A journey through grief with autism.

Alan Greenwell

3-Minute Read


Over the past few days things have changed. We had been out for a walk around the park and something clicked in Tam. Before we even got home he was asking about the photos on the memory wall. At home he points at the photo and I tell him the story of when the photo was taken. An hour or after we got home he sat down at the computer and asked “more photos”. He had a quiet 30 minutes or so looking at photos and sometimes asking me about the photos. Not all were his Mammy, but a lot were.

Since we had that time with the photos things have gone downhill. Tam has become angry and is lashing out. It started late in the evening and went on all night. I have had to take his beloved TV remote off him because he was biting it so hard. Also his iPad has gone the distance because he banged his hands on it. He has been flipping between a lovely boy wanting tickles and cuddles to being really violent.

With no respite available I am using all of the techniques for keeping Tam calm and content that I have. A lot of times I am able to talk him down but a couple of times my fingers have taken the brunt end of his frustrations. He is so quick.

I hate been wary of my own boy. I hate holding back so it means that sometimes a cuddle in the moment of anger and crying ends up with a few scratches or a bite so be it. Part of parenthood.
We are still living a nocturnal life. Ask me to my face and I will say “as long Tam is happy it is fine”. Well, secretly it is getting a bit difficult now. Being up at night with only Tam’s iPad being the noise is tough. I know all of the Shrek films as well as Mr Peabody and Sherman by heart. If I try to put something on the TV all I get is “OFF” said over and over again. I might get away with putting headphones in but Tam uses that to go and empty the freezer.

2:39am Tam is happy and drawing at the moment. I am typing one handed as the other hand is strapped and sore but we are chilled and have our timetable to work to so not all bad. Plus Tam is now singing Live and Let Die.

Over the next few weeks I am going to try to write a little more. I have an idea of doing a drawing and a short post based on a theme of a postcard. We will see how that goes.

Alan & Tam

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