This may be long but I could really use advice!

I have two autistic toddlers and they're literally my entire world. I have been a stay at home mom since the day they came into this world, I gave birth in 2017 and 2019 my babies are only 14 months apart. I don't have a village behind me and I have to do everything by myself. I have become pretty much a hermit because I can't take my kids out in public without them self harming it can get so overwhelming. I shut out my family and it's come to the point now that I only see them once maybe every 6 months. I have two sisters and they have a super close relationship, my oldest sister has a 1 year old. I asked my older sister to come see my house for the first time ever (I've been here over half a year) she said she couldn't because it would be her child's nap time. That remark had upset me because when they ask to see me and I say I can't because of my kids so and so, they would always respond angry saying I'm making up excuses and pushing them away and then continue to stop talking to me. She said well my child gets just as upset and I still take him out and see my family because I can't live my life at home can't and won't. I told her she doesn't understand the extent autism plays in my children's day to day life that without their strict routine they turn to literal chaos. She compared her baby not liking being away from home and being unconsolable to my autistic children's meltdowns where they're literally hurting themselves repeatedly claiming they don't rely on the schedule because of their autism and her son is the exact same way. I told her that her son does not rip chunks of hair from his head, her son doesn't slam his head on anything he can find over and over, her son doesn't get into a car seat and start stimming profusely, her son doesn't cause bruises all over himself or scratch his eyes and face up her son literally just cries and to compare her capability of taking out her upset neurotypical child out to my incapability of taking out my two neurodiverse children out is messed up and that she has no idea why I'm always home if she lived my life she would become isolated too. She told me it was bold of me to assume what her child does and doesnt do. I said if your child self harms anytime you leave your home tell me and I will apologize all she told me was goodnight. The conversation itself was a lot more in depth and it has me beyond hurt. There's so much that adds into this that I don't have the time to type it all out. She refuses to see my side of anything, she makes it seem like I'm just some awful sister who wants nothing to do with anyone, she has no understanding of my side of life and has no WANT to understand it she sees from her eyes only. Like my dad had 4 of us back to back to back, he watched my daughter once for 30 minutes and blew up my phone about how he was terrified for her and didn't know what to do and that he was so amazed I was doing this by myself with two of them for the first time in my life he showed me respect. Yet my sister is over here fully discrediting me and my children's struggles. Im at the point though where I'm really thinking about cutting my older sister out of my life completely this whole situation has made me an emotional wreck. Am I overreacting...?

Sorry for such a long post.

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You are absolutely NOT overreacting! If your family cared even the slightest, they would be by your side, helping you find resources and some outlets for your children that aren’t a sensory overload! Idk what state you live in but where I am, we have so many resources for autistic children and their families! People to come into your home and teach them how to communicate, teach you and willing family the tools necessary to cope and so much more! I say it’s time to build your own family/village! Find resources/groups in your community and create your own support system!
Some kids do better in the car/public with some headphones and their favorite show/music on a tablet. Some won’t use headphones at all! Some like chew toys. You do not have to be a prisoner in your own home, I promise you there are resources available! You just have to find them. If you don’t already have them on social security, I suggest you apply asap! So many things are covered by the medical coverage plus the income makes it a bit easier to stay home! You can also get respite care. They will pay for trained caregivers to come into your home. Each child would qualify for their own. Of course, this all depends on the state you live in as well. I wish you the best of luck! :heart:

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Help a mama out and respond anonymously on our forum. This may be long but I could really use advice!

You are doin the right thing keeping them safe at home. I dont have autistic child but my brain is sick and most folks dont get it. Being in public is real scary sometimes when brain conditions are present. Like 5 people seems like 1000 people when your brain is sick. Am sorry your fam doesnt understand your scenario thats rough. You are good momma bear :clap::clap:

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Just because her kid having melt downs and stuff isn’t as severe as yours doesn’t mean it’s not bad. My kids constantly get into everything at other people’s houses and it’s exhausting so I don’t take them out much. Just because you think you have it worse doesn’t make her issues any less. You’re not listening to her just as much as she isn’t listening to you.

