Hello, I have 4 kids, one of which is disabled, 2 years ago (before lockdown) we went onto a family holiday. My disabled child who at the time was 2, didn’t take to it very well. He has major learning disabilities and sever autism. He hated flying, he hated riding on the transfer bus, he hated the hotel and the bedroom and the Spanish tv, at the time he was not diagnosed with autism or the sever learning developmental delay. We were going through many tests and didn’t know what was wrong but at that point there was still hope he would outgrow what ever it was. Now it’s been made clear he won’t. So basically the holiday was not really a holiday. One of us had to stay with my disabled child at all times in the hotel room. He was scared of the outdoor area, play park and pools. He didn’t like the noises or the amount of people. This really spoilt things for my other kids. This year my husband suggested we leave our child behind at his grandmas, his grandmas was more than happy and said that was a great idea and could she do the same and take all the kids on holiday without this one child…. I’m torn. It feels wrong to look at holidays and to imagine my kids having the most amazing time without their brother. But at the same time they deserve a family holiday that they can enjoy. I don’t know what to do or what feels right anymore I’m so depressed after the diagnosis and knowing he won’t get better.
I think the most reasonable thing to do as of right now is euthanasia. Trust me, after euthanizing my kid with autism that he got from the covid vaccine at 3 years old I feel so much happier.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with understanding that what is a holiday for some people is torture for others. You want your children to have an amazing time- and you know that this wouldn’t be the case for the 4 year old. What he thinks is “amazing” is being with familiar things and familiar people. So you’ll be giving all your children a wonderful time by leaving the 4 year old where he is happy. Focus on his comfort and happiness, and not your own misplaced guilt. You are doing the best thing for ALL your children.
It sounds like you’re still coming to terms with the diagnosis and can use a sounding board. You’ll find more sympathetic practical advice on the mumsnet special needs board:
(Don’t post on the aibu board by accident or you’ll be roasted alive!) You may even be signposted to the closed facebook groups where parents of children with autism can speak freely and compare notes away from high functioning ads whose lack of empathy and tunnel vision is not the support you need and where no one will plague you with that twee “Welcome to Holland” poem.
Fwiw, I think you’re right that it will be a long time if ever before your asd child can go on holiday, but you need to be very careful not to turn this into “family -one child.” That’s a really unhealthy dynamic. On the other hand, your other children do need 1to 1 with their parents and having a sibling who takes all their parents’ energy and attention can be very damaging setting them up for a lifetime of issues. Your whole family holiday days might be over for good, but it would be beneficial to go away one parent at a time + changing combination of kids who can travel so that that dynamic of one child vs everybody else doesn’t arise, and that way the parent can give more attention to each child. Sometimes both parents should go away for the weekend together with no children so that you can concentrate on the couple.
If your asd child is well settled with grandma I would get into a routine staying with grandma and very slowly build that up to a few days if it goes well. Be very open to feedback. The point of the exercise isn’t to cause distress. If this works out this is great practice for the future when respite care might be needed. It’s good to lay the groundwork of possible.
“holiday” for your four year old isn’t near the same as for your other children. Will he miss them if they go without him? yes. Would he be willing to go if they are going? questionable. I’m sorry to say, this isn’t likely to change for him for his entire life … he’ll always want the familiar … that’s just the way he is. If grandma is familiar enough — try it for three days before you commit to longer. — married 32 years to Professor of Sp Ed.
So, you’re getting tired of having a child with special needs basically. How about he’s tired of being put off to the side for the sake of the happiness of others? Who cares what the other kids think? If they have problems, it’s because you as a parent failed to educate them. What do you mean did anyone go through this? Everyone with a disabled child “goes through it”. He didn’t ask to be brought into the world nor did anyone force you to get pregnant. If you’re not fit to care for a disabled child just say that.