Dating someone special needs child
It would have been a disaster if he decided he didn’t want me around Alan.So the first time I met him, I was very quiet and was careful to stay in the background – but he gave me hugs and was very tactile.I can do things with Sam that Alan and Diane wouldn’t consider, because I’ve never adapted my behaviour to suit him.For example, he ‘allows’ me to answer the phone; he won’t let Alan and Diane do it.Sometimes I worry when I see Francesca getting upset about Sam’s behaviour. Sometimes I think I can take a step back when Alan can’t, and this is helpful.I am concerned about our daughters’ future adult relationship with their half-brother, especially as he won’t be able to live independently. Recently Sam was self-harming, which was very upsetting for both Sam and Alan, but it was easier for me to be objective and try to calm him down, as I have less of an emotional tie.knows the demands of caring for a child with special needs - and the pressures it puts on a marriage.
We constantly try to anticipate situations that will upset Sam.
Our relationship with Diane is really good, and because there are more people involved with Sam, we all have the energy to maintain a good relationship with him. I often pre-empt what Sam is going to do and will do it for him, whereas Nik will push him to make him do things for himself. His eldest sister, Charlotte, went to sibling classes at 11 to help her understand Sam and communicate with him, and has always been unperturbed by his behaviour.
Sam is very demanding and has been challenging me in particular recently. The positive relationship we have now didn’t happen overnight – there has been considerable blood, sweat and tears over the years. Olivia didn’t go to classes, and she sometimes has difficulty relating to him.
But I wasn’t worried about what I was taking on, because I had no comprehension of what autism is.
You always have to tread carefully meeting children who might become your stepchildren, but I had to be extra cautious with Sam because he can make definite decisions about people.
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Diane can’t take him on holiday on her own, and Nik and I are happy to do that.