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Living with my autistic son and wife.
Me and journey
I had kids pretty young. Around 19 I met my first wife and we hit it off pretty well, but as most 19 year olds go, I wasn't careful when it came to sex. Nonetheless fathered my first child at 19 and another one at 25. My kids have always been a little odd, my youngest had the most oddities. My oldest was diagnosed with aspergers and my youngest, with autism spectrum disorder. Years later I got divorce from my then wife. My oldest stayed with his mom and I got shared custody of the youngest. I then met my now wife around 2007 and fell head over heals for her. She was from California and I'm from Minnesota. I flew out to meet her and stayed with her for 5 months of so while my youngest spent some time with his mom. Things went well and we decided to load up her things and head to Minnesota since my family lives here.
Our lives together
Right off the bat I knew my then girlfriend was a little bossy and pushy. I found out about her bipolar diagnosis when I first met her, so I was aware of mood swings and what not. My Son was diagnosed with autism at age 4 and FASD at age 6. So there we were all living together and I noticed shortly after we got married that she was getting more and more strict with my son. He is high functioning but with the fetal alcohol spectrum he has a very hard time with motivation, communication and memory. Even the easiest tasks he has a hard time doing because he gets distracted and daydreams. He is also very impulsive and makes snappy bad decisions. He has always been challenging.
When my son was around 10 is when it started to get bad around our house. My now wife was always on my sons case about everything. Also we were dealing with my ex wife and her parenting style which was let my son do whatever he wanted. He would go and stay with her and watch tv till 3am and eat horrible food. She didn't make him brush his teeth or take showers. So lets just say my wife did not think to kindly of my ex. A lot of fights were about my ex. I tried to keep the peace but we would end up arguing about what to do with visits and parenting time. I don't want to make my wife out as a monster, but she was raised differently. I am easy going and let things slide where my wife is on top of everything, which is good sometimes. I would be easy on my son and my wife would get mad at me for not staying on him about hygiene, school work and his chores. I see her point but my son has brain damage and just plain doesn't think like other neurotypical kids do. I think punishing a kid that really doesn't understand things completely is going overboard.
After lots of fights and arguments we started to slow down and see eye to eye. I started to be more upfront about how I was feeling and she backed off and tried to talk instead of react. I found that in deed I did need to be a little more vigilant about the things my son was not doing properly. He was taking advantage of me in a way and thinking he could always get away with it. I found that if I kept the same standards (although high) as my wife she wasn't barking at him as much and the house was quieter. The last 6 months have been great and I think our family is really on a smooth road. Recently my wife and I even started a business together. We have a store that sells fidgets and sensory toys for special needs kids called happy hands toys.
I'm not much of a writer so this is a first for me. I just wanted to share a small part of my journey and possibly help someone in a similar situation. My son is 13 and is an amazing kid with many talents. I see him going really far in life even with his shortcomings. Living with someone that has bipolar and the other FASD and autism is a rollercoaster to say the least. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thanks for reading!