Perception of loneliness

The feeling of isolation that tends to linger when you have a child with unusual needs- side note: I honestly prefer not to use the word special because the term gift wraps the condition. Though the child is a gift, the circumstances are challenging and burdensome. The energy it takes to raise, worry, and provide for one with unusual needs is daunting. The journey has made me more grateful, stronger, and resilient. However, loneliness describes the social climate; dating, friendships, and time for self-care become extinct, not paying attention because you are trying to survive another day or moment. In multi-parent households, many families have a dominant parent who is more committed, present, or more interested in becoming an expert on the condition—leaving the feeling of a single parent. Sacrifice is another word that comes to mind: incapable of seeing what you have abandoned, grief because of the loss of relationships, loss of dreams and visions for their lives that you may never get to experience.
Also, there can be opposition to how one views the condition itself. While one sees the condition, one parent may not acknowledge it, creating tension.

You don’t have to be alone (Change the Perception)

For both caregivers and parents experiencing this, I can only advise finding support, whether that be family, friends, or other outside resources. Autism Parent support groups can be a great place to start, even if one is interested. The group can be a safe place to express helpful and complex topics related to raising children on the spectrum. The group can also help provide tools for learning how to manage challenging issues. For the partners, I say grace because both of you will have your set of challenges that will present themselves over time, whether that is grief, loss, or any other sentiments that come with navigating a relationship while raising a child on the spectrum. Lastly, having empathy for another is also essential to maintain the relationship and keep the connection strong.