A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

2-Minute Read


Its Sunday at 11pm and Tam has been asleep on and off all day. 30 minutes here and hour there. A couple of hours ago he threw up. Still not sure if it was stress or ill. I can normally tell by the smell but this time I think it was half and half. Let’s put it this way, I cannot send him to school.

So 48 hours off school. If it goes according to other times, Tam will be quiet most of the day and then come to life about 3-4 pm. I kind of hope that it will play out exactly like that rather than any other way.

Part of it I know has been some of my anxiety feeding Tam. I had a bit of a day on Saturday when the grief monster grabbed me by the shoulders and threw me to the floor. My baby soul was crushed again. I know he picked up on that because he was very cuddly and kept taking me to the coffee machine. Bless my beautiful boy.

Saturday night was weird as Tam did not want to sleep and was just wanting to play. So we played until he asked to go to bed and my baby soul learnt to walk again. We had a nice lie in.

Here we are the whole world seems to have gone mad with COVID-19 panic buying. No Calpol in any of the pharmicies in Newcastle. Tam favourite foods are all perishable and 48 hours of trying to keep him fed and watered. At some point we will have to go out and do some shopping, but we will cross that bridge when we need to.

Now part of writing this is to draw attention to what every parent of special education needs kids will be thinking about or going through. The anxiety attached to any illness is high for any parent is high enough, but as I have written before, with a non verbal child or a child with multiple health difficulties the anxiety becomes all consuming. The worry is constant and never ending.

COVID-19 is just another one of those worries. It’s just an amplified worry.

So to all of the families out there with children with complicated lives and medical situations try to be calm, be strong, and above all stay safe.

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