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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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May 17th 2013 new
Hi Kerry, my heart goes out to you. Im so sorry for your loss.

First, I would pray daily, and often throughout the day, to our Blessed Mother and ask her to show you how to parent your son. Ask her to show you how he is feeling, what he needs, and what he doesnt need. Ask her to guide and bless all of the interactions between the two of you.

Second, is your schedule similar to what it was before your husband died? Does your son know what is happening on a day to day basis or does it change often? Sticking to a regular schedule (you may do this already) can help ease some of the anxiety. Hanging the schedule for him to see would be good too. Make sure to include the family time that others have mentioned.

If you have to keep telling him to do things over and over then maybe try hanging a list of what is expected of him. Of course, go over this with him beforehand. You may have tried these things when he was younger, but I would try them again.

These are just some suggestions to get a little more grounded, not meant to be fixers of the situation. But, as you know, children with Asberger's tend to need that consistency and those visual aids. Once the anxiety level decreases, that's probably when hell start talking.

Sorry that I couldn't provide more help, just my two cents. Remember that Mary is with you at the foot of the Cross.
May 17th 2013 new
Kerry, you are not alone. You didn't volunteer to be a single parent and then to have special needs on top of that is daunting. Stay the course. You love your son. I beat myself up each and every day with my five children. Guess what? As adults, they all aspire to be like me and they think I was the greatest. They are all productive and doing well. Here's is the thing--show up and be fully present. Love your son well and take breaks when you need them. I believe in you, fellow widster!
May 17th 2013 new

The Prayer of St. Patrick

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of the wind,
Depth of the sea,
Stability of the earth,
Firmness of the rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's hosts to save me
Afar and anear,
Alone or in a mulitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye that sees me,
Christ in the ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of creation.
May 19th 2013 new
Kerry -- keep in mind that there are situations over which you have no control. You can control your responses to events and situations, but you can't do anything about the facts that you have a youngster with Asperger's, or that your husband is gone. If any of us could change that, we would gladly do so.

As far as your son is concerned, there's no doubt you have you hands full. It's a difficult problem to deal with because of the element of unpredictability. You have to take it as it comes -- with some good days; others not so. No doubt you have had treatment for your son, and hopefully some sage advice on how to deal/cope with his problem. Sometimes, a youngster who is acting up just needs to be left alone.

Is there a support group for parents of children affected by autism/Asperger's?

You're feeling as if you're failing, but to what are you comparing it? What would make you feel successful? Certainly there are some talents you son has that need to be explored, encouraged, and nourished. That's where the successes are.

Some areas of focus are to alert his teachers and school counselors about his condition; do your own research about AS; seek personal support; work with your son to establish some sense of order in his life -- one that will help balance his needs along with yours and the rest of the family.

You no doubt have delved into these but to what extent we don't know. People affected by AS have difficulty with social skills and don't show much empathy. This makes your approach to discipline different, yet with similarities -- manners, respect for others, not causing physical harm to others, and so on.

Easy? No. But acceptance of the fact he has a problem and the absence of a father in his life are elements of a "new normal" situation for you. Once that has set in, you will make better progress. Because the loss of your husband was recent, you are still mourning his loss, and that makes your situation seem overwhelming and near intolerable.

Do not abandon your grieving process to devote all your attention and energy to your son. As important as he is, your well being is essential for both of you to move forward --- one day at a time.
May 19th 2013 new
Eventually...not now, but eventually...he may be interested in joining Scouts or a similar organization. Both my boys have been Scouts, and I found that most of the men in Scouting were happy to act as surrogate fathers for the few hours a week that they saw them. I also found that the camaraderie of the other boys was useful -- the group soon makes it known if you are not measuring up to their standard of behavior.
Wishing you all the best! rose
May 19th 2013 new
When I read your subject line, all I could think is: Me, too! I'm a failure too! My children had special needs and behavior issues and I've struggled since day one. I can list everything that worked, didn't work, worked for a while, and maybe it would help. What's helped over the long term is when things get heated with my daughter, I don't raise my voice back. When she asks why I won't leave her alone, I tell her, " Because I love you." She has been known to argue with me and try to list all the reasons for thinking I don't love her (talk about heart-breaking sad ), but in the end, hearing that I love her helps her to let go of some of her anger.
May 20th 2013 new

I understand your situation. You are not alone as you can see for the responses you have received, but most importantly, because we have a great Father who takes care of us and sometimes we only listen when we are in desperate situations like this. Don't stop praying, TRUST HIM, He is with you and will take care of you and your son. Since the moment that with all my heart and will I trusted HIM, everything changed. I have my "angels", a wonderful couple who have befriended me and my son and help me with him. I got a wonderful job and my life just turned around.
Sometimes I feel that I'm not a good parent, I turn to the Blessed Mother and ask her to help me be a better parent. Seeing her suffering gives me perspective, the seven swords that crossed her heart.
Remember that you are not alone.
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