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November 5, 2020 3:30 am
John and I discussed a young man who, at 21, has a 4-year-old son with autism. While having a 4-year-old can be stressful in any situation, autism brings a intense set of challenges. We shared pathways to safety and help for this young man ...and others living with similar circumstances.
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We try to put as much stuff out there as we possibly can. John pivot switch gears a little bit you. You introduce me to a scenario and I like you said it upset the tables talk about. Sure sure okay so a this out. A friend of a friend but a dear friend of mine ran into this individual you babe. They've been working with him for some time and this young gentleman is 21 is just a kid and I don't know. While I know what led up to it, but he finds himself, and I'm sure the details but he finds himself with a very autistic, profoundly autistic son and he's 21 and his job is suffering his emotional stability is suffering and I don't know what kind of emotional stability.
I had a 21 bytes, emotional stability, added 57 yeah I fights he's just no real I mean he's that way non-significant nonzero amount of despair in this and in sorrow and I yeah I remember you. I got not necessarily lucky, but I can't imagine having to deal with something like that at at that age.
So we I mean this this child is for five years old so this young man was 16 and 17 years old when when this journey started and babies having babies, babies having babies and I did say it's been going on for the entire recorded history of humanity. So this is not a judgment call. This is, is that it is a fact.
Yet it is brutal reality children and for you know of anybody that young to have a child to be responsible for another human being that is a brutal reality in of itself correct. Throw in profound autism you're dealing with a reality that is crippled many stable adults try and and and I think you mentioned that he had kind of a meltdown at work he did, and really I was and it was in the corner crying kind of thing and you know I I gotta tell you, when I heard that I could picture that I know the all the Lister skin to can picture that we've all if you had any kind of skin in the game as a caregiver, even in the corner crying or under the bed of the fetal position. If you get any skin in the game at this, you will understand what that level of despair feels like and and sometimes when you go to work. That's the only place that you could do that and that's than that your job suffers because it's not the appropriate place to do it and you don't know what else to do now and then getting out then summary comes down on you at work because you've been slipping or whatever because of all you understandably so.
But it's still more stress and more stress. And then you end up with this vicious cycle of of stock market and I thought I heard this guy. I thought back to some. You said a couple times you know you you wrote a you bring a couple of books and you mentioned that when you speak on on caregiving. A lot of times you are speaking to about 26-year-old Peter 22 and actually, 23, and I yeah right right after 23 two weeks before we got married and Gratian was hurt when I met yeah and so I was I was baby myself and and you're right that it was that I look back nothing. You know I feel bad for that young man because I was so unprepared and you know in II was and I freely admit when you told me about this young man. I thought about this and I thought about it all week because there a lot of people that listen to the show and and demo this podcast and their dealer in autism is a big issue and when people think of caregiving. These think of seniors and you and I have worked hard over these last eight years to redefine the conversation to basically just include chronic impairment of any Right yeah and and and so the first thing for this young man and I know that you can send this recording he could hear this yet and so will others that are delousing thing. Well if you just with yes-to solicit, he will have access to it, but I have the I would. I would suggest that the first thing that the best thing for first off to take a breath, take a deep breath and and slope just a slow deep breath and let it out really really really slowly and then he's in Tennessee and I would call autism of Tennessee. Babs Tierney was the executive director there and out just a wonderful person.
She's been on the show and she she has two children with autism, but they have the first thing they could offer this young man is that they speak the language it is so until you get when when you you get this when you when you experience it you really get this when you hear somebody speak in your native language. After being around a bunch of people who don't. It is truly a wonderful thing and if you've ever traveled overseas and then you get to a place where you hear a voice you know it when I'm in Ghana or wherever and and I hear somebody talk with an American accent. Or better yet, a southern American X fit. If I hear y'all summary you. It is so comforting to hear it in my own native tongue and and this is where right now with this guy is. He's in an environment now were nobody speaks his language learning a language he's learning it and and any and he's learning at all on his own, and I would call these folks and start at least have a conversation with people who speak the language and and can help him understand this a little bit better because I think that's the first step is to build this bridge for himself to get out of this quagmire and he's in a people can help them do it, and there are people there organizations out there that can help them do it and then they will also help if they don't help help them read my book. I could have a chapter on this, but of talking to employers about what you're dealing with and and helping to explain it to employers. It's it's it's you're one of things that I must be forthright with you with your supervisor with your boss, you know, beat, leave, be forthright with excellent.
The three F's.
Don't try to to somehow you want to give all the details, but do be forthright with the look on dealing with a incredible critter difficult burden. The second one is is ask for and give flexibility to the best of your abilities and in the third thing is give a fair days work for you pay make it up. Don't don't don't slouch on it at all and use caregiving.
As of this as an excuse. Even if you have to do work around time frames and so forth. But those are things that you know most employers will understate and but then you also at the same time need to be working on a path of stability for yourself in this because it's unsustainable for you to keep having meltdowns at work that's unsustainable it's it's not good in well and that this this child with autism needs and employed father and and that's that's going to take a lot of help from some folks and their people that can help and will help, but it starts with learning to speak the language and I think you know the autism chapter of one of their somebody wonderful groups out there for autism. Autism speaks and so forth. And there out there and they are ready to serve in these people, these are committed people they don't have the journey and date date they take this very personally. This is a this is a personal mission. It's not a job. This is it's it's really almost a calling I guess is is best way to say it patient now yeah it is a tremendous journey for them as well and and so I have found that the more you speak into other people's lives, the stronger you get in your own such circumstances and and I've been doing the show long enough so I that that those are my initial thoughts with this young man what it would be that no one, yeah, what about a lot of it does it won't. I've heard a lot about before I did. I hadn't really that you and I haven't really spoke about typically visit it such a huge subject, but we haven't really dived into relationships with employers very much mention it here Amir bites arm that say I think it's a very valuable thing to I like what you you which you wish. When Nancy without ways seems like it would be very valuable, especially to a 21-year-old because they're still just learning what I was 20. I was to learn how to be an employee. Yet yeah yeah like what's 401(k) was that armor like that's you know is I have a part-time gig here Amir Norm the college. So but this guys on doing a great job and he's he's getting the work if the emotional aspects of it worries words faltering for good reason. By time I have found by large, most employers if you're forthright with them. If you're not shirking but your you know your your your honest and in your in your efforts here and trying to to really do the right thing will work with you to they can't do it interim they're not a social worker that there there to make a profit yeah and so you have to you have to eat away some of these things out for the long term. But while you're there, and it may not be the best fit for you to be at that job and and have the flexibility you need for child with autism may not be the best fit but this is where your and II worked in jobs I identity. I worked in jobs that I really did not like and I did it for two reasons. One is the proximity and flexibility ahead to build care for great allocation for health health insurance health wine and I were getting a lot better about what many large employers are getting a lot better about having an HR department that does provide an awful lot of resources like a week got you, you need a you know some of the group meeting or something like that will be cattle. They have counseling. The other like yeah six free counseling sessions that they'll have a certain substance on a large employers sure fish that they'll do with without the outsource counseling and and I think that is a marvelous instant check into a mate. He may be a very small company.
I don't know but if it for for other lives.
You know this company you know this company is okay with us a big company then then that would be a place to start is a look I have I am overwhelmed I am way in over my head you know it it's okay to admit that you don't have to give details you want to go there with your hat in your hand but it's okay for you to say I need help and I'm one of Eminem give a personal example of good authoring the first time you do that is gonna be very, very difficult, but it is going to be practice for the next three or four times a draft do that because you're going to have to do it three or 400 tenths of a LII got on the math here. Okay Eli I was the I've been struggling with my leg is been hurting him and sleeping and I don't want to take a lot of pain medication because I know I just optically want to introduce that into my body very much and I'm not very good at taking medication anyway of never really been sick, which is surprising of a caregiver now visibly if year. Physically, yet it will. That diagnosis sale and onto the caregiver for a long time and I I broke down in it and just went down the clinic and said to the.net air started to moan this last weekend. As it looked when I am I'm really struggling here. I'm not sleeping this thing is keeping me up at night I can't function you know I have literally written the book for caregivers and look at me man of fallen apart and I think I need some help. What what does health look like here and and he and I kicked around some ideas of things we can do and I think we got a pretty decent plan. It was embarrassing a little bit, you know, here I am.
But, I haven't I haven't the nations truly the nation's largest platform broadcast was for family caregivers have literally written the books for family caregivers and here I am in that same place but but that's my journey. That's who I am on the caregiver and I need help to and I need to be reminded of the 62 and so it is difficult to answer, and I united my in-laws did something for me yesterday so we live next door to Matt here in Montana.
They write up the hill next door in Montana. By the way, is not what it is a sub curve of three days later we find it there. But they live up the hill and I was hurting. It hurts to sit in the car for lengthy periods of time and I had their superscription. Gracie needed in in Bozeman that 60 miles away and the pharmacy.
This local to us doesn't really care some of the things she needs and Swift go to bigger pharmacy and they they offered to go in get that night I when they got back. I looked at him, course of ending care of their daughter now for a long time but I looked at them and I I would end and I was able just to get a little bit emotionless and I want you to know how much this means to me. I'm not used to needing help like this and I'm certainly not used to asking for but I have to ask, and I have to accept it and I have to let you know how grateful I and they were like they they looked at me, like what's matter with you as our daughter it, it's you that's how we caregivers feel and so this young man who's doing this. Understand that you got an old man who has his own radio show for caregivers who deals with the same thing and it's okay to ask for help, infects not only okay it's impaired and help is available and we want we want to give you all the tools we can hear the shepherd you along the way. This is hope for the care it's hard enough. The it's impossible to do it alone stood to get healthy caregivers make better caregivers. John, I'll be right back. Have you ever struggled to trust God when lousy things happen to you. I'm Gracie Rosenberger, 1983 I experienced a horrific car accident leading 80 surgeries in both legs and became questioned why God allowed something so brutal to happen to me. But over time the questions changed and I discovered courage to trust God that understanding along with an appreciation for quality prosthetic limbs led me to establish standing with help more than a dozen years we been working with the government of Ghana and West Africa, equipping and training local workers to build and maintain quality prosthetic limbs for their own people on a regular basis.
We purchased ship equipment and supplies and with the help of inmates in a Tennessee prison. We also recycle parts from donated lambs.
All of death is to point others to Christ.
The source of my help and strength, please visit standing with help.com to learn more and participate in lifting others that staining without.com. I'm Gracie. I am staining with help because of where