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The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side…

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I have “the grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome. In my mind I’m ALWAYS comparing Kyle to other ASD kids saying to myself “why can’t he be more like ___?”

The wife doesn’t have this syndrome. In fact we’ll be at an event with multiple disabilities and we’ll see a mom getting the ramp down in the minivan to wheel her severely PHYSICALLY disabled kid into the event and my wife will say “see we could have it that rough, be thankful for what we have”. But wouldn’t you know it my brain goes to “yeah but I’ll bet that kid can talk or at the very least communicate his wants and needs. He might even hold down a job, or go to college…”

Damn this brain of mine!!

Anybody else have “the grass is always greener on the other side syndrome?”

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” :-).

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10 People Replies to “The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side…”

  1. Karin

    I have the grass is always greener syndrome on two sides. My 12 year old kid has autism AND has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a severe physical disability that will significantly shorten his life. I envy both sides, those whose kids only have autism, and those whose kids only have DMD. Then I feel guilty for envying them and wondering why we got dealt the hand we were. Then I realize that it is pointless to try to compare our struggles because they are ALL difficult.

  2. Anonymous

    My kids are great. But this week I went with my boy w autism to try a new activity and another boy w autism there was so high functioning he greeted me, sat there through a talk, answered all questions, only spoke when appropriate, etc. and I couldn't help wondering – why was he diagnosed? Meanwhile my boy is all over the place, not listening, not engaging, and this mom is telling me how wonderful that is – that we're all unique and precious with a purpose in this world. She also patted my arm. So yeah, I have grass is greener syndrome. I think it's partly guilt, fear that if I had somehow done more or differently my boy would have fewer challenges.

  3. For some reason, I don't feel jealous of people with typical kids, but I can get into a total jealous fit about all the people with higher-functioning kids with special needs. Especially kids who act really affectionate, or can interact with their siblings. I feel so embarrassed of this part of myself, but at the same time, I guess it is plain old human nature.
    On the other hand, I can get a lot of satisfaction sharing disgusting poop stories with other parents of severe kids. You takes your fun where you find it, I suppose.

  4. yep! Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if Vinnie didnt wasnt asd! hes my first child so I dont know what its like to have a normal child! Logan is only ten months but hes real smart like Vinnie and Logan is a bit easyer only because hes easy going and he seems to be ok( no red flags of being asd)I hope Logan stays just the way he is with no signs of being asd. I know the risk is high of him possably haveing it to but, there is also that slight chance that Logan will be normal!

  5. Mary

    Definately. Some days I wonder if Alex will ever make any progress. If he will ever speak in full sentences (he has 3-4 useful, consistant words), be potty trained, use a spoon without me hovering… All of the autistic kids Alex's age (9) and older seem to have at least some practical skills, even your kyle can hop up on a sink to get a drink of water 🙂 so I keep watching, waiting, working. And I wonder some days what it would be like for myself, my marriage and my other 4 kids if Alex was "normal". Then in the next thought I think that's ridiculous and ungrateful to even wish that because Alex is wonderful, he's taught me and his brothers so very much just the way he is and he thinks he's just fine 🙂 It's good to know i'm not the only one who has those thoughts.

  6. Sharon Murphy

    Yeah, but life is life. I had a miscarriage before each live birth. I was terrified for each of the 5 pregnancies after the first one. If we didn't think the grass was greener about our children, it would be about our jobs, or our homes, or even our spouses. Having children like we do makes us educators to the rest of the world. We ARE the wise men on the mountain, telling the future generations, this is what's going on, and this is what you can do about it. I know, I've been where you are. Living the life we do makes us stronger. And more weary! And more tolerant, and more willing to give comfort to someone else when they've just had enough for the day. We haven't completed the journey, but we can see the route. And we can see that there are friendly faces along the way. Not everyone can say that.

  7. The grass is greener, the dirt is browner, the trees have more leaves….Autism SUCKS! Those people who say autism just makes their kid special they love them "just the way they are" are NUTS! I love my little boy to pieces but I'd love it a lot more if he weren't autistic. (or banging the dang remote control on the coffee table right now!)

  8. Anonymous

    I have it, and my husband is just like your wife, he just gave me that speech this afternoon, I'm not buying it though! We have 2 boys on the spectrum and he said to me today "I wonder what it's like to have a normal kid?" I told him, it's a lot easier! I have a 23 year old daughter with no problems, so I speak from experience!

    1. Anonymous

      I have 2 beautiful young men that have autism, one is 32 and the other is 14. I'm so very proud of them. I also have a normal daughter 27, and she has given me more grief and heartache than both boys…..just saying

  9. tracy

    I totally agree with you. My son has cerebal palsy as well as autism. I have seen many looks when he comes off the school bus cause he has to come down using the lift. I say my son is no different from you or myself. God will let him know one day when he will be able to walk. But until that day..he has his wheels. Just this afternoon, I was waiting at the bus stop and a little boy who's in 1st grade was asking me questions about my son…I told him that my son likes to do things like any other kid, but he has his special way. We never know what tomorrow may bring..I just enjoy one day at a time.