If you won’t even TRY for her she doesn’t have to reciprocate.

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Nope you are not over reacting. As a parent of a autistic boy I have found my life to be so much better without certain people it’s not understood by many but guess what the ones who understand will and those are the ones you keep close you already have a full plate to be trying to satisfy someone else. Blessings and good luck keep up the good work

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You both have issues and doth need to be more understanding of each other. Relationships take work and its easy to just self isolate.

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It’s ok I understand I have 4 kids both my boys have autism I have it as well both my boys are in therapy as well and it can be hard sometimes my family live in same city and hardly come around or talk to me I’m a big shut in at this point and Its hard getting out to do anything sometimes because 5 year old with autism gets overwhelmed and youngest 2 will act out because brother is I feel what your going through

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Parenting children isn’t a competition to who has it worse with their kids. Every parent has their own set of problems with their own children. It seems like you and your sister just wanna see who has it worse instead of just coming together and helping each other. Her issues with her children are real and hard for her, just like yours are for you.
If you both can’t do that then just part ways and move on with your own lives.
I have 2 autistic children and never discredit someone else’s hard times in motherhood just because my 2 may behave differently

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Maybe you could join a support group online for parents of autistic children…at least that way you would be in the company of like moms. I totally understand autistic children …each one is different too…you need someone that is going thru what you are. I know there are support groups for parents of autistic children too…prayers for you mom…it is very hard and often very lonely too… <3 <3

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You are absolutely right in feeling unheard and misunderstood. I often wonder how anyone could criticize and go tit for tat in situations like this. I’m sure it’s obvious you’re struggling mama, so sorry you haven’t found the support you need. :revolving_hearts:

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If anyone, family or not, cannot grasp the fact that having a child on the spectrum makes life 100x more difficult they shouldn’t be in your life. I’m sorry but she needs to become a little more educated on their disorders and stop shaming you. Your doing wonderful mom, keep it up!

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Sometimes you just have to do what you know is best! Mama don’t feel bad, ONLY U KNOW YOUR SITUATION!!

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I feel you doing what any mom.would do for their kids…you know exactly what is best!! Dont let the sister ruin your vibe…you do.whats best.momma…whether you know it or not your kids know your there for them! You are the most unselfish person every…bless those babies hearts and hugs momma you do you…honestly I find being home is easier than dragging kids all over the country side!!

It’s just complete miss understanding of autism. My lil sister is 9- autistic, non verbal etc. I have a 6 yo daughter. I’ve raised her around my sister with frequent visits. She doesn’t fully understand autism as she is 6 but she knows to act differently around my sister when it comes to play & noise levels. Sometimes my sister does lash out when overwhelmed & hurts my daughter. It’s hard to explain to a 6 year old that she didn’t mean it, she just can’t control herself sometimes. People don’t understand autism unless their own has it. It’s been branded violent in most cases which is far from the truth. I really hope ur sister sees ur kids for who they are and you can rectify this. All the best x

I sympathize with u but u do know u won’t be able to keep them inside forever its best if u start searching for places where they can go maybe half a day ut will definitely help them and u

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You said yourself that you shut everyone out and “basically became a hermit”. While I empathize with you, it’s unfair to discredit your sister’s struggles because yours are worse. Being a mom is hard. Period. You could probably find some support services in your area. Look for some early intervention services in your area. Maybe you could find some support staff to work with the kids so you could safely travel with them. :heart:

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This may not be allowed, but follow the page Finding Cooper’s Voice She is an absolutely amazing face for her son who has autism. She talks about struggles, the good, and the really hard. Maybe encourage your family to do some research and they will see. And if they really don’t believe you, have them come over, let them experience what you deal with day in and day out.

