In the 1992 movie, Death Becomes Her, an aging actress (Meryl Streep) and her longtime novelist rival (Goldie Hawn) battle over the love of a plastic surgeon (Bruce Willis) as well as a magic potion that promises eternal youth.
As parents of individuals with autism – many who still require our help and support as adults – we may wish we had access to a magic potion that would keep us alive forever. But we wouldn’t want to end up like Meryl and Goldie who after many years of life need paint and putty to cover their rotting flesh. And despite the potion, they still can’t remember where they parked the car.
As parents, we need to learn to pace ourselves. At the beginning, after the diagnosis, we are trying to do everything possible to help our child. It’s true that early intervention is important.
But it is also true that when you are a parent, you are in it for the long haul. Think of a marathon, not a 200 yard dash. Pace yourself accordingly. You’ll last longer, even without a magic potion.