Married With Children on the Autism Spectrum


hi friendly friends I’m Taryn I’m Tim
and we are going to talk about what it’s like being married with autistic
children we have two children a boy and a girl and they both are on the autism
spectrum they’re 19 and 22 years old and her son’s diagnosis was 18 years ago so
we have been in the autism arena for points just 20 years and what we were
going to talk about was marriage is difficult on its own every single one
every marriage and even the best marriages
and work and unfortunately in this day and age the divorce rate is so high and
and then you combine that with you know having children over special needs that
puts an extra strain on it and the statistics there are parents of special
needs children it goes up yeah the divorce rate so it
definitely is a an extra thing in your life yeah what do you think it is for us
that has made it work what do you think it is that is just kept us I gather
well I think you know once you accept that we’re gonna you know everyone’s
gonna make mistakes and everyone’s going to do things that
you know frustrate the other person in in a relationship but when it comes down
to it we have this common focus that all you know always come back to it and
we’ve not been ones to sort of wallow and despair all that much number
one it’s not fun no it would even win a file time they yielded of time even when
it feels real and like oh well I shouldn’t ignore this you still gotta
count your blessings guys if there is so much good going on
with our family with our kids who are now grown they’ll always be our baby
stuff yeah it was a tough time as it’s 2001 and 9/11 had just happened and then
Tyler it goes to this pediatric neurologist to get tested and he was at
work he’s a teacher and taking time off of work is so hard when you’re a teacher
so as a stay-at-home mom I make the appointments take the children to the
appointments all of those kinds of things that was what the job
descriptions we kind of agreed we’re going to were young we were young when
we add our children mm-hmm and when we got married and and started her family
and her lives together and that is that was what we came up with mm-hm and when
I got the diagnosis all those years ago 18 years ago did we say yeah 18 years
ago Melora little over 18 years old over 18
years ago with Tyler’s diagnosis I got it I was all by myself
I cried in that office that day Tyler was playing in the waiting room I didn’t
him to see me upset I never want the kids to see me upset and it’s always
been kind of a thing of mine yeah and I picked him up from work we had one car
at the time I told him the news he held my hand he a couple tears out because
you you mourn whatever whatever your expectations your expectations were and
also the the not knowing much about it I mean we knew we’ve said we’ve said that
you know we heard of it before yeah we had heard about autism but not in any
educated way no and actually scary ways yeah you had Rain Man hmm you had much
ill not much else we didn’t have a computer there was no YouTube there was
no social media I didn’t know anybody with autistic children I was a young mom
I my friends my own age were not even
getting married yet or were just getting married so I was just completely lost
yeah so I just allowed myself one day to mourn and then the next day it was
research learned research learn research learn learn learn learn learn learn as
much as you can remember that was uh that was the time of the hippie program
yes yeah which it was a like a home preschool program that I was joined with
Tyler and it was wonderful it was great but it was a really really difficult
time I think one of the things that has helped us the most
taking time for each other because having a special-needs child means all
of your nurturing all of your affection all of that is spent on the child all of
that energy that extra energy that you would get there’s the energy you would
normally give your children and then there’s these there are these extra
things throw it on you that you have to do and incorporate in your family
dynamic and it is important to make time for each other even if it is just
sitting down on the couch kind of watching a movie yeah and even if you
have piles of laundry around you this is dr. Phil’s never seen that never seen
that you need to make that time yeah because in that time you can you have
been your own relationship what are you gonna do you’re gonna like blame the
other person for whatever because you know at first you hear all of the
terrible things about autism but there are all the worst-case scenarios you
know that they’re vulnerable now they’re vulnerable to predators it’s like oh gee
something I really want to hear and then and then you start to hear the the
different theories it’s like Oh some people at one time thought it might have
had to do with the way you parent yes oh it’s a cold mother yeah feeling guilt
but I was some terrible mother in the early 2000s best stuff I was yeah I was
their custom edition eventually get a computer yeah oh yeah I can stuff up but
it’s like obviously yeah hmm I know it’s like I’m been my mother is it vaccines
because it was yeah that was the time period time period and I’m telling you
get your kids vaccinated please but no everything was like everything was sort
of all bad stuff that you could first look up when the
research was out there yeah and just looking stick it was knows and camps
notes in cans yeah yeah you know he’s never gonna be
able to do this he’s never gonna be able to do that yeah and we just I just
we never saw I I never felt a need for you know blaming you about anything or
anything like that but it’s understandable it’s understandable
yeah and it happens in relationships see we are lucky because we have an
incredible family support system which a lot of families don’t have yeah and we
have their grandparents live in the same state and we actually now since we
