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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

very sensitive question (really don't want to offend anyone)

(35 Posts)
catevs Sun 07-Aug-11 23:32:52

Hi i'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this although i'm not sure if anywhere is the right place to ask something like this but I was just wondering has anyone had a abortion because they were worried about having another autistic child?

I have a son with autism and I know alot of parents feel very passionate and positive and regard their kids having it as a kind of gift but I honestly struggle like hell with the fact he has it and just wouldn't of been able to cope with two autistic kids as I can barely cope with him. My younger brother has aspergers syndrome (he is 13) and when I look after him and my son together i'm a nervous wreck by the end of it.

The last thing I want to do is offend anyone and I know anyone reading this will think i'm a monster and your right I am. I'm not a strong person like most of you parents and I really wish I was and I'm struggling with the fact I had an abortion and just feel so angry my son has this damned condition I don't feel like going on most days. I was just hoping to hear from anyone else who has been in my position although I doubt alot of people would of taken the easy way out like I did.

I'm sorry to have gone on and I really appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this. Catrin xx

Latteaddict Mon 08-Aug-11 00:10:24

Hello - I haven't been in your situation, although I can understand the fear of having another child with SN's when you're already feeling swamped with your present situation. However, I'm just thinking that if you look on the "becoming a parent" area of the talk board, there's a "antenatal testing/choices" topic, which was set up to be an understanding and supportive zone of this site for the issues which you seem to be struggling with. So it might be worth starting a thread there?

And it has probably crossed your mind, but counselling might be a useful thing for you - and please stop thinking that you've taken an easy option or that you're a "monster". You're not.

Take care.

elliejjtiny Mon 08-Aug-11 00:11:39

No I haven't but I wouldn't think badly of someone who did. My dh has aspergers syndrome and I have dyspraxia so we knew from the beginning that there was a risk that some or even all of our dc's would have sn of some kind. I think it takes a very strong brave person to know their limits and do what you did.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 08-Aug-11 00:28:46

Gosh, I'm pro-choice, too. My DS2 wasn't DX when I got pregnant with DS3, so I had none of your worry at that stage. As it happened, DS3 is NT, just a bit quirky and it has worked out fine. If he had been severely autistic I'd have coped, but I wouldn't choose to be in that situation. Personally, I would find it too hard a decision to take. Have you thought about seeing a genetic counsellor who might be able to explain the chances better to you?

DeWe Mon 08-Aug-11 00:32:11

I haven't been through an abortion but I wanted to say that I don't think you took the easy way out, you did what you felt right for you and your son. Don't beat yourself up about it. You are not a monster. Believe me. You are looking after your son and that is a fantastic thing in itself. Look after yourself too.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Mon 08-Aug-11 00:40:53

I'm really sorry, catevs, I misread your original post. Please ignore the stuff about a genetic counsellor. My whole post reads completely wrong. Very sorry.

catevs Mon 08-Aug-11 00:41:50

Hi thankyou both for your kind words. I will try to find that area on the boards. My son was also diagnosed with dyspraxia 2 years ago I just feel he got really hit hard with it all!

I do love him of course but I just feel so guilty this has happened to him and all the professionals tell me it's not my fault and I shouldn't blame myself but at the end of the day I grew him inside me and have raised him so of course i'm responsible. When I went to my gp who is also my son's gp she asked no questions and had me up the hospital two days later and I had the termination just four days after that. I feel confused how I got pregnant as I had the coil fitted and everyone says it is such a good birth control method. I have asked to be sterilised now as I never want to go through this again.

The hospital staff were all so nice to me as she had written on the form the reason why I was having a termination and they were giving me pitying looks and that just made me feel worse. I wish in a way they had been i don't know maybe rude and stand offish to me it just makes it so much worse how nice everyone has been. I know that probably sounds really stupid but I have done a really bad selfish thing and I just don't feel I deserve anyone's kindness. Catrin

