Q: Dear Dr. Sylvia, I am the mother of an autistic child. I am having a lot of trouble with my in-laws who are unwilling to help or even become involved in my daughter's life. Is there anything you can suggest? A: With all the special struggles that go with having an autistic child, it would be nice to get support and help from grandparents. Unfortunately, it is not easy for adults to know how to relate to an autistic child.
Dear WholeMom, My father-in-law died recently. The family is planning a graveside memorial service for him and my eight-year-old son wants to be there. He's a mature kid for his age, but I'm not sure that he'll be able to handle this. On the other hand, he was not at the funeral and he says he really wants to go. He's never been in a cemetery. What do you think?
What might otherwise be formative events in children's lives are lost, and the adults that these children become are unable to draw on these memories. When our daughter Hannah was not quite three years old, she participated in the birth of her younger sister, Leah, in our bedroom, the same room where she had been born. She gently placed washcloths on my head, helped bring up the bassinet from the basement, spent time in the kitchen with her Aunt Julie baking a cake for the baby, and held Leah within minutes of birth.
It was strange growing up with a mother who was a healer. For one thing, when I got sick she never took me to a doctor. Instead, she offered to do Therapeutic Touch on me. In Therapeutic Touch the healer waves her hands over your body, about six inches away, and "clears the blocked energy fields." Lying in bed, moaning with the flu, I would snarl, "No, I don't want a healing. I want a box of tissues, some aspirin and a bowl of chicken soup.
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