Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 22

Thread: How has having a child with special needs affected your family size?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default How has having a child with special needs affected your family size?

    I desperately want another baby. Our eldest son has autism and it's just too hard looking after him. He has issues with transitions and things have to go 'just right' or else he doesn't cope and I end up having to carry him around, sometimes while he's kicking and screaming.

    He was harder when DS2 was a small baby as DS1 was much more prone to violent outbursts then, but he's still hard now. It was hell actaully and we barely left the house for a while. I was used to carrying my baby in a sling and I couldn't anymore because I had to be ready to carry a violent child instead. We started going everywhere with a double pram. Now I'm not quite sure how I would manage it. My DS1 is too big for a lot of prams. What do I do with my DS2? Part of me is keen to put my head in the sand and just get pregnant then work it out. Another part of me knows that's not a good idea if we all want to live through their childhoods and I need to know it'll work before we have a third. Other option is to keep leaving a bigger age gap so my DS2 is even more independent and less prone to carpark dashes in front of cars etc.

    What did you do? Did having a child with special needs stop you having more children? Reconsider the age gap? Change your family plans in any way?


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    My dh was already happy to stop at two, but I thought it might be nice to have another. Once ds2's autism became more noticeable and started to affect our day to day lives more I knew that having a third would be impossible. Now I have no desire at all to have another baby. Financially and emotionally it would put way too much pressure on our family. I'm happy to concentrate everything that we have into the beautiful two that we already have itms? Not sure if that answer will help you with your decision though! It is hard being a special needs family, isn't it?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    I wish I was happy to stop. I know that if we just stop and focus on these two gorgeous little kids we can really thrive as a family. The good days are freaking awesome, you know? And then the hard days get me down and I think if I added another baby the hard days would be more frequent and we'd stop thriving and just be surviving. Why chose that? For any of us?

    Being a special needs family is really hard. Some days I hate that it affects so much of our lives and other days I feel all zen and remember that EVERY kid affects so much of your life. That's just parenting and the uniqueness of every child. But it is much more challenging.

    I'm glad we didn't know what was going to happen with our DS1 or maybe we wouldn't have had DS2 when we did but in the end it's ended being the best thing as they're such great friends and our family wouldn't be what it is with only one of them. Which is what starts swaying me to having another because I know once we got over the hard part another sibling would add so much to both of my son's lives and to all of us as a family.

    ETA: My H was always happy to stop at 2 too. He was kind of open to more but he's struggling to think that's a good idea now.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    I don't know, I mean, without being in your exact situation- both financially and emotionally, it's impossible to tell you what you should do. Can I ask you a couple of questions? And they may be hard hitting so you need to take them in love iykwim?

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    Sure.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    Ok. What school is your ds1 attending/going to attend?
    Do you realize that your chances of having another asd child are hugely increased by already having one?
    How would it affect your family/life to have a severely low functioning asd child?
    I hope I haven't offended you at all, but I think these are things you need to think about.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    We're vague on school at the moment. Can I ask why you ask that?

    I do realise the odds of another child with an ASD are increased. But I also feel we're addressing the health issues that cause ASD so we're stopping the cycle.

    Having a child with any severe disability is a chance we would be taking every time we had children. I think it would affect our lives a lot.

    I have no fear about the health of a future child so it's hard to put on the brakes out of fear when I don't have any. I guess the intention is to drum some into me? I don't mean that to offensive either... just assessing your p.o.v. which is certainly valid.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North Northcote
    Posts
    8,065

    Default

    I was about to jump in ask if you have worries about having another special needs kid thrown into the mix...you beat me to it by answering that one lol.

    how long was the really really hard times with DS1 and DS2 together? Do you think that it could last as long again? Thinking that you guys are pretty settled where you are...no OS move, GAPS well and truly part of your lives, social connections being made etc. i know that is a bit of 'how long is a piece of string' question, but this is the stuff that i have thought about after my PTSD and wondered if i could go through it again ITMS.

    I know that our situation is different in that no doubt DD3s needs will resolve and the impacts on our lives directly are no where near as intense as with that of a child with an ASD, but it is raising questions for us about how we feel about adding to our brood (ie: will we cope if this continues, what would be the hardest aspects, is it fair to our other kids, what if the next baby also is born with needs beyond the norm etc etc). in our situation DH and I tend to want to prepare for the worst (ie when we wanted another baby after our first we just concluded that i would collapse and fall apart with the PTSD, and TBH at the moment we are not sure whether to take the plunge for another due to DD3s stuff that is going on.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    The reason I asked about the school is that I'm wondering if you will be put into a situation where you need to pay for some sort of private schooling.
    My belief is that asd is genetic and that the cycle cannot be stopped. I'm guessing that's different from your belief?
    I'm not trying to drum anything into you, I guess I'm just justifying my decisions in an attempt to circulate and process ideas to help in your decision itms?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    North West Victoria, Australia
    Posts
    3,003

    Default

    DD isn't autistic but requires a lot of dr appointments and medical requirements, so as soon as she was diagnosed with her birth defect we decided that our plans of 3-4 children would be DD and MAYBE another one.

