Interview: 4 Ingredients Every Marriage Should Have When Raising a Child with Autism

BY: - 5 Nov '13 | Marriage

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BMWK: Chris and Shanté: Name four ingredients that each marriage should have when raising a child with autism.

  1. Understanding– Realizing how certain situations can make each other feel. It’s helpful to be able to recognize these feelings and know how to properly approach each other when addressing them.
  2. Patience– This is especially important when dealing with a non-verbal child. Frustration can easily set in with all parties when communication isn’t being relayed in the manner you wish.
  3. Perseverance– When difficult times arise, it is important to band together and ride it out, because raising a child with autism will bring about many challenges.
  4. Humor– When living in an environment that has the potential to become a daily stressor, it’s great to be able to laugh, smile, and find humor in situations that would otherwise bring you down.

BMWK: What has been the most challenging factor in your marriage when it comes to raising a child with autism?

Shanté: Having different points of views on how to discipline Dylan, and when it’s necessary to.

BMWK: What has been the most fulfilling?

Shanté: Watching Dylan’s growth and seeing him overcome obstacles.  It has also been very rewarding to see the bond development between him and Chris.

BMWK: Chris: What advice can you give to men who may be hesitant to get involved  with a single mom raising a child with autism or any special needs?

Chris: I would tell any hesitant man that it’s a chance to gain characteristics that will help you become a better person in many different areas of one’s life while also affecting other people around them in a more positive way. Any person who has the opportunity to experience and learn of this condition has a greater possibility to help, encourage, and support others going through this same experience in their own lives.

BMWK: Shanté: What advice can you give to single moms who may be hesitant to get involved with a man because they are not sure their child with autism will be accepted?

Shanté: I understand that it is hard to allow someone else into your child’s life. It’s hard to open that door of trust. As long as you are willing to let a little of your guard down and be upfront and honest about your child’s situation and needs, if the man loves you, he’ll accept your child just the way they are.

So what’s next for the Supervilles? They are gearing up to open F.A.C.E.’s Place Respite Care Center on January 11, 2014. Located in Silver Spring, MD, this program will offer a fun-filled environment personalized to meet the needs of children, ages 3-12, with developmental and intellectual differences. Family members and caregivers will have an opportunity to enjoy a brief period of restorative relief, knowing that their children are in a safe, loving, understanding, and accepting environment.

BMWK – If you are parenting a child with Autism, what are you doing to keep to support your marriage and keep it strong?  If you are a single parent with a special needs child, how did you overcome reservations when it comes to dating?

Check back every other Tuesday for additional articles from Kpana Kpoto as she shares her experiences and what she learns as she raises her son that has been diagnosed with Autism.

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About the author

Kpana Kpoto wrote 38 articles on this blog.

Kpana Kpoto, also known as Miz Kp, is a special needs advocate and blogger. She provides resources and support for autism parents through her blog, Sailing Autistic Seas and her support group, Bronx Parents Autism Support Circle. Kpana lives in New York City with her husband and only child, six-year old "Angel" who is conquering autism one milestone at a time.

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11 WordPress comments on “Interview: 4 Ingredients Every Marriage Should Have When Raising a Child with Autism

  1. Nellie

    What a wonderful article!!! I have two on the spectrum and have been married for 16 years so I know the challenges. Ms. Kpoto hit it right on the head with these four. For us, humor has been our saving grace! We could have a difficult moment with one or both of our kids and hubby will make a joke, we’ll erupt in laughter, kids included, and it makes it all better.

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Couples: 4 Super Practical Tips to Give Your Monthly Budget a Boost

BY: - 5 Nov '13 | Marriage

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Getting into shape financially is no different than getting into shape physically. They both require hard work, discipline and a plan. The first step in that plan is to create a budget. Establishing a budget doesn’t have to be a chore or drudgery. Instead, it can be a great opportunity to work together with your spouse to create a budget that is effective, creative and meets your needs.

As a one income family, these are some practical tips my husband and I employ to stay on top of our finances and give our budget some breathing room.

Eat Out, But Eat Less

Our biggest guilty pleasure as a couple has always been eating out. That was until I viewed a bank statement and added up how much money we were spending at restaurants, coffee shops and fast food.  I was embarrassed by the amount! It was time to figure out a way to still enjoy eating out, but in a way that made sense financially.

The solution was to set a limit of $20 – $30 total for the both of us (and our toddler) whenever we go out to eat (reduced to 1-2 times a month). This means cutting the appetizers, ordering water or refillable fountain drinks and skipping dessert.  We also like to take advantage of the popular “2 for $20” deals many restaurant chains offer.  It was an adjustment at first, but adhering to the limit has become second nature to us now and we love the challenge of finding new places to eat in our area that have delicious and affordable menu items. By modifying this behavior we save over $100 a month, without having to give it up entirely.

Get on the DIY Train

I’ve never been a do-it-yourself kind of woman. In an effort to save money, however, I started looking into things I was outsourcing that I could do myself. I loved getting a monthly manicure and pedicure at the nail salon, but decided that $30 could be better served elsewhere. Armed with a decent bottle of nail polish and other basic supplies, I get the job done at home and keep that money in my pocket. I also save a great deal of money (anywhere from $50-$70 per salon visit) by doing my own hair. I still like to indulge in those things – but just on occasion now, instead of monthly.

Get Creative with Gifts

While it’s tempting to buy a gift for every birthday, wedding, or special holiday, doing so can quietly eat away at your budget throughout the year. Use gift giving occasions as a way to foster your creative skills and start making gifts like scarves or body butters. Join Pinterest and you’ll never run out of ideas! If making gifts doesn’t work for you, be sure to set a limit for the amount you plan to spend for each gift and stick to it. This method works for us and if things are really tight, we may skip a gift altogether and send a card; with a handwritten note, of course. There are plenty of ways to give thoughtfully without going broke!

Cut the (Cable) Cord

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average monthly cost for cable is $128. We reduced that amount dramatically by only ordering internet service through our local provider and signing up for subscription services such as Netflix and Roku. By doing this, we still are able to watch the programs and movies we love without the hefty price tag of cable. Additionally, most shows are available online to watch the day after it airs, so we never miss out!

Whichever method you chose, keep track of how much money you saved each month. Even if it’s only $20, take those savings and transfer them to a separate account that is not linked to your debit card, to pay down any debt you may have, build an emergency fund, or vacation planning.

These are very practical steps to that have helped my spouse and I give our monthly budget a boost. Every household is different, so be sure to make adjustments according to your family size and income. Always remember that small changes now can yield big results later!

Tell us, BMWK family: what practical ways do you use to make budgeting easier and stay in shape financially?

About the author

Amber Wright wrote 39 articles on this blog.

Amber is a Communication Coach and Consultant that wants to help you learn how to say it right – from the boardroom to the bedroom! Visit her website, www.talktoamber.com, to find fun and insightful information on how to improve your communication skills and overall quality of life.

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