As the single parent to two boys on the Spectrum with no family in the same state, Mother's Day is just another Sunday. There are no phone calls wishing me a pleasant day, nothing arrives in the mail in the form of a card with sentimental phrases.
Some years there is a token gift from the boys - this all depends on who their teacher is. No one is available to take Nicholas out and pick out something for me or to remind him to make a card. I do the usual hints for my birthday in April and then Mother's Day in May.
While in my 20s back in New Jersey I worked as a waitress at a Hotel and then at a Seafood and Steak House. I was able to witness families enjoying holidays together. As a child we did this on many occasions, so I have experienced it, just many moons ago.
I would not suggest taking the whole family out for a relaxing meal on Mother's Day, unless only the adults are going and someone will be watching the children. Flowers would be nice, but if you have a low functioning child, chances are they will get picked apart by the child. My son Nicholas is high functioning, but loves the scent of flowers and would probably perseverate on them, since he does this in the front yard daily.
So what does a Mother of a child on the Autism Spectrum, or a parent of any child with a disability really want for Mother's Day?
How about someone else doing the laundry for the week or month?
A weekend alone at a local Hotel - this is possible through United Cerebral Palsy. In some areas you might find something similar through Easter Seals or The ARC.
In many cases you have to find the respite worker yourself, so the other parent would be suitable one weekend or your parents and/or another relative that is trustworthy so both parents can enjoy a weekend alone. For single parents like myself, we are usually on our own. I even have respite with an agency, but no one is ever available or someone who is suitable. Check out the Rules for A Respite Worker.
Since we are dealing with rising gas costs on a daily basis, why not purchase a pre-paid gas card for Mom? She is the one driving all over the city taking kids to their therapy appointments, extra curricular activities and running daily errands.
Arco has them available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations. I would love that as a gift for Mother's Day. Think the same thing for Father's Day.
A nice meal would be great, I enjoy going to Sizzler for lunch, the only way I get to have steak, garlic bread and baked potato. You can go to Honey Baked Ham and order meals for Mom for her special day.
I found this site a few weeks ago during my online travels and feel it is worth mentioning as something different for Mother's Day. Grandma's Chicken Soup is available for once a month delivery or just a one time package. How relaxing for Mom to enjoy a bowl of soup she did not have to prepare!
For the grandmother a book on the topic of autism would be a nice gesture, as well as a subscription to any of the Autism Related Publications.
With the end of the school year upon us many are preparing for IEPs. Mom might be in need of a new brief case to carry all those files she has been pouring over. A new pair of spring shoes might be just the gift she needs to sparkle at her meetings. A gift certificate to Merry Maids starts at $100.00.
Gifts could center on relaxing at home with a new pair of slippers and matching spring bathrobe. Gift cards or certificates to her favorite store at the mall for cosmetics or body care products. When I received our balance back from Social Security from an overpayment done in error, I entered a Coach store for the first time and purchased handbag that gets many compliments. Their online site has gift cards, sunglasses and wallets.
My daily respite is going to 24 Hour Fitness. I head over there after taking kids to school and feel it is helping me deal with the stress while keeping me fit. While at the gym I am like everyone else and not known as the parent to children on the Autism Spectrum.
Speaking of children on the spectrum - I would love to have someone come into my home and cut Matthew's hair. That would make my Mother's Day for years to come. One of those services where they come into your home and make a week's worth of meals. These are the type of gifts that last more than one day.
Whatever you do for the Mother of the child on the Autism Spectrum that is in your household, remember to treat her kindly every day, not just on Sunday, May 8, 2011.
Even a grocery store certificate is a welcome gift to get for this Holiday. By aleviating one step in the daily chores for the parent they get a break and can enjoy a spare moment of peace and quiet. Then again, maybe a set of headphones with some calming music is in order.
Handyman service for the single parent household would be an ideal gift. I am still without some miniblinds in my house because I have no idea how to hang them and would pay someone to do it! Mr.Handyman gift certificates
HealthCare Gift Cards