Now Reading: 8 Ways That The Grass Is Greener On My Side Of Autism Avenue Right Now….

8 Ways That The Grass Is Greener On My Side Of Autism Avenue Right Now….

When I started my Autism Daddy Facebook Page & blog it was a place to rant and vent and complain about my son’s autism. I’ve said a MILLION times on here that I LOVE my son but I’m not a huge fan of his autism.

And for years I had a huge case of “the grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome (I wrote about that HERE).  I would always in my mind be comparing my life and my kids struggles to my friends with typical kids and would get depressed and have a huge case of “why me?”

And when I hung out with our other autism parent friends I would look at their asd kids and would in my mind be comparing them to my son and seeing how far behind Kyle was. Some of their kids were severe but Kyle was severely severe and I would get depressed and have a huge case of “what are we doing wrong”

But I have to admit that since having this page & blog and reading about alot of your struggles I realize how lucky we are right now.  This is a product of reading some of your horror stories about your asd kids while my son is going thru a GREAT stretch behaviorally right now.

I never intended for me to get soft on you all :-), but I realize now how good the wife and I have it right now. And I don’t mean to compare some of your misfortune and pit it against what we’ve got going on…but hey it’s human nature. And now that I’ve got 4700+ followers I hear alot of stories and read about alot of your kids and more and more lately I’m coming out of it thinking “wow, maybe the grass is greener on my side!”

Don’t get me wrong. I know Kyle will go thru a bad stretch again soon and I’ll have plenty to rant and complain about.  And I know that if I look LONG TERM things get alot more murky. Kyle will need constant care and will be dependent on others for the rest of his life (even after the wife and I are long gone) and that’s something that if I think about alot it will keep me up at night…

But for right now, at this period we got it pretty good compared to alot of the other asd parents who read this page… 

So here’s 8 ways that IN MY MIND maybe the grass is greener on our side right now…

1) My commute to work is only about 40 minutes…I get to drive to work and work in the GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD, NYC and  my job / bosses are very flexible about my “home situation” and are ok with me having to “work from home” when necessary so I can go to a mtg at Kyles school or give the wife a break.

2) My kid is affectionate… Right now he’s overly affectionate with me and doesn’t give the wife much to work with, but it’s in there.  He can be very huggy/ kissy…

3) My kid is potty trained right now…  He lost it twice before and he’s been having alot of accidents lately, but he is somewhat trained and is malleable and amenable to being potty trained…(I write about our potty training method HERE)  And even when he was in pull ups he is not and never has been a “play with his poop” kid.  We talk about fecal smearing alot on my FB page cuz you guys talk about it…but my guy has never done this…so far….

4) My kid sleeps pretty well….  Lately he’s in a stretch where he’s been sleeping from about 8:30pm – 6:00am which means the wife and I can have some alone time which most nights means eating dinner on the couch in front of the tv until she passes out…and when he does go thru a stretch where he wakes up in the middle of the night the worst it is is like twice a week, and he’s happy while he’s awake…

5) My kid is not a runner…. I mean we still hold his hand tightly when we are out in public and we bring his autism service dog with us to alot of places, but lately Kyle is not likely to bolt off or run away

6) Kyle’s been very good behaviorally lately…  A little less manic add/ADHD…  At home he can tolerate the tv being off and playing in his room or in a little “nook” in the dining room or kitchen for 10-15 minutes at a time.  He is not an overly destructive kid right now.  And out of the house he’s been ALOT better going shopping, running errands.  This is one thing we know can change on a dime, especially after last summer’s “Summer Of Rage” so we are thrilled right now….

7)We have some respite…  Because Kyle sleeps well and is affectionate and is pretty good behaviorally he is somewhat easy to baby sit for. And if you’ve been reading this page long enough you’ll know that the wife and I take breaks and get sitters often. Going out and recharging our batteries is VITALLY important to the both of us. (I wrote about that HERE)  And we are extremely lucky & fortunate that we have the people in our lives who are willing to watch Kyle and that Kyle is “watchable”.  I’m really afraid of that not being the case when he’s older…. but for now we will use it to our advantage…

8) The wife and I have each other. And we are both “all in” and committed to each other, and to our marriage, and to raising our only child.

