SHould be mandatory for all special needs parents. SHould be mandatory for all special needs parents.

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Thread: SHould be mandatory for all special needs parents.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    1

    Default SHould be mandatory for all special needs parents.

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    The Situation: I think I have always known that my son was different. I had 3 little brothers and had some experience with children even before I became a father at 43 years old. The world was always a little too much for Jesse, it came as no surprise when at 3 he was diagnosed as Autistic, he was subsequently also diagnosed as "intellectually disabled" which is the feel good term for mentally retarded. He is profoundly affected by both. Though he has grown and learned Jesse (now 8) still faces profound delays. He has never spoken a word, remains in diapers throughout the day, and functions much as a toddler.

    My Response To It: Through it all, every time Jesse hit me (and a kid can really hurt when he goes for the soft spots), every time we had a meeting with the school or the state, every time I gave up a life goal because it just was not possible with the little guy around, I learned one thing. I was powerless. I certainly could not fix my son. I had minimal input into what or how services were provided. I could change nothing. This bled over into everything I did and before I knew it I believed that I just needed to "Embrace the Suck". I lost my belief that anything I did would ever matter. I am profoundly embarrassed by my reaction and always thought that I would be tough enough to endure anything. I was wrong.

    What I Did: Early last year - and I am still not sure what drove it, I went into the gym. At first I just worked to get in there and do anything with consistency. My wife and I figured out a way of sharing our responsibilities that allowed me 3 sessions per week. For 5 months I executed an ill-informed "brosplit", concentrating on isolation exercises. In mid-September of 2015 I started the Starting Strength program. With a 195 squat, 135 deadlift (I had several herniated disks earlier), and a 155 bench. Currently I squat 350, deadlift 315, and bench 190. Not earth shattering numbers but not bad.

    My Response To It: Strength training saved me. We often study the physical response to training using the stress - response model. I believe that the same response is happening in our minds. I think that training allowed my mind to have a domain where the decisions I made had a real and direct impact in my life. I could modulate the stress and the mind response allowed for growth.

    Strength training allows me to -for a little while - focus on something other than work or my son. Anyone who has squatted a weight that is challenging for them knows that you better keep your focus or you will be stapled to the floor. The immediate threat of failure is a great mind training tool.

    Older lifters (and I turn 50 this year) can make real progress. I followed the program exactly without the modifications for older lifters and the GOMAD. I carry plenty of surplus calories at all times in the form of fat.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Los Alamos, NM
    Posts
    1,763

    Default

    I can relate some. My adopted son has several learning disabilities. Not knowing his genetics, probably prenatal drugs or alcohol but we will never know and it doesn't matter much. Anyway, he is now in high school, sociable kid, and an avid hockey player. But the things that come with special Ed are common nightmares.

    I've been lifting seriously for the last three years, never miss a day of training, despite frequent travel. I think that getting stronger is literally and metaphorically necessary for dealing with life's curve balls. It's a win-win for my wife, my son, and my career. What are the downsides? Less business for geriatric medicine? I can live with that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    East Coast
    Posts
    2,471

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Minn View Post
    We often study the physical response to training using the stress - response model. I believe that the same response is happening in our minds. I think that training allowed my mind to have a domain where the decisions I made had a real and direct impact in my life. I could modulate the stress and the mind response allowed for growth.
    +1

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    152

    Default

    Hey Minn, my brother has autism. Diagnosed in 1993.

    I agree with this:
    Strength training saved me
    There's a lot more that I could say. Maybe I'll write something later or email you, and although what they say is true, that "if you know one person with autism, you know one person with autism," just know that I know. Glad you found it.

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