A journey through grief with autism.

3-Minute Read

Tam & Mammy

Half term is over, respite was a success and the first 2 days at school took place. First day went fine, first night was great. My little lad was full of fun and knackered. He slept well. Second morning went ok but had a lot of tears as I sent him off to school. All however changed tonight.

Tam came home tired again and asked to go to bed early. Like 6pm early and went to sleep. So far so good. I got some sleep not knowing when he would wake. Well he woke at 11pm and was fine and then he changed. Full on attack mode came from nowhere. Biting, kicking, scratching. It took a while to calm him and then the tears came again. Half an hour or so of calmness and suddenly attack mode again. More biting and scratching and worse than the first time.

It’s now 3am and Tam is quiet in bed but not asleep. So calm and quiet are the current situation with a bit of anxiety about more explosions from Tam and how he will be in the next few hours when he has to go to school. All the explosions tonight have included Tam saying “no school”. What the hell am I meant to do?

All of the feedback from school is that he has had a good day. He’s been laughing and smiling, wanting tickles and having a good day doing his work, so why is he so anti-school? It does not make sense.

Well, it does not make sense until you add separation anxiety into the mix. I have always known that this would be a problem since Bev died. He watched the whole thing unfurl from CPR to being with her at hospital when her body gave up. It would be a problem with a normal kid, it is always being to be more of a problem with an autistic kid.

Over the past 2 years I have been protective of Tam and I know that I have spoiled him with affection. It was inevitable that I would. Bev would have done the same. To be honest me and Bev were very protective of Tam before and we have always spoiled him. For Tam to lose one of the centres of love and affection was always going to be difficult for him.

Now the way forward has removed a problem at school from the equation and is focussed almost solely on the separation anxiety. And right now that is not a simple fix. This will take time. It will not be easy and for now I expect this to probably take years before we make good progress. For now it will be a rough road. I will have to moderate my behaviour with Tam and find ways to make him feel more secure when he is away from me.

So for tonight it is no sleep. Hopefully Tam will get some more sleep tonight. Then off to school for him and some sleep for me. Then Tam will be home and we try little changes each night until we get some progress which stops Tam from lashing out. Some little change might be all we need. It might not be, but thats where we start.

So after a week of hoping that things were changing we are back on the long slog of grief and loss.

Sleep well

Alan & Tam

Recent Posts



Want to know more about us?