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Old 02-16-2009, 01:13 PM   #21
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Bimmer's daughter was recently diagnosed as autistic and Bimmer has been going through a lot trying to determine the most appropriate approach for addressing her autism. My brother is autistic. It is hard and stressful.
I didn't know that, and if I had known I would have responded a bit differently. Naturally, worry about health issues is heightened and magnified when the child has developmental delays. Talking to other parents of children with autism will help, I think. Once Bimmer can be reassured that his daughter is physically ok, he still must manage his anxiety over her health. And the best way to manage anxiety is to change thought patterns. Some people can achieve this through meditation and other relaxation techniques, but for myself I have to consciously alter my thoughts.

It sounds silly describing it, but here goes: When dd moved to Pittsburgh last summer for graduate school, I began worrying about her safety. Was she safe in her apartment? Was she safe walking about Pittsburgh, especially when she had an evening class? What if someone was stalking her (she's a very attractive young woman)? Was she safe leaving her job at night (not the best neighborhood)? What if she got sick or injured in her apartment and couldn't call anyone for help? Around and around my thoughts went circling, one more horrifying than the other. I couldn't sleep at night for worrying.

Finally, I decided that every time one of those worries would start, I'd change the mental channel. I would consciously think of how creatively she had decorated her tiny apartment, how smart and careful she is, how much fun she's having, how much she enjoys her classes, how lucky she was to be selected for her internship job, etc. Gradually, the more I focused on those positive thoughts, the worry and anxiety abated.

It's that type of practice that works for me, and I thought perhaps it might work for Bimmer, too.
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:18 PM   #22
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OK, I'm having an issue with anxiety. Doc said he would rather not give me meds, recommended therapy/counciling first.
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For some reason I can't relax and its affecting my sleep and I've lost a lot of weight. I can work it thru my head logically, but body won't behave. Wife thinks its because I'm a control freak, type A. I never really considered myself to be either, but do have strong preferences for the way things are done.
Given DD's recent diagnosis of autism an anxiety reaction would not be unexpected in a caring parent, especially someone who likes to be in control of his life. By its very nature, autism is associated with unexpected behaviours and unpredictability. You have lost your locus of control and are justifiably worried about what lies ahead for DD. I'm sure that recent financial events feed into this sense of loss of control. I would definitely try counselling. Perhaps behaviour therapy can help you to "live in the moment" while taking things one day at a time.

One of my friends has a son who is autistic. For her, learning as much as possible about the disorder, meeting other parents, and being an activist on his behalf, are very important parts of her support system. She is very proud of his achievements in math, where he is way ahead of his peers.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:32 PM   #23
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Being a parent is difficult . You worry about your children forever . I 've used relaxation tapes for anxiety and they really helped me deal with my fears .
That is so true. My children are 9 and 7 and already I am worried about what kind of men they'll marry. Having children is such a wonderful thing but you worry about them your whole life. Does it get better as they age?
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:43 PM   #24
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Thanks all. I do need to change my thought patterns. They tend to go right to worse case.

Wife still refuses to accept the autism diagnosis. I've been doing all that solo. All the doc appointments, planning, therapists, etc.

DD is healthy, but never talks about herself. She has never said she had a stomach ache, or sore throat, or didn't feel good. So, I'm always trying to guess what's going on. If the poor kid has a sore throat I'd like to know so I can help her.

Plus, all of our great therapists and support end at age 3, when we transition into the local school district. I'm in the process of negotiating a plan. Not sure it will work due to logistic issues- mainly I work 1 hour from home.

And I usually have issues sleeping anyways. I just have more anxiety now. Really, it could be that my nights are the only time I can escape and I am afraid I'll lose this time.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:00 PM   #25
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I find that most anything produced by Heaven Hill Distillery helps a lot.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:10 PM   #26
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DGD (3 in a week) doesn't do much of the telling you what's wrong either. You can ask her if a particular thing is wrong and she'll say yes or no, but you can't count on it. Hopefully your daughter will get beyond that soon, because more information helps. As far as the autism, I can't help there, although after going back and reading your other thread it sounds like others have some good advice. Your wife will come around with time to process things. I think some therapy, either alone or with DW, will help. Even just somebody to unload things to can make an immense difference.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:24 PM   #27
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Having children is such a wonderful thing but you worry about them your whole life. Does it get better as they age?
No. You worry about them regardless of their age. And frequently they provide you with grandchildren who you also worry about.

I love my kids and grandkids more than I can describe and they bring much happiness to my life....... along with stress! It's all part of life I guess.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:57 PM   #28
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Definitely follow your doctor's suggestion and go to therapy. I think it could really help for you to talk about your worries with an objective person who is there just for you. If it doesn't help, then try a different therapist or another avenue that your doctor will suggest.

Your daughter is a lucky little girl to have you for a daddy.
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:45 AM   #29
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I do need to change my thought patterns. They tend to go right to worse case.
That's typical of anxiety disorders.

I have suffered from anxiety/panic attacks for 8 years now. For most people anxiety is a temporary condition (often happening after a stressful life adjustment), in my case it's pretty much a genetic disposition going back 3 generations. I have done a lot of research on the subject. The best book I have read is "Don't panic: Taking control of anxiety attacks" by Reid Wilson, a foremost specialist of the anxiety/panic disorder.

