Hello to all,
I hope you won’t find my message “out of order” but here goes: I have this great colleague and she looked worn out and upset today so I took the liberty to offer help. Turns out one of her 3 children is autistic and the strain is becoming tremendous. She explained that when the child was smaller, things were somewhat less difficult (if I may say so) in the sense that she was dealing with everything, buffering him and carrying the burden. Now the child is about 6 and the outside world is more and more present – he is stepping out of the family sphere far more (shops, swimming pool, market, restaurant, etc, life!). People and other children are making comments and these are often insensitive (at best) – it is all so difficult, for the parents but also for the 2 younger siblings. I understand that there could be a transition phase, when a child’s difficulties become more “public”, if that’s the word. I feel my boss is at this point in her life and I was so stuck for anything to say. I found a few words of comfort but they felt weak. I would welcome your advice. Is there any practical advice, just words of comfort that could help in this situation? I would be happy to print your replies and pass them on to her – your advice will have real value. I am a mother of 3 myself but this situation is special and I don’t feel my advice carries enough weight. Many thanks for considering my request.