God bless you.you are doing the hardest job there is and you are doing a great job. Don’t add anything to your life that makes is more stressful,including your sister. You don’t need toxic,you need some supportive caring friends,who understand what you go through you just do you and your family.I wish you the best .your babies are lucky to have you as their momma.

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Sounds toxic to me and like she may need to be educated on the difference between children on the spectrum and other children. They’re definitely all difficult but you face a set of challenges she doesn’t so she also seems insensitive. Maybe try sending her some into snot kids on the spectrum or bring up that if you follow her kids schedule she needs to be flexible about yours.

If your family wanted to be apart of their life they’d educate themselves and try, at least from my experience.

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I’ve been a single ASD mom for 23 years. I find babysitters are scarce because sometimes our children are not "easy ". My son is easier than any teen I’ve ever met and so much more loving. Relatives do not get it if they don’t have to live it. All your energy is spent on your beautiful babies. Dont bother wasting time and stressing over family who won’t give your babies the consideration that they deserve. You deserve better.

Trying to be the bigger victim isn’t going to help anything. I’d forget about family for a while and find your tribe. There are groups in your community who know what you’re going through and you need to make your friendships there. Worry about your family once you have a solid group who actually have your back.

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Google to see if there are any play areas geared towards autistic children. We have this place near us. Maybe you can find something similar and slowly introduce your kids to it. It may help your kids feel more comfortable going out places.

Depending of where you live, you might qualify for caretakers for your children. Look into it so you can get a little break :heart:

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You should give yr sister a time out for a little while, she’s adding more stress to your life that you don’t need. She won’t ever understand your struggles because she has a “normal” child and she also believes her struggles are as hard. You both need time away from each other. Meet up with other parents with autistic children and hear how they cope and make life easier for the children and themselves. All in all, you don’t need added stress in yr life

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I understand your feelings but just because her child isn’t autistic doesn’t mean their routine and nap times aren’t important too. You arguing with her about how much harder your kids are to handle, while it’s true, doesn’t make her kids routines and comfort any less important to her. If you can’t sympathise with one another and be understanding it’s probably best to cut her off.

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I don’t think you’re overreacting. I have an autistic son and although parenting any child is difficult, autism children are on a different level. I thought my first child was a handful until I had my son. We don’t visit other people’s homes much because it’s a challenge. Our house is very childproof to keep him safe and not everyone understands that. Also water is a huge concern for us. Going out to public places is scary because I’m constantly trying to keep him safe. He can’t communicate through speech. So many changes and accommodations have to be made. It’s actually considered a disability that will affect a person for life.

I feel this so hard and I’m so sorry you’re going through this. People really just don’t know how much harder I every day life is. Being a mom is hard period, but it’s much more difficult when autism is involved. It just is. No one knows what we go through every single day until they’ve been there themselves. It sucks to not have support through that. And I’m so sorry you’re not getting support from anyone it seems. I’ve had to just quit explaining myself. My 3 yr old also has health issues that makes him very vulnerable to covid and people can’t even respect the fact that he could die and want to paint me as the bad guy from keeping my kids away from gatherings during this time. People are so ridiculously self serving. I’d just quit explaining myself and move on with your life. They can come to their senses when their ready, but you have no control over that. I’m so sorry you are going through this!

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All ive got is it isnt healthy to shut out people you love and care about.staying within your routine and having a routine is a safe response but heres the thing you get to build the routine its time to include some support into it.instead of arguing with your loved ones id start adding short visits to the routine.apolagize to your sister.aproach your obstacles differently for instance id like very much for my kids to get to know you.i miss you and i want the support my family can bring but ive got to set some boundaries.if my child begins to be over stimulated i will have to leave.do your part bring noise cancelling headphones do what you do at home for them and keep trying yes maybe coffee tommorow could end in a meltdown and a very short visit but keep trying.set an hr or two aside everyday for your loved ones.that could be your sister a friend etc.depending on the level of autism they will adjust to the new routine.closing them off to the world isnt a solution life is meant to be lived.you should also look into a helper many areas offer some support and will allow you respit hrs.even in our lil town threw a place called the regional center this is available.your kids are going to grow and depending on the severity may always need you its one thing to stop a toddler from slamming their head on things its another to deture a teenager from doing the same…autism runs in our family but it doesnt destroy it.my 20 something cousin knows she can walk away if over stimulated.my 16 year old non verbal cousin can put his headphones on and be ok…most of the time.keep trying mommas.you need that family of yours and it sounds like they just need some education on what your dealing with so show them.some behaviors are ok.as they are adjusting.and i can tell you know what the limit is.

