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A Day in the Life: Aaron & Aiden

Updated: Apr 23, 2022

Guest Writer: Jennifer | @discoverbrothers

Hi! My name is Jennifer. I have two boys on the Autism spectrum—Aaron and Aiden. Aaron is a Senior in high school and Aiden is 10 years old. Aaron was diagnosed with Autism at 2 ½ years old. Aiden was almost 5 when we received his diagnosis. He was also diagnosed with PANDAS (pediatric autoimmune disease associated with strep infections) and a Lyme co-infection called Bartonella.

Life with two children on the spectrum is hectic. I like to be organized, and I love a routine, but no matter how hard I try, every single morning is wild. My husband and I both work full time, and I spend each morning fixing my children’s breakfast and getting their lunches ready for school. Aaron and Aiden cannot eat gluten or dairy, so I send their food to school each day. Because of the diet restrictions, I spend a lot of time meal prepping. Both of my boys have gut issues, so diet is the #1 priority at our home.

Aaron and Aiden both attend different schools. Aaron is at the high school full time, Aiden attends an ABA clinic part-time, and he is also in elementary school part-time. So, two days a week we take him to the ABA center, which is an hour's drive from our house. The other three days he attends public school. Mornings are stressful- and sometimes I don’t know if I’m coming or going. There are days I am exhausted by the time I get to work.

My husband and I both normally wake up at 5:00 AM. We take turns doing drop-offs and pick-ups. My boys have certain supplements that they take with meals each day. Aaron takes his to school and administers on his own. Aiden’s school requires that the school nurse administer- so I must be in contact with her often to make sure we don’t run out of his supplements at school.

I lay out their clothes the night before. The only thing my boys care about when it comes to clothes is their shoes! They both have a favorite pair of tennis shoes they want to wear every day. Aaron is responsible for making his bed each morning and helping with his breakfast. Aiden is responsible for cleaning up his dishes after he eats. We have worked hard to give the boys responsibilities- they are capable and life skills are so important!

They are both amazing at remembering what they need to take with them to school on a daily basis—they are actually better than me. I forget my coffee as we are walking out the door at least twice a week and they always say, “Mom, don’t forget your coffee!” They know that I’m a bear without it! Ha!

Our evenings are usually just as crazy. Aaron is on the bowling team as well as the high school musical and choir group—which is so wonderful, and he needs those social skills. Since he is not able to drive, we take him and pick him up from each practice. We talk everything out before practices; he gets a little anxious if we don’t discuss what’s going to happen prior to attending. He is extremely schedule-oriented, and he needs to know exactly what is going on. Two evenings each week he spends on the computer working 1:1 with a tutor on career exploration and interviewing skills. We are approaching the next phase in his life, and Aaron really wants to work after high school. He works so hard, and he never complains. He is my hero, and I’m so proud of him.

We fix supper in the evenings and that always feels like it takes up so much time. Aiden spends time just chilling out in his room watching a movie or playing with his toys. He needs time to unwind after school and ABA. Because he has Lyme disease, he tires very easily. He requires a lot more rest and sleep than most children his age. He amazes me every single day. I could not be more proud of everything he has overcome.

The boys take all of their supplements every night with supper. We spend a good hour making sure everyone gets their showers and that all of the bedtime routines get finished. My favorite part of each night is when my boys pray together before they go to bed. It melts my heart—they are so sincere, and it would make you cry if you heard it. Twice a week we do B12 injections, and one to two times a month Aiden gets a vitamin infusion at our functional medicine clinic. It has been a game-changer for him, and I’m so thankful we have this clinic so close by. We moved here almost three years ago to get better services, and it was one of the best decisions we ever made.

I thank God I have an amazing husband who is willing to help manage all of this craziness. We are a team, and I’m so thankful for that. In the areas that I fall short, he is strong—and vice versa. This life is hard and beautiful at the same time, I am so thankful he’s by my side to help manage it all.


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