Depression and My Autism Child

Depression and My Autism Child

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.

6 comments to Depression and My Autism Child

  • Danielle

    Just happened to find your blog. You have the exact same concerns as me. It’s as almost if I wrote it. Your not alone- sending strength and comfort your way ;)

  • Tammy you have always done the best you can by your son. I’ve followed your journey for a long time around 5 years. Your son is the same age as my youngest daughter who is also Autistic. I have ASD myself it’s a genetic condition that runs through my family. There is never an easy answer for this. There’s always something new to learn and sometimes it’s the hard way. Depression is part of the spectrum. The older a person with ASD gets, the depression can worsen. Reading the signs when your son has difficulties in communication isn’t easy. My daughter is verbal and expresses herself very profoundly. But there are times when I don’t read her moods. If you are highly concerned then where you can get help and support. This journey with your son is always one day at a time. I have to do the same because I also worry will my child be able to fend for herself or will my eldest daughter (almost 29) have to look after her. Don’t despair Tammy you are a dedicated mother who is doing the best possible for a special son.
    Liz Clark (@madbushfarm) recently posted..The Acts of my kind hearted kids

  • Jim Setzer

    I think you use this blog and your Autistic son for personal attention. What teenager is not prone to depression? Do you believe that people reading your blog will think you’re some sort of parental hero due to your insufferable analysis of your son’s mindeset? Or perhaps you just want people to believe that you’re on a personal crusade to help your son live a life that you deem right for him, as you agonize what will happen to him when you can no longer call all the shots in his life? His reality is this, he’s Autistic and will most likely be living in a government facility where there won’t be anyone around coddling him, and dissecting his psyche.

    • Tammy

      It’s been awhile since I had someone leave a hateful comment. I was going to delete it, but decided to do a reply instead. My blog is about sharing my experiences raising an autistic child. It’s also a place where I can vent about anything, and everything. If you don’t like it, then don’t read what I write. As for your comments about my son ending up in a

      government facility where there won’t be anyone around coddling him, and dissecting his psyche.

      you obviously haven’t read any of my previous posts about our lives. I could go into great detail about how ignorant your comment is, but I don’t think it’s worth my time.

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