catherinea1971 Mon 08-Aug-11 00:43:21

Hi catevs, of course you are not a monster, it is really tough having a child with autism. My ds (4) has it and at times he is really hard work, well really he probably is most of the time in comparison to an NT 4yo but I suppose I am used to him.
When we were at the start of the diagnostic process with my ds I fell pregnant again, it was a shock and I honestly didn't know what to do.....I had my dd2 and my ds was diagnosed a week after the birth. I knew that having another child would be a risk (ss has AS) and I did consider having a termination. I decided against one after many discussions with dh, we decided to take the risk.
I now have a gorgeous dd who I am now waiting to be assessed for asd.
I won't lie to you, the 2 of them are hard work and it does get me down at times. If I were to 'get caught' again I would be feeling like you are now, but that is also because I am now getting on a bit and don't have the energy!!
Do you have any support network around you? I don't have much but have found that homestart have been great, just that 2 hours a week can make such a difference..... I also now know a fair few other mum's with children on the spectrum, they are my sanity as they 'get it' so well.
Having an abortion does not make you a monster, you have made a decision that you feel is best for you and your family. It can be a difficult time for a women following abortion (even with no medical reasons).
There are specialist counsellors to help women post abortion, maybe speak to your local Brooke advisory service, they will be able to put you in touch.
Good luck and try to look after yourself. ((hugs))

Chummybud1 Mon 08-Aug-11 00:43:47

You are firstly not a monster, a child with sn affects not just them personally but the whole family. My dc2 has severe Dcd, and I know it's not as severe as other disabilities but does consume our whole lives. My dc3 was born before diagnosis, she is fine. However when I fell with dc4, I did consider all options, firstly I had to consider if as a family we would cope both with a non sn child and with another sn child. I had to look at all options as I could not jeopardise the family I have, things are sometimes very difficult, we decided to have dc4, she appears healthy so far.

Abortion is not the easy option and that is why sometimes it is the right option. Only you know how tough your life is, so others opinions don't matter, you are a good person as you done what is right for yourself and your child. I agree with others that counselling may help. Let go of the guilt and be proud of the job you are doung

PipinJo Mon 08-Aug-11 00:45:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

coff33pot Mon 08-Aug-11 01:09:05

You are not a monster you are a human being that must have gone through hell and back to make the decision you did.

Everyone is different in how they can handle things. The decision you made was right for you and your family. I cannot comment on wether it was right or wrong as I am not in your shoes or do I live your life and what it evolves and I am not one to pass judgment. The best thing to do is to now put it behind you and concentrate on your lovely son. None of us want our DCs to have anything wrong, we all started off with different hopes for them. Now we adjust to what reality has given us. And that is beautiful children that love and trust us. They need our strength, protection and guidence to take them into their future.

Put it behind you and stop putting yourself down. I am sure you are a great mum to the son you have x

catevs Mon 08-Aug-11 01:20:15

Hi, I agree with you on the lea I went through hell with the ed psych and could of happily strung her up by the end of it! I must say though on the nhs side the occupational therapist who diagnosed him with dyspraxia has been fantastic she works with him in school and at our house and has given me excersize's to do with him as he has hypermobility in his joints also and honestly it is a challenge though to get through the excersize's I must say lol.

Also with his autism I had no problems getting him diagnosed by the peadiatric neurologist who assesed him. I think from hearing some people's battles I was very lucky though as after diagnoses I was offered the option of being referred to an autism social worker who has been a godsend to me she arranges days out for local autistic children and he started going on them once a week in these school holidays. It's hard for people to cope with him so I am very limited to who can help me with him but honestly she has been a brilliant support. I know social worker's get a bad rap but i'm so grateful for her help.

When he was diagnosed his dad left us as he didn't feel he could cope with it so it's been tough as he doesn't see him anymore. I hope one day he will come around though. And I really apprecite everyone who has taken the time to reply to me it really means alot thankyou! Catrin xx

iwoulddothesame Mon 08-Aug-11 13:12:23

I've namechanged but I just wanted to post to say that I have also had a long think about having more children and the consequences of potentially having another child with autism (I have one DD with ASD). I also came to the same conclusion as you, I have decided not to have any more children because coping with just one child with autism has been hard enough as it is, especially as I have additional health issues myself.

I haven't had an abortion but I have a coil so it's worrying to hear that yours failed shock. I have thought about what I'd do if it failed and I am pretty certain that I'd do the same as you. I have quite a few friends with two or more children with ASD (or other conditions) and it seems to be much more difficult - a constant juggle and there are things I can access with DD which they can't because of the impact of additional children in the mix.

I did have a struggle with LA/NHS initially but I was able to push for good provision, partly because I could focus all my energy into it and not worry about any other children, and now DD is in a good placement and I can think about my own needs again. Sadly, that is something that I think my other friends will never be able to have.

You shouldn't feel guilty at all for your decision. You have done the right thing for your family. Tbh I don't think any woman should have to justify the decision to have an abortion for whatever reason she chooses.

mariamagdalena Mon 08-Aug-11 14:20:13

sad for how you're feeling. You've had a rough deal, and it's not fair... some people do have easy lives with their precious firstborn Tarquins. I know we don't whinge much on this board, and it does usually help to focus on the positive, at the same time this bloody autism has cost you your dream child, your partnership, very possibly your job, your financial security, and now it's cost you this pregnancy as well. So it's no wonder you're grieving and you have every right to.