When I started experiencing anxiety, it was pretty scary. I dealt with insomnia, digestive problems, noticeable weight loss and mild depression. I didn't understand what was going on. I am a logical person (scientist), my wife thinks that I am a bit of a "control freak" too, and this sudden loss of control was very unsettling. My doctor recommended that I saw a therapist and it helped a bit (I did a lot of talking and I didn't feel like I got much out of her). She was the one who recommended the book I mentioned above. This book really helped me understand what was going on physically/mentally and how to deal with all this. It teaches you how to quiet your mind, break your thought pattern and stop the anxiety attack in its track.

I have always been against taking hard drugs to control my anxiety (Xanax is a favorite to treat general anxiety), so I have found some natural remedies to help me relax. I drink a lot of herbal teas. Chamomile, lemon verbena, and especially valerian are remedies that have been used for centuries to relieve tension/anxiety. If you believe in homeopathic remedies, I recommend trying Bach's Rescue Remedy. Also try relaxing your body using techniques such as body scan, meditation and controlled breathing. A relaxed body will lead to a relaxed mind. Exercise is also a must.

Many people and family doctors don't understand anxiety. They will tell you things like "why can't you just relax?". Darn I had not thought about it... It took my wife a while to understand that this was beyond ordinary stress. I knew ordinary stress. But when I felt more stressed sitting in front of the TV than I felt defending my Ph.D., I knew there was nothing ordinary about THAT stress. It often felt like a lonely battle at the time.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:16 AM   #30
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I didn't get the autism diag from bmmmers original post, sorry.

It's a frustrating dx to deal with. Alot of uncertainty goes through your mind. I guess there will be many experts to visit who may or may not understand the particular case.

Best to approach one day at a time, one step at a time. Important to take care of yourself very well so you can deal with the situation at a high level. You have to train to be calm in the middle of a storm when dealing with issues of the mind/brain that are not well understood.

I wish bmmmer much luck, but with the right balance both he and dd will come through ok.

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Old 02-17-2009, 09:33 AM   #31
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You parent types are tough birds! Left to me the human race would be gone right quick, as i was too selfish to procreate. My level of child rearing experience (none) would lead me to think that Citrine has the ticket: pressure points. Wasn't that pointy-eared child specialist Dr.Spock pretty good at calming people down with a hand to the shoulder pressure point application?
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:48 AM   #32
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You parent types are tough birds! Left to me the human race would be gone right quick, as i was too selfish to procreate. My level of child rearing experience (none) would lead me to think that Citrine has the ticket: pressure points. Wasn't that pointy-eared child specialist Dr.Spock pretty good at calming people down with a hand to the shoulder pressure point application?
Hey, takes 30 seconds to become a parent. It's like rolling the dice, some can deal with it, some can't. Most today are in denial, they put on a happy face, inside they are dealing with all sorts of anguish.

Parenting IMHO, has gotten much tougher by all of the demands put on us by the so-called experts on how to raise children, save for college, save for retirement, make sure the kids go to right schools, hang out with right friends, etc. Nothing our parents had to put up with. "Get out in the street, stay out of my way, or you'll get it" was the usual mantra.

I believe we've overcomplicated our lives, perhaps this economic meltdown will cause us to prioritize things and perhaps will bring us back to sanity. Life has to be lived, no micromanaged.

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Old 02-17-2009, 01:00 PM   #33
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Yes, there is a lot to worry about. I try try the one day at a time thing, but am not doing too well with it. I'm a natural planner so living day by day is hard.

From what I can see, the autism diagnosis is very confusing. Not the dx itself, but trying to figure out how to line up appropriate services and get the help I need. I'm still trying to identify the help I need.

Parent groups are helping a bit, but once a child turns 3 the school system takes over providing services. Of course, programs vary by town to town, school to school. There is no consumer reports of special ed programs (that I can find).

Insurance won't pay for much, one on one therapy is pretty expensive, and I make too much money to qualify for just about any federal or state aid program.
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Old 02-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #34
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Bimmerbill,

So sorry, you've been through a lot lately and there's more to come.

I had anxiety in college which manifested as insomnia and nightmares. I went to a counselor, and we chose cognitive-behavioral therapy to help me deal with the underlying issues of anxiety (myriad) and let me move forward with my life.

Given that your anxiety is focusing on DD, maybe finding a counselor who specializes helping parents of kids with health issues would be good. You might find one by asking around at a parent's support group, for starters.

As far as other things that might help, have you tried yoga? I find it tremendously helpful in helping me center my thoughts, and its focus on centered body posture helps counteract the stress we tend to store in our muscles.

Good luck with it all -- one foot in front of the other will get you there.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:57 PM   #35
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Hey, takes 30 seconds to become a parent.
Hey, at least 4 minutes. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:43 PM   #36
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Just Kidding! I say that to get DW going.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:32 PM   #37
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Insurance won't pay for much, one on one therapy is pretty expensive, and I make too much money to qualify for just about any federal or state aid program.
Ain't that the truth. Fact is, ABA treatment seems to be the most effective, but it's expensive and controversial. Even in Canada, some provinces pay for it and some don't. I live in one which does pay for it. This has attracted several high profile professionals who have moved here simply so that their child can get ABA funded.

Please note that I am NOT an expert in this area.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #38
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Yep, ABA is $125 an hour for the credentialed therapist to write the plan, and $65 to $100 an hour for the para-professional to carry out the plan. Gets expensive if you need 40 hours a week and are not rich.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:38 PM   #39
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That is so true. My children are 9 and 7 and already I am worried about what kind of men they'll marry. Having children is such a wonderful thing but you worry about them your whole life. Does it get better as they age?
Unfortunately no , My Mom who is 92 still worries about me and my sisters .
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