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A heartwarming, wry, and often surprising collection of essays about the next rite of passage for Baby Boomers: what happens when the kids leave homeAs the baby boom generation ages -- the oldest are now turning sixty -- many of them are learning to deal with a whole new way of life, after the last child has finally moved out and they are, once again, alone.
Anyone dreading, savoring or recovering from their child's entering [adulthood], will recognize themselves in these bittersweet, boldly personal essays from more than 30 parents. This collection, edited by Stabiner (My Girl: Adventures with a Teen in Training), includes essays by such well-known authors as Anna Quindlen, Ellen Goodman and Susan Shreve, as well as lesser knowns. As the mother of two teenage daughters, including a high school senior, I opened The Empty Nest with trepidation, but finished it filled with gratitude and insight.
Karen Stabiner is one of the most respected journalists writing today about health, women's, and family issues.
Content of this column may be reused so long as credit is given to Virginia Tech and the researchers. Empty nest syndrome for moms of autistic sons poses weighty ordeals that can affect the entire family unit.
Psychology Today defines empty nest syndrome as a condition related to grief, sadness or depression that occurs after children move away from home. Relationships between autistic adult sons and their mothers are unique and each situation is different.
One of the first things many parents with newly diagnosed children ask themselves is whether their children are going to grow up to have normal adult lives. With these heavy questions in mind, it may be surprising that empty nest syndrome for moms of autistic sons is an issue. Independence is ideal and many individuals with high functioning autism may live independently. Mothers of sons on the spectrum have the added sense of a loss of purpose in their lives as parenting a child with autism carries with it many extra demands.
Skill development and foster homes are programs that offer guidance and support without 24-hour supervision and care. The specialized programs are ideal for individuals on the spectrum who can live independently with guidance and support.
Parents of children with autism face many of the same challenges that parents of typical children do; only magnified. Parenting involves helping the child to grow into a person who can be a productive, happy member of his community to his greatest capacity. When 52-year-old Neelofar Qasim* dropped off her youngest daughter Aliza to college, she never expected to be reduced to tears. Much like Neelofar, 40-year-old Zainab Kazmi* already shudders at the possibility that her daughter Zuha might be moving away for college next year.
Unfortunately, Neelofar and Zainab are amongst millions of parents across the world who face what once seemed inconceivable to them ­— their child flying the coop and leaving them alone in a big, empty house. While this apprehension felt by both Neelofar and Zainab can be attributed to separation anxiety and maternal love, it is obvious that there is a certain degree of fear attached to it as well. Of course, it isn’t just parents whose children leave for college suffer from depression when their teenagers leave home.
The empty nest syndrome isn’t just a problem for the elderly or those nearing the late stages of their lives. Zahabiya’s reaction is not unusual as many parents experience separation anxiety when their child has been away for a few hours.
Although it drives Sidra crazy, the frequent calling may simply be her mother’s mantra to keep from paranoia.
Another great method of keeping separation anxiety at bay would be to acquire a job or indulge in social work — anything that keeps you busy and gives a sense of purpose.

