1. LP
    September 26, 2016 @ 11:44 am

    Love this. Beautifully written and beautiful picture!


  2. Karen
    September 26, 2016 @ 11:49 am

    That picture speaks volumes. Thank you.


  3. signer1999
    September 26, 2016 @ 1:06 pm


    I, too, live with anxiety (though not with ASD). You have hit the nail on the proverbial head with how anxiety feels. It is exactly like a snake; it hibernates for a while and we forget that the snake is as venomous as it is. And then it wakes up and it bites and we are – once again – at it’s mercy.
    I, too, like Jack, have a miraculous healer. She is my Shiloh and she is a 10-year old black lab. She has walked me through the worst of the attacks and she has been by my side for these many years. She reminds me that even though the venom pulses through my veins, the snake will return to hibernation soon. She is my lifeline. I, too, take medications. And they help. But not like Shiloh does. Thank you for continuing to shed light on autism and on your family and on hope. The world needs you to keep speaking up.


  4. GP
    September 26, 2016 @ 2:04 pm

    I learned that my own anxiety over my child’s diagnoses only increased my child’s anxiety. I had to carefully look at myself and how I communicated anxiety in order to change it. It was not easy, but it did help my child (along with medication, teaching coping strategies and positive thinking, and creating a stress-free, peaceful haven at home-meaning a home environment that is truly accomodating to the child’s special needs and anxiety). In order to imagine how a child may perceive a parent’s anxiety, we could imagine how we would feel if we were ill and our doctor would get anxious and show his or her anxiety in the way he or she communicated with us as well as with family and friends. I think by showing our own anxiety, we tend to increase the child’s anxiety and possibly make the child feel quite hopeless.


  5. terismyth
    September 26, 2016 @ 6:25 pm

    Our 23 yr old son has issues with anxiety also. It usually raises it’s ugly head when he gets overwhelmed w writing his college papers. Just yesterday he had to get a test done and write an essay by a particular deadline. These deadlines cramp his style and make him “shut down” in which case he doesn’t do them at all. He refuses to take meds. We’ve tried. When my husband called him out on his attitude and pointed out that he can’t give up, Andrew rallied and finished his test and paper. At his age, he resists help and is horrible about asking for help. That is the disability. We stare it in the face quite often.
    This is his 6th yr in college, but only needs 5 more classes to graduate. He insists that he wants this, so we are supportive. We have systems in place, tutors, disability counselors, resource teachers- All of them following along on his progress ready to catch him when he falls or slides off track. A mother’s work is never done, but keep on staying positive Carrie. Things do get better.


  6. Cheryl Gratton
    October 2, 2016 @ 2:15 am

    Hi Carrie~

    I can so totally relate to most everything you’ve said – it sounds like you’re describing my son! He’s 14, has ADHD, anxiety (big time) and is prob. on the Autism spectrum – per his psychiatrist. We tried different things for his anxiety, and finally found Prozac to be helpful. He’s afraid of dogs, loud automatic toilets, fireworks, being alone or out of my line of sight (he’s currently sleeping on the office floor as I type), etc. When we go to restaurants, he’ll ask the waitress if the toilets are loud, not what the daily specials are! And he has to ask wherever we go if there will be dogs there. Our newer priest does the annual Blessing of the Animals inside the church, during Mass instead of in the parking lot before Mass like past priests have. So the dogs are there for the full Mass – and we have to make sure we avoid that one. It’s coming soon!

    But the straw that broke the camel’s back came when he started having panic attacks in the shower, and would bolt out covered in soap. That’s one thing that can’t be avoided. I’m always with him when he showers, both because of the anxiety and to act as a shower coach, to remind him which parts need to be washed. If he did it on his own, he’d have the world’s cleanest chest……and the stinkiest body. 🙂

    Prozac has really helped him a lot. Not a cure, but he no longer fidgets with the front of his shirt when he’s anxious and is fine in the shower. He has actually asked some of the neighbors who are out walking their dogs if he could pet them. But he is still afraid of loud noises – parades and fireworks, especially. And still picks at the chronic sore on his finger.

    Thanks for the great article. Sounds a lot like my life!


  7. SleepyMom
    October 3, 2016 @ 11:46 am

    So true! Your words are an eloquent picture of anxiety. More than anything my childrens’ anxiety disorders (and my husbands) have been the very hardest thing about life – anxiety has stolen our joy, years at a time, exhausted us, isolated us, changed everything about the way I thought our life would be, and trained us to have no plans or expectations about the future. For us it was age 7 when things got scary bad (tics, delusions, compulsions, even less sleeping than usual, a need for constant reassurance even to do everyday things, keening/twitching under the table meltdowns about homework, ramped up phobias, tense muscles, random vomiting . . .). Now I have a newborn (a shocking surprise of a third child) and I hope and pray more than anything else that she too will not be saddled with anxiety. There’s a very long list of conditinos I would gladly trade for my kids’ anxiety to go away. Sigh. Good luck, hoping this is just a little bump in Jack’s anxiety, a short flare-up that will get better soon.


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