recently moved live very close to their grandparents yeah and they’re always
wanting to see the kids so we’ve had our special date nights but that’s not
always possible no budgetary wise even yeah I mean often
they’ll have two kids and we just say it yes movies but it means a quiet house
but but also that just staying in is important time too I mean you know never
mind having kids with special needs in any marriage there’s this notion of can
you just do nothing together yeah and that’s when you reach this comfort level
with with one another it’s like what are you doing well yeah we’re doing it yeah
and that’s our business I’m not saying we’re lazy it’s just you know we’re
there well on the same level – we are on the same level
yeah I and you know in some cases one of the parents is in denial that was
not the case with us no we’ve you know we pretty much who was accepted this we
accepted it yeah it was it was still Oh big whopper of news I’m not saying that
and it made us more scrutinized when our daughter was getting to around age three
age yeah I mean we were seeing it at first we thought oh she’s clubbing her
big brother and then we realized you know I realized when she was away from
him all the things that she was doing on her own and then we got her evaluated
and yeah diagnosed it was much easier when she was diagnosed on husband then
yeah it was with Tyler I know that in our dining for our dynamic with the
children I’m the softer parent he’s the stricter parent he does I’m not
to say that I do not have bad cup I but that is kind of how yeah how it works
and just house you know learning what what battles to fight and I don’t mean
with each other but with regard to raising kids because everyone knows that
raising kids part of it is discipline and recognizing for me when I’m
disciplining you know like I was taught how to discipline but then good but then
you factor in but their nervous systems are not like your nervous system was
growing up you know that you’ve got to take all those things into account so
it’s like should you discipline that way would it work for someone who’s on the
autism spectrum you know and finding ways where it’ll have the impact you
want without having an impact you don’t want right it was did we disciplined
based on what we knew we would get an results none of them if we discipline
them a certain very odd way there there are
and we had time outs but we tried doing them the typical way or the neurotypical
way and they did not the results weren’t great we had to find you was disciplined
that’s a very good point and getting ok with them with little little social
victories and and rewarding them with a long time that was a big thing was if if
they were able to do something social that to a neurotypical kid was just
every day they do that all the time if they do something you make sure to
really call attention to it and say that was good what you did there that was
good now you alright you did your 15 minutes of social time now you can go up
in the room or you can go off and listen to your recorder and decompress which is
very yeah and our version of decompressing is
turning towards each other turning into the marriage instead of turning away
from the marriage when we were stressed out because those first few years for
each of the children were trying time yes but it’s for us we were lucky that
we turned into the marriage instead of turning away from the marriage and
that’s a hard thing to do and yeah I get it I get it I get it when you’re
frustrated well you know it’s not that you don’t love the kids and that you
don’t love to your spouse but you’ve been for two and a half hours trying to
give them a haircut or something and it’s just been really frustrating you
just want to go you just want to go over here you just want to walk around you
just want to stop a little bit you do whatever whatever have a drink I get it
we get it get it we totally get it and we understand that even it’s hard but I
guess our advice is finding time for each other and you have to each other
trying to find a support system that helps the marriage if you can find a
support system it helps the marriage so much I aren’t
and we understand that not everybody has that I know
so we consider ourselves incredibly very blessed yeah very very fortunate we hope
this video has been helpful if you have any questions at all or comments please
leave them below in the comments I read them all and I look forward to hearing
from you we both look forward to hearing from you yeah thank you so much for
watching please hit like subscribe to notification bell all those things and
you take your hair – since miles

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Comments

  1. my parents was married 27 years before my father passed and my mom had to deal with 6 kids with adhd and some with autism also had to deal with my fathers mental health as well and the marriage still lasted 27 years it would of lasted longer if my father would not of passed away

  2. What a great post! Thanks for highlighting an important topic! You're amazing for defying the marital statistics. The lack of information must have been so frustrating pre-Internet days. Super disappointed to see a down vote on this! I'm gonna go ahead and guess that someone was cranky over the comment that you should vaccinate your children (SERIOUSLY! We live in a country where vaccines are readily available and life-saving; to have that access and still say no is the ultimate First World Problem. Sorrynotsorry). You guys rock, and you're one of my favorite families I know <3 xoxo

  3. This was such a beautiful video! You guys have done such a wonderful job with the kids and also keeping your family and marriage strong. We have loved seeing you guys grow and flourish together as a couple and as a family throughout the last 12 years Love you guys! <3

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