In terms of the guilt, you were unsupported and between a rock and a hard place, and a counsellor could help you come to terms with it and move on with life.

(((hugs))) and brew oh and biscuit as well

mariamagdalena Mon 08-Aug-11 14:28:57

For the record I'm a fairly fundamentalist Catholic and I still DON'T think you are a monster of any description , you clearly are a loving and distressed mother who can barely cope with even living at the moment. You DIDN'T take the easy option, you SHOULDN'T have been left with so few other real options and you DON'T need to punish yourself for what is in the past.

More ((hugs)) and more biscuit

hannahsmummsy Mon 08-Aug-11 16:15:08

I too am a christian (my dd goes to a catholic school). I fully understand your feelings and I love DD dearly , but no way could I risk another sn child.
people have no right to judge you if they have never been in your position. love and hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

bigbluebus Mon 08-Aug-11 16:15:09

For what it's worth, I don't think you took the easy way out either. My DD was born with rare chromosone disorder so we had CVS test when I was expecting DS. Didn't tell any friends or family that I was expecting until after results of CVS test as family are devout catholics and I knew if I had decided to terminate they would not have approved. Wanted it to be mine & DH's decision alone. Test results were fine so I still don't know what I would have done if they had shown the baby had problems. I never considered that abortion would have been an easy option as it would be something I would have had to live with for the rest of my life and a secret I would have to have kept from my family forever.
I'm sure that you gave your decision lots of thought and what you did was what seemed like the best option for you and your family. You can't change anything now so try not to beat yourself up over it.

Chundle Mon 08-Aug-11 17:39:44

Hi i could not cope with anymore than my 2 dds so you're not alone. Trying to persuade hubby to get the snip as I'm petrified if having anymore partly because both mine were prem and partly because I can't deal with a 3rd child with behavioural problems.

50000feet Mon 08-Aug-11 21:21:54

I have been going to a lot of talks and meetings lately on ASD and at the coffee breaks so many of us mums are outside with a glass of wine and chain smoking away. We are not perfect!! We are not saints!! We all have our own ways, there is no right or wrong. We all just need to keep moving forward..... Tomorrow is another day, the way it's meant to be......

WilsonFrickett Mon 08-Aug-11 22:27:11

Aw sweetheart, how did you take the easy way out? You made an incredibly difficult decision for the good of the family you had. You saw that decision through. You're now coping with the emotional fall-out from that decision all on your own while continuing to care for your DC. It doesn't seem like an easy way out to me.

I don't want to presume, but I think you need to forgive yourself and move on from this, but I think it will be difficult to do it all by yourself. Have you thought about counselling?

Minx179 Tue 09-Aug-11 02:24:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Tue 09-Aug-11 09:55:41

Minx, this is the wrong thread.

insanityscatching Tue 09-Aug-11 13:06:56

After ds I never wanted another child and couldn't believe I'd cope, the thoughts of more autism never entered my head tbh. When ds was seven I fell pregnant despite contraception.I immediately wanted a termination but when the time came I couldn't do it. Dd was born days after ds's eighth birthday and subsequently diagnosed with autism two years later. I won't lie and tell you it's been easy because it hasn't but my choice (or more lack of nerve) was right for me just as your choice was the right choice for yourself in your own circumstances. No judging here just understanding. Be kind to yourself sending you un mumsnetty hugs. x

amberlight Tue 09-Aug-11 18:18:16

It's a difficult subject for me, as I'm on the autism spectrum (not mildly) and a mum, wife, business owner...with most of my family likewise being autistic, as are many of my friends (at all ends of the spectrum).
I'm realistic about the lack of support that families and parents get, and the huge huge pressure to cope, combined with the breathtaking lack of information that's out there on how to handle us in the early years. I am not about to condemn anyone for taking a desperate decision.
But I can honestly say that very few of us stay that difficult all our lives. Most of us do get through it and learn to 'fit in' with society to a great extent and become lovely, gentle and useful members of society. It's just such a sadness that families are left with such little support that they don't always get to discover this future. sad

hannahsmummsy Tue 09-Aug-11 18:32:54

I to am on the spectrum and have a carer 30 hrs a week , dd is lovely , getting any help has been hell as we BOTH have SN . thats why i cant have any more and really feel for op xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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