Those are the 8 that came to me off the top of my head.  There are definitely more…

Don’t get me wrong we still have major issues and Kyle is still severely autistic.  His receptive and expressive language are at an 18 month level and have been for YEARS….but he’s very happy right now which makes mom & dads lives alot brighter.  I always say since Kyle is our only child the wife and I live & die by his moods and his behaviors. When he’s going thru a good stretch we all are and when he’s a terror we all at each other throats…

But for right now, even though he’s non-verbal, even though he hasn’t made any significant progress in a LONG time, even though he still holds his breath ALL THE TIME, even though he has to be fed like a baby cuz he barely eats and is still at risk of losing weight, he is happy so we are happy and in a good place right now…

So right now the grass on our lawn on Autism Avenue is green and thick and luscious.  Let’s hope it stays that way for a LONG time.

var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push([‘_setAccount’, ‘UA-25522671-1’]);

(function() {
var ga = document.createElement(‘script’); ga.type = ‘text/javascript’; ga.async = true;
ga.src = (‘https:’ == document.location.protocol ? ‘https://ssl’ : ‘http://www’) + ‘’;
var s = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);

Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

Conversation (22)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

22 People Replies to “8 Ways That The Grass Is Greener On My Side Of Autism Avenue Right Now….”

  1. Anonymous

    Lol…and I thought I was the only one going crazy about "a lot" Other than that I love this blog and always look forward to the posts. Amazing family you have!

  2. Anonymous

    I would give anything to be on the other side if only for a week. I'm very jealous that my friends don't have to change diapers or hold a 14yr old hand when out treat my child like a 2yr old. friends don't visit or call I can't talk or visit and as one (so-call)friend told me she except my child as a person she just don't want to deal with my child so she just stay away. Even family stay away the bigger and older my child get and there are days often I want to run. Even the school have back off and just stay within the law. ;(

  3. I am so happy for your new found super-optimism! I JUST wrote about the same thing! Great minds think alike, right? 😉

    Keep up the great work and remember to keep fertilizing that lawn!

  4. My life has improved since I found yours and the single mothers raising kids with autism pages on facebook. Before I was in despair because its only me and I live rural so to socialise him I drive him 4 times a week once to a playcentre, twice to a kindergarten and one full day he goes to day care now and I am a lot happier. Im still waiting on the second signature that opens the doors to help (here in New zealand) so we dont have any drugs to help us (I do now for me) because they wont give him any till we get that second signature and man its a process of waiting in line for months, so thats also helped. Im a Grandparent raising a Grandchild (him) so what was already a big ask is really just HUGE but we love each other and he is high functioning so is over verbal and hes a runner, kicker, hitter, biter, thrower of things and lately tantrums too (Good Lord)Im dreading sending him to school because they have no fences but I guess we'll play that one by ear and they can chase him down for a change LOL
    Thankyou for having your FB page its a great help.

  5. Lisa Walker

    I am really happy for your family !

  6. Anonymous

    This is what its all about! My little man sounds very much like Kyle. Billy is 8yrs old, non verbal, in the early stages of daytime potty training, still fed by mummy,wants to eat his food off the floor, self stimulates inappropiately, constantly removes his clothes, still has a bottle to sleep, obsessed with technology and controlling it, wakes up at 3am at least once a week and the list goes on. Then all he has to do is smile at me or hug me and the none of that other stuff matters! The happiness he brings me just from a smile makes it all worth it!

  7. Anonymous

    I'm glad to hear that your son is on a good stretch right now….my son is almost 11, moderately autistic…he does have some language (he can request desired items with one word..)…but he had severe behavior problems…aggression, smearing, throwing objects, etc…we switched schools, and we see a dramatic change…so, we are also on the greener side right now…we realize that it won't last forever, but after rain, there's a rainbow….

  8. Anonymous

    You know what I'm impressed by? How absolutely awesome most autism parents are and how they manage to find the good in what can sometimes be absolutely awful…..It really speaks volumes about your characters and as someone who is just coming to grips with all of this, I salute you all and thank you for teaching me by your example. Thank you. Nancy

  9. What ive found is when we go through the rough times, we get over whelmed by small things. by stopping for aminute and looking at the big picture its really not bad. AT ALL!