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If you want understanding, you also have to BE understanding. Regardless of neurotypical/neurodiverse, it seems as if you were criticizing your sister for doing (or in this case, not doing) the same thing as you. :woman_shrugging:t4:

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ASD mom here. Dont have much advice except my son is now 13 almost 14 and i promise you it does get better. Toddler years were hell for me especially because he was non verbal for so very long. Pray momma, I promise it gets better!!

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May be get your Dad to have a word with your sister about how hard it is

Get a GoPro and record your day. Take your kids out in public with your GoPro and then mail her the video. That should clear things up

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Have your father explain to your sister and other family members what happened when he watched your daughter.

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Unless someone has lived with a person on the spectrum, they can’t understand, it’s a harsh reality, and quite isolationg, join groups on fb with other parents who have kids on the spectrum, it helps seeing you’re not alone, people who understand the exhaustion and daily struggle, trying to keep your cool and trying not to get overwhelmed, or ways to bring yourself back when you do, you are amazing, and your children are lucky to have you as their mum! :heart:

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I understand that you face challenges that other people don’t but you shouldn’t diminish her feelings and frustration with her child’s behavior either. You can’t dismiss someone else’s feelings because you feel you have it worse off than they do. Her feelings are just as valid. You also admitted you shut your family out and haven’t seen them in a long time so you can’t expect them to jump and come over when you ask them to.
I’m sorry that you’re going through these difficult times but you have to understand that everyone goes through difficult times and comparing what you go through and what she goes through isn’t fair to anyone.

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Why can’t you guys post in paragraphs for long posts like this? smh

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I think you are both in the wrong. You admit to shutting your family out then get mad when your sister says that’s what you’re doing. And just because your children have autism, does not mean that her child is not allowed to have behavioral issues. You are minimizing her problems just because your problems are “worse”.

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I don’t know where you’re from, but do you have anything like this in your area. They maybe able to help you and your children. They may have other helpful resource information. You need a support system.

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Yes. You’re over reacting. Whether a kid has autism or not, if a parent feels a schedule is best for their little one that’s how it is. Just because you have it hard doesn’t mean she doesn’t. You don’t get a monopoly on that. Routine is best for ANY child. Period. Just because she isn’t constantly praising you for what you do doesn’t mean she is discrediting you. Both of yall would do better, if you want a relationship, to talk about slowly setting a new routine where maybe every Wednesday afternoon, yall have a playdate or something. Instead of playing whose life is harder.

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The really sad, pathetic piece to this post is you stating you’re doing it all alone…you’re a stay at home mom. Where’s their dad(s) and/or your spouse…?
If you’re not single, most of this hardship you’re going thru is bcuz you’re putting yourself thru it.
And arguing with your sister claiming your struggles are worse than hers is ridiculous. Geow up.
And you need to work on getting your kiddos ok with being outside. Start slow, but do it. Stop with the excuses for yourself.

