Young daugh­ter with Asperger’s gets lit­tle at­ten­tion from her dad

The Tribune (SLO) - - Fun & Games - Con­tact Dear Abby at www. DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

Dear Abby: My hus­band is more in­ter­ested in hang­ing out with his friends than car­ing about our 11-year-old daugh­ter who has Asperger’s syn­drome. She’s a great kid and smart, but she has chal­lenges and needs help. It falls to me to do ev­ery­thing with and for her.

I need him to par­tic­i­pate more where she’s con­cerned, but he loses pa­tience with her and with me. He re­sents hav­ing to pay for ther­apy and mu­sic lessons for her (she loves mu­sic), but he had no hes­i­ta­tion about buy­ing him­self an ex­pen­sive sports car— not for us but for him. He’s ac­tu­ally go­ing away for a week­end with his bud­dies!

I’ve thought about mar­riage coun­sel­ing, but he isn’t in­ter­ested. I feel over­whelmed and very alone. Please help. — Like a Sin­gle Mom in San Fran­cisco

Dear Like a Sin­gle

Mom: I’ll try. For­give my sar­casm, but it ap­pears you mar­ried a real “win­ner”— self­ish and lack­ing the com­pas­sion and ma­tu­rity to deal with the chal­lenges your fam­ily is fac­ing. Be­cause your hus­band is un­will­ing to go with you for mar­riage coun­sel­ing, you would ben­e­fit from talk­ing to a li­censed ther­a­pist on your own. When you do, it may give you a broader per­spec­tive on what your op­tions are.

Dear Abby: Eight years ago, my mother, then age 86, came to live with me. My life has changed sub­stan­tially in the last two years, and I need to move to an­other state. My hus­band al­ready lives there, and I want to be with him. My mother’s anx­i­eties and fears are what’s hold­ing me back.

I have told her she can live with us there, or at a brand-new as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity that’s about to open in the town. Al­ter­na­tively, she could move back to our home­town where my re­tired sis­ter lives and stay in an as­sisted liv­ing fa­cil­ity there. Her re­main­ing in this city is not an op­tion be­cause I’m the only per­son she knows here, and it’s eight hours from where I will be.

Con­ver­sa­tions with her on this sub­ject are dif­fi­cult as she prefers to ig­nore them, choos­ing only to con­sider her own needs. Her over­all health is man­age­able, and she’s do­ing well cog­ni­tively. She has not been hos­pi­tal­ized in two years. What do I do?— Tak­ing Care in Florida

Dear Tak­ing Care: Con­tinue mov­ing for­ward with your plans to re­lo­cate to be with your hus­band. Tell your mother you are giv­ing her the choice of whether to re­side with you or near your sis­ter, but make clear she must make up her mind be­cause you need to know whether you will have to ac­com­mo­date her in your new home. Give her a dead­line to let you know her pref­er­ence, but if she re­fuses, make sure she un­der­stands that by de­fault she’ll be liv­ing near your sis­ter.

JEANNEPHILLIPS

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