  10. Gail T Kaniuka

    I always look at my girls autism like the song, "Life is a Jumprope". We have our ups and downs and the both can be very high and low at time. I to was getting jealous when I see typical kids and their parents but than think that would be oh so boring to be typical. We went from a brown lawn and now we have green with some patches of brown. We embrace every stage our lawn goes through. We are blessed that each day she makes a stride forward but always know that step back will be there. Like the song says "life is like a jumprope, up, down, up, down". We just wish we had more services and support where we live. Love reading your post. It help me feel I am not alone.

  11. Ok. Now you've gone and made me a bit jealous. How dare you. 😛

    lol Just kidding. 🙂 I don't think I could get mad at you if I tried. lol You keep things real, both the good and the bad, and I honestly thank you for that. 🙂

    David isn't doing so great lately but he still has his things that I am thankful for. For isntance he's very loving and cuddly. He may not always show it or be "in the mood" for it, but I know deep down that he loves me (and his brother) even when he's totally losing it and I am enduring yet another beating as I try to keep him safe from himself and calm him down. I know because he has been able to show me in hugs, kisses, interaction, cuddling, etc. during his "good/calm" times. I know not all parents can say that so I will always be extremely thankful for that part of my precious David. 🙂

    He also helps me remember to slow down and smell the roses in life from time to time. A precious gift to be given whether Autism has taken over your life or not. 🙂

  12. Anonymous

    sometimes i think it would be easier to have a child such as yours, specially tonight when my pdd-nos, adhd, odd 13 yo looses control and turns the house into a war zone, i sometimes miss when he was younger and easier to manage now he is to smart for his own good and doesnt realize the choices he is making now are going to hurt him in the future. when he had his iq test young and it scored what it did i always said i hoped he never figured out he was smater than me. He has and if there is any type of loop hole watch out he will find it and use it to his advantage. now i just have to make sure there is no wiggle room for anything.

  13. Anonymous

    I have to point out the one thing in your blog that drives me insane… A lot is two words not one. Lol

    1. Sounds like something my sister would say. This isn't my sister is it?

  14. Anonymous

    I completely understand what you mean. My son,Xavier , sleeps through the night, is affectionate, only has a melt down every couple of months and even then they are mild by comparison, eats a variety of foods, and is always a happy little boy. He has his draw backs though, lack of speech, not Potty trained,etc. But all in all the grass is greener on our side.

  15. Tracy jetet

    It's nice to read this. Took me years before I started seeing that there are some good points. When I stopped living in the problem things just didn't seem so damn bad ll the time. We were kinda rolling along. Things kinda ok. And this past week we take him to his autism dr and he has bacteria in his blood. Don't know how long or in what shape his organs are in. All from yeast. So if anyone wants to claim autism isn't medical…talk to me. If you think it can't take a life…think again. Not that we are there. But this bacteria in the organs can shut them down. Haven't one those tests yet. So yeah AD…grab hold of the good days, recognize them for what they are. And to anyone whose child has stomach issues..don't dismiss it. That's where we started and now we are somewhere we damn sure do not want to be. But we are still seeing that our grass is still pretty green. Awesome blog

  16. Anonymous

    Yeah I read alot of post and I think for the most part I have it pretty easy right now too…my son will be 4 in August is non verbal, but he is very lovable and gives hugs and kisses all the time, not many tantrums only if he wants something and we can't figure out what it is, he is a very good boy for the most part..he goes in and out of good sleeping patterns..right now he wakes up in the middle of the night on days he does not have school..which means this week is gonna suck.. But good all and all..not sure what the future holds but we will see..and I will always love him no matter what ..

  17. Lately I have realized that my grass is pretty even if it has bald spots. My David is great, only occasional meltdowns and since we got chewlry he's leaving his shirt sleeves and collars intact. Also, we are blessed to have my mom around she usually watches him if I want to go to the store without kids.

  18. Anonymous

    I so enjoy following you & seeing everyone's posts.
    Oh, and especially like when you link back to your other posts.
    The grass at our house has been seen as green for quite some time. There's always gonna be someone that has it better & the same for worse.
    Saw this on fb this am:
    "The happiest people don't have the best of everything… they make the best of everything they have"


  19. Anonymous

    Kyle is the closest comparison I can find to my son. It's great not to feel alone! One day we shall potty train! Lol

  20. I always love your stories, lists, basically everything you post. Thanks for reminding us that even though things may be cloudy, there are ALWAYS reasons to be thankful 🙂