HOW THE CHILD’S AUTISM AFFECTS MARRIAGE OF PARENTS
While the topic of a kid’s autism and a couple’s marriage divorce may seem two separate issues on their own, there are certain household setups or conditions wherein parents end up putting a dent in their marriage vows because of the way they deal with their child’s autism disorder. It is true that autism is a disorder that needs a special approach in treatment and coping up, and parents of autistic children are the most affected individuals who will be constantly challenged by behavioural issues, temper management, and similar stressful situations. However, it is also true that in all cases of autism, the child should never be the one to be blamed regardless of the gravity of the condition or the nature of the disorder. It is also not conclusive enough to generalize that all cases of child autism tend to make the parent couple bend and break their marriage. As a matter of fact, there are instances when such disorder in the offspring becomes the very inspiration of the parents to give their all, play their role and strengthen their bond even more so than before. Having said this, it is more logical to focus more on the parents’ reactions, decision-making, and level of fortitude to know the root causes of marriage mishaps in the case of families with an autistic child rather than to focus on the child’s condition itself. If you are worried about how things would go with your better half at this point in time and in the future ahead as you both raise your autistic child, know these common reasons why some marriages go down the drain and learn what you can out of it.
Contrasting Opinions on Other’s Observations
Depending on the type of environment the child is exposed to, there are instances when other people are the first to notice symptoms of autism in the child. It could be the teacher, the grandparents, neighbours, relatives, and other outsiders who will raise such concern to one or both of the parents. However, when they try to discuss this matter, one will tend to believe the observation and would suggest consulting a doctor as soon as possible. The other partner, on the other hand, might choose to disregard the concern and would even provide justification on why it is not believable at all. For instance, the mother would relay to her husband what the teacher said about their daughter being less responsive to others in school. The father would argue that their child would choose not to speak to others because of a pulled tooth she doesn’t want them to see, or similar other reasons. He will then tell the mother to stop talking about this issue and instead focus on more relevant things. There will be a huge possibility that the mother would be offended by her husband not trusting her instincts and a crack in their relationship would soon be formed.
Even if the mother would choose to proceed with the consultation and gets a positive diagnosis, the husband would still react differently to the situation, feeling like he’s been pushed to a corner. Financial decisions on the treatment and key responsibilities will not be made quite easily if such disagreements continue. To address this problem, it is highly encouraged that one partner should explain to the other the importance of getting an expert’s diagnosis in the early treatment of autism, as a disorder that can greatly affect their child’s life. It is much better that both of them know why the issue is of great importance in the first place.
The Complexity of Autism Leads to Conflicting Solutions
Even after having the specialist explain the nature of Autism and the diagnosis of the child, there is still a great possibility that parents would remain confused as to the nature of the disorder. Add to that the wide range of treatment and programs developed for autism as well as the different types of drug and dosage that can be administered, it is not unusual for parents to experience a feeling of great uncertainty as to picking the right solution for their child. One might be open to new but risky treatment methods and programs, while the other partner would decide to stick to the traditional and relatively safe approach. These decisions would most likely reflect a certain history on both of the parent’s lives, such as bullying in school, that would explain why suggesting an intensive, private setting, is much preferred by one of the parents over the other group-based therapy. Even the type of school and future plans set for the child are emotion-driven decisions that shouldn’t be easily disrespected by the other partner or else this would be reason enough to cause a blur in their relationship.
The key element to help avoid this complication from happening is for parents to learn to make a compromise, that is, reaching a common solution that can provide a reasonable answer to each of their questions. Perhaps opting for the early interventions services provided by the school and health agencies for free is a good start since it has both quality and affordability concerns addressed at the same time.
Sticking to the Predetermined Parental Roles
Mothers are primarily seen as the main caregiver of the child, even for those with autism. This is the role established by the society in which families tend to conform. Fathers are still expected to provide the much-needed attention, quality time, love and care to their autistic child but most of the time, mothers spend the longer number of hours being hands on, raising their kid. As such it is oftentimes the case where the mother become more knowledgeable about autism than the father. This could prove quite difficult for the latter if situations, like taking a walk in the park and talking to a bumped friend, would warrant some explanation of the child’s condition. In the same manner, the father would also feel ignorant of what the mother and the child are doing while he’s busy attending to household chores. Conversely, the mother would think that it’s unfair how the father can still go to social gatherings and activities while she’s busy taking care of their child, arousing indignation and even suspicion.
Both partners should work together in raising their child, without the need to see who’s the better parent. The mother shouldn’t feel overly entitled on the child’s upbringing to the point where she’s depriving the father of quality time. The father should also be more considerate when making decisions such as going to parties and outdoor events, especially if his wife would also want to go, but couldn’t.