As with any other psychological issue, it is advisable to seek professional assistance before turning to self-medication. It's the same milestone their own parents faced, but as with so many other markers, this generation approaches it in a whole new way.In this fascinating collection, journalist Karen Stabiner has assembled essays from thirty-one writers about their own experience with the empty nest.
Enabling JavaScript in your browser will allow you to experience all the features of our site. Mothers write the bulk of the stories, though a handful of dads, such as Charles McGrath, help to balance the perspective. While independence is a primary goal in working with people with autism, moms can often feel lost once their children begin living independently. Treatments for autism are designed to help the individual function independently with the hopes of having a normal adulthood. The spectrum is wide and different living arrangements are applicable to certain situations, depending on the adult's level of functioning and the parents' ability to provide care. She may be used to frequent therapy sessions, appointments and consistent interventions not applicable to typical parents.
They can come in the form of group homes that include constant supervision and care while allowing adults to live with roommates. Local programs and services can offer support that can make going to work and social events easier.
It can be difficult to allow others to assist your child, but it is a natural part of growing up.
Another classic manifestation of the empty nest syndrome occurs when a son or daughter gets married and their focus shifts from parents to spouses inevitably.
Many young parents go through a mild form of it during their lives, such as when their toddler starts school. As time passes and the child grows older, the anxiety also increases and manifests itself in the form of well-intentioned attempts to control the child. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this may be the most practical way for parents suffering from empty nest syndrome to alleviate their stress, albeit for a short time.
Unfortunately, visiting a psychologist in Pakistan is considered to be something for the mentally unstable which prevents many empty nesters from getting the support they need. After their children leave home for college, Clover and Laura find themselves on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. Take inspiration from Sandi, the protagonist of the story, and how she redefines her purposeless after her children are sent to boarding school.
Therefore, keep your parents involved in your personal life and seek their advice before making major decisions to make them feel they are still just as important to you as before. In this hustle-bustle, you may forget to call your parents which might seem like no big deal to you but can depress a lonely parent further. Try and plan you visits around important festivals so that your parents can share the happiness and enjoyment for you! They might call you unnecessarily or take up strange activities in your absence but you must be patient with them and encourage them to go on, so long as they keep themselves busy.
Parents whose children left home last week join those with grandchildren to explore how life changes once the offspring leave (unless, of course, they move back in again later).
Quindlen, always a reliable sage, writes that the empty nest is emptier than ever before by virtue of the fact that so many mothers of her generation threw themselves so wholeheartedly into the role.
She lives in Santa Monica with her husband, Larry Dietz, and her daughter Sarah, who will be leaving home for college in fall of 2007. However, a recent study by a professor at the University of Missouri found that fathers and mothers have similar experiences after children leave home, and many are positive.

Mothers of autistic sons may experience the same feelings that mothers of typical kids do when their sons leave home. Even when this is the case, moms of autistic sons may still have an empty feeling as they adjust to their changing relationships. Many mothers of kids on the spectrum find it difficult to find time for their favorite activities.
This feeling of sadness, ennui and lack of structure which stems from a child’s coming of age and leaving home is known as the empty nest syndrome. 52-year-old Sadia Mumtaz* has been feeling down ever since her son Jamil got married and moved out last month to live independently with his wife. Unfortunately, excessive telephone calls and worrying tends to take a toll on the relationship between the parent and the child. In today’s world where the internet and communication technology has rendered geographic distance virtually immaterial, many parents try talking to their children as much as possible. Instead of developing a potentially lethal addiction to anti-depressants or sleeping aids, it is better to consult a mental health specialist who can understand the predicament and recommend the best course of action. Therefore, it is important for children to call their parents at least once or twice a week. They represent the full range of experience -- from traditional nuclear families to single parents to gay parents to grandparents -- with humor, grace, and poignancy. Alongside the recurring motif of parents sighing forlornly at the threshold of their children's empty rooms, there is also a place for humor ("You lose a child, you gain a sex life," writes Letty Cottin Pogrebin in the essay "Epiphanies of the Empty Nest") as well as a sense of optimism and rebirth ("I felt myself standing a little taller, like a plant reaching up toward the sun," observes Marian Sandmaier). Parents in such situations often experience an inner conundrum wherein they are happy about their children’s improved career opportunities but also slightly resentful because of having to live without them.
I cried when I had to leave him there,” says 24-year-old mother Zahabiya Karim* of her son’s first complete school day. Online communication platforms like Skype, Viber and WhatsApp also make way for bonds that would otherwise be impossible to develop, such as when a child starts a family in another city. If you can’t call frequently, a quick text message or email will also suffice, so long as you don’t make your parents feel forgotten. Packed with hard-earned wisdom and snippets of advice, this comforting collection by pining parents softens the blow of the inescapable. While many of these essays address kids leaving for college, one mother laments a son who died of a heart ailment and another a boy who has set off for Iraq. Typically, women are more likely to be affected than men as many of them are undergoing other significant life events while they are coping with other major changes, such as menopause. This varied and compassionate collection may not mitigate the empty nesters' pain, but it should make them feel that they're in good company as they navigate this parental rite of passage.
I also understand that mummy is very attached to me as I was conceived after seven years of trying,” says Sidra.
Last time I went to the beach, she called me six times and when my signals died, she began calling my friends and their parents!
Before, it revolved around him completely.” This form of empty nest withdrawals is exacerbated in situations wherein the parents are dependent on the child financially or when the parents have entered old-age and are unable to fend for themselves, financially or otherwise. Not to mention, being left alone at a time when you are physically and emotionally incapable of looking after yourself will only make things worse.

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