    It was upsetting to change our plans but we know that any more children would affect being able to give DD the help she needs, harder to make it to appointments, medical costs, etc.

    We did have DS but he quite happily goes along with the flow and was very healing for us.

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    I can relate to that a lot Charlotte. One of my H's concerns over having another baby is whether I will be able to keep running my son around to all the therapies he does. But I already did that with one baby who was fine with it so I don't see the problem.

    I DO see that I will be more tired and stretched though and interacting with my son at home would be harder. He would happily watch TV all day and it's a lot of work to engage him in play. Having another baby could very possibly let him down in that way. But then I'm looking having a baby when he would be in full day school so maybe it wouldn't be as bad then.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    Sounds like you've already made up your mind Meow.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,991

    Default

    I know what I want that's for sure!

    But I do understand the opposing views and I really want to explore them more as I am having trouble being sensible at the moment. I really appreciate you sharing your reasons for stopping having more children. That is what I really needed from this thread, to gain some perspective, so I appreciate it.

    I think there is a good chance we'll have another but when is the question really. I was a medically high-needs baby and my parents stopped after having me (second baby). My mum always wanted another though and after getting divorced she fell pregnant in a brief relationship... 13 years after having me. It doesn't give me much faith that the desire goes away!

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Eastern Wheatbelt WA
    Posts
    3,282

    Default

    For us it wasn't so much the special needs side of things but it was the thought of putting another child through the NICU (my boys were prem). Our eldest has ASD, among a few other lesser diagnosis (SPD, speech disorder, developmental delays in all areas) and he has also had some very severe health issues (he's had 6 surgeries one of which Drs are amazed he survived). Our youngest has SPD and Social Anxiety, we've had it suggested we have him 'tested' for Autism however if he does fall under the spectrum it doesn't affect him all that much (mainly as we already have the routines, therapies, etc in place).

    Our chances of a 3rd child being full term is very very slim which increases the chances of another SN child. Emotionally I can not handle another high risk pregnancy, I was highly medicated throughout DS2s pregnancy for not only PTSD and AND but also to try and prevent per term delivery. I was in and out of hospital meaning DS1 was quite often 'dumped' with whoever could take him. We don't have the family support we did back then, mainly due to distance, we live further from Perth than we did then.

    I had my tubes tied, against medical advice, at 24. Sometimes I wonder what if and some days I think we could have had a 3rd but on the bad days I'm glad we didn't. It wasn't an easy choice and we had a lot to consider, but I feel we made the right one

    Good luck!

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    1,385

    Default

    My situation is a bit different. My ds's issues are more medical in nature. I can relate to charlottes thinking about appointments and medical expenses.
    For us, and its incredibly morbid, but our thinking about a third was the knowledge that we have no idea how long ds will be with us. He could live another 60 years or we could lose him tomorrow. I couldn't bare the thought of dd being alone once dh and I were gone. We always wanted three but she was really what swayed the decision for us. (That and an oops pregnancy. Lol) so for us I guess, ds's special needs made it more important that we had a third.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Middle Victoria
    Posts
    8,924

    Default

    My story is also different. Although neither of my kids has any symptoms at this time, they have a high chance of inheriting my neuro condition. I did not TTC for any of my pregnancies. My first in particular was quite a surprise, however, i am very grateful for this because i was really struggling with making the decision to TTC, knowing the risks. In saying this, i think i have pushed my luck as far as i can go, for my health through pregnancies, and for my kids and i want more permanent contraception once this baby is here.

    i guess i have gone a bit with the head in the sand, i will deal with things as they come up, and things will be ok.

    My parents wanted more kids but stopped after me due to one of my brothers and i having talipes. Their reasons were not wanting to put another child through treatments etc, once it appeared that there was a genetic component.
    Last edited by HotI; August 25th, 2013 at 06:57 PM.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.
    Posts
    5,673

    Default

    How old are your kids now Meow?

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Country Victoria
    Posts
    1,991

    Default

    Having a child with special needs has not affected my decision to have more children, I have four children, my oldest turned 5 in May, she has a rare chromosome abnormality as a result she has global developmental delay, very minimal and unclear speech, still in nappies, mild hearing loss, sleep apnoea and a range of medical issues that are currently under control - she has a full time aide at kinder and will also have one in prep when we decide on a school. My second and third born have got congenital heart disease, my forth born is healthy. We are maybe considering just one more, maybe.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •