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Connecting with your spouse

It is the grief process which disconnects the couple in the first place. One parent may process the information faster then the other spouse. They most likely will experience a different stage of grief at the same time. Men are more likely ready to take action while women need time to process the information. Even if the couple can be in the same place they may disagree on treatment methods. Divorce rates are high through this type of process, it brings you closer or tears you apart as is typical with the grief process.

Ideas used to keep couples connected such as date night and weekends away become almost impossible. Not only is your child high need, it is difficult to find or trust anyone who you feel comfortable leaving your child with. It is still important though to get time to yourselves so it becomes imperative to spend time away from your child once you find the perfect fit for a caregiver.

Some ideas for reconnecting is spend a date night at home. After your child is in bed sleeping spread a blanket out on the fire, light some candles and incense, have a dessert party with cheesecake, chocolates, strawberries, whatever you enjoy. Try to skip the movies for date night, it doesn't allow for interaction that is needed for reconnecting. Keep it simple, and remember, quality time is always better then quantity time.

One way to work on self-care and relationship maintenance is to seek out respite services which can give you one or two weekends a month break from continual care giving of a special needs child. Respite services based out of Grand Forks can be found on this website:

http://www.developmenthomes.org/resservices.cfm

Here are some links of local resources for advocacy and support. Remember, it is important to spend quality time with your child(ren) and the same applies for them, quality not quantity. Often the caregiver becomes so overwhelming and time consuming that we often forget to spend fun time together.

http://www.developmenthomes.org/links.cfm

Playtime Tips:

http://www.autism-society.org/site/PageServer?pagename=tips_playtime&printer_friendly=1

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