For some families, it is possible to care for their children with autism at home with just some additional support. In other cases, the behaviours that go along with autism make such a situation impossible and there is a need to send the child to a group home.
The second scenario is our story. Twice.
Both our daughter and son ended up going into a group home, although not at the same time. Thankfully, they are now together in the same group home.
My purpose for this post is to share some insight into just one aspect of this difficult situation. There is an immediate sense of guilt when the decision is made and the child leaves the home for the first time. But there is another type of guilt that comes some time later. The family eventually feels some relief with the child out of the home.
Life becomes less hectic. The house becomes less damaged. The nights become less sleepless.
Although all of this is good, it brings its own type of guilt. Is a parent a bad person for feeling the relief of the child not being there? Whatever the answer to that question, the guilt will be there.
If you desire to support a family with autism and they have a child (or two) who leave for a group home, be aware of this dynamic. They will need you love and lack of judgment.