? I don’t know. Doesn’t seem like a topic that should be covered during a faith formation class. My husband said that our son got really upset during the conversation. I am not familiar with depression and how it may affect my autism child. How do you know if your autistic child is suffering from depression?
My son communicates on a basic level. He uses some sign language and uses his communication device. He seems to be happy, most of the time. But, there are also times when I just don’t know how he is feeling. He is in his own world. He loves to be on the computer and loves to go out into the community.
I’d like to think that my son doesn’t have an issue with depression. After last night, I need to wonder if I am correct. Are there times when he is depressed? Was getting upset last night his way of communicating this? Or is it just a topic that is upsetting for him?
I wish I had the answers. It seems like I am constantly questioning what I know about my son. I wish I could just flip a switch and make autism go away. Or just make it easier for him to communicate. It’s frustrating. He’s 14 now, and it hasn’t gotten any easier to navigate the world of autism. I still feel like I am stumbling through, trying to make the best decisions for him.
I often wonder what his life would be like if something happened to me and my husband. We aren’t getting any younger. Who will look after him when we are not able to? Will our daughter? It’s a natural assumption, but not something that can be taken for granted. When she grows up, and becomes an adult, she will have a life of her own. Hopefully, a family of her own. Depending on her to take care of her autistic brother when we are not around is a huge responsibility. Next to us, she will be the one who knows her brother best.
I’ve been taking things one day at a time. It’s less stressful than worrying about the what ifs of the future. Am I doing my son a disservice by approaching life this way? I’ll have to give it some serious thought. In three and a half years, my son will be 18. I need to prepare for this. I need to start planning for the future. I’m just not sure I am ready to.