stressful time

hi my father in law suffered a brain aneurysm and is in the ICU. hes had 2 brain surgeries and is stable now but with a bad chest infection.

how can i help my autistic wife deal with this?

Hi David,
I’m sorry to hear about your FIL, glad he is stable however.

I don’t know your wife, but I would say the best way to support her is to make sure she has the information she needs to understand what has and is happening to her Father presented to her in a visual way. This will mean she can read it and refer back to it as necessary. A timeline of events will help her too.

Has she visited him in ICU yet? If not, it might be prudent to show her photos of him in ICU first, so she knows what to expect. If she finds the hospital environment challenging, then plan the visits carefully and take sunglasses/earplugs/ headphones and music or whatever she will need to help her cope. You could draw up a timetable with her re visiting.

Be there for her if she wants to talk and have available/encourage her to do whatever she finds therapeutic when she is dealing with tricky situations/feelings e.g. special interests, time out, sensory activities etc


thank you so much for your reply!

the ICU was brilliant and let her go to the door and listen to the noise inside before she saw anything, then she went to the desk and just spent a few minuets in there.

she has now seen her dad and held his hand, she was an emotional wreck afterwards as expected. I am keeping a diary in a notebook of what happened/ happens on what days and what is scheduled (xrays/scans and us visiting)

on days we make it to the hospital and she cant bring herself to see him she writes him a note and the 1:1 nurse reads them to him.

i have been trying to allow her opportunities to chill and get really stuck into her special interests (like building houses and buildings on the sims) and try to take extra time to let her show me what shes created if she wants to.

its been hard as looking after our daughter has been so much more stressful with everything going on,but ive also made sure the routune is as unaffected as possible so she doesnt have to deal with routine changes as well.

Its so hard to know how to comfort her as some days she wants to be held and hugged and other days she finds touch too much, especially if my body heat makes her too hot.

its so touch and go, im dreading every phone call and every visit. im also supporting her mum as obviously shes a wreck.


it sounds like you are doing everything you can, to support her. It’s great that you understand how to support and help her, it must make such a difference.


How have things been this week?