I’m sorry that’s super rough. But I would say that because she isn’t in your shoes…she doesn’t know and also feels overwhelmed. I hope for some easy days for you mama

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I’m sorry for all your going through but to compare and debate who has it worse is just childish…not to sound mean but it is…I have 4 kids not autistic and both my boys were wild…and rough on themselves and each other my girls and there attitudes are just wow…so just because yours kids are autistic and have it rough it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have it rough either…my middle son would get so upset at being at new or different places he would cry until he was hyperventilating and start drooling or even vomiting…and nothing I could do but leave helped…so from a mom with 4 kids non of which are autistic for you to say we don’t have it hard is alil offensive… being a mom is hard…esp when kids are there own person and your trying to live by things you know make them happy or upset or act out…so understand first that your sister is a mom and does have it rough and both of you need to grow up and stop comparing or debating who has it worse and nit picking situations and debating who has the worse situation…grow up…your both mom’s and you both have kids…being a mom is hard period…and kids esp having multiple kids is rough…trying to make them happy or comfortable all the time…yes your kids are autistic and you do what you need to for the comfort and safety and all around feelings for your kids…well guess what…she is too…so stop belittling her or acting as if she isn’t a mom or has it easy…maybe once you can say yes we both have it rough…lets be grown and try and plan the best environment and situation and the best WE can as mom’s for our kids to be involved and they be happy and safe…maybe reaching out instead of hiding in your home and allowing people to be around and know what and how to act with and around your autistic children they would feel more comfortable and you wouldn’t be so alone…I have a family friend with an autistic son and he is 16 but she lets everyone know when she is coming to events…and she makes it clear how to act how not to act and how to handle so everyone is aware so her son is comfortable…and often she has a place to go alone to calm him down if he gets in his moments…but don’t close yourself off and educate your family on how to be around your children…so your children can grow and be around family… autism is rough but you can add in the help from family…and they probably distance themselves from lack of knowing how to act…include them and educate them…so they can learn to love and be involved in your babies lives…and help…some family member may surprise you on how your kids and they connect…but with your sister… understanding she is a mom and your a mom and being a mom and raising kids is rough period…stop belittling and degrading each other as a person,mother,and sister…you don’t want to do this or that because your kids this and that but want to jump at her with judgement when she does the same for her kids…just because her kids aren’t autistic…that’s not fair…kids without autism can be rough also… be more understanding and less defensive…maybe if you stop being the way you are she can stop…maybe telling her that your sorry for making her feel less of a mother or as if she doesn’t struggle or doesn’t have anything really going on because her kids aren’t autistic the pain can start to heal between you too… telling her she is a great mom…and that you deff understand being a mom is hard…and that you understand she has bad days and good days and that her kids can be aggravating or hard to handle and you understand you to can work on your relationship but this belittling each other and debating/arguing about who has it worse is just not healthy and deff doesn’t feel good…again I have 4 kids not autistic and it’s rough every day to keep my cool and try and raise them without spazzing out on at least 1…it’s not all rainbows and fluffy clouds and it’s a struggle mentally, physically and I struggle with feeling like I’m failing or am I doing my best so if my sister told me some of the things your saying I’d be angry and no offense wouldn’t want that negative person that tells me my life is easy and I don’t struggle and to get over myself to caiter to them instead of my kids…I’d butt that person sister of not right out of me and my kids life…so just be less defensive about your situation and more understanding about hers and maybe you guys can work on your relationship…and the future

Our son and dil have 2 autistic kids about 1.5 yrs apart. They had paras to help, with special training. It wasn’t easy but they made it work ; ) They are 16 and 18yo now. Wonder ful loving kids!

As a mom of an older autistic/MR child with a progressive and deadly brain disease that causes…well. 1 st you need help. You can’t be a good mom and it’s not good for the kids if you don’t have help. They should be in therapies, there are support groups, get them on the waiver list that is a golden ticket for a special needs family. There are day supports and help for them and you. You all deserve it.

Light fragrance lotions to help with stimulations. Go into stores preferably with one child very late at night when there are little to no people
Find a “setting to bring your children” so you have a break
If you have a visual routine schedule change color and tell them about the change ahead of time, even if it’s a walk around the block. Both of these children qualify for special school services. Language and social skills Fight for it. Your children deserve it so do you. It will be tough on them and you for a while but so beneficial for both of you.
For out what calms the overstimulation. Seek help From the county too
Good luck, stay strong