that the time for placing Christian(12) in a home make be coming sooner than we had hoped. I've been sick all week with bronchitis and pneumonia. DH has been battling this virus, trying to not get his lungs enflamed, trying to take care of me and get enough rest himself ( he is retired due to severe lung/heart disease.) The kids are out of school on Spring Break,which means Christian is at home all day. He's severely mentally retarded/ autistic and requires 24hr supervision. He wears diapers, needs assistance with feeding, dressing, bathing, etc. and needs to be in constant touch with one of us when he is walking outside due to some off-balance mobilitiy issues. He has seizures as well. But he has a sweet personality and is a joy to be around. During the school week he has a tight routine which keeps him stable,but this week has just gone to hell in a handbasket. DH became overwhelmed with him very quickly and it has taken a lot for me to be able to assist. This child is over 100lbs now and is almost 5'1"--he will likely top out at over 6ft. When he has a mind to do something, he is strong and stubborn. He can knock me and DH off our feet and I have fallen with him twice this week. Christian can pull away so fast and has no sense of danger. It has just been so glaring this week that we are approaching a crossroads We always knew it would come. Christian has the mind of a 1-2yo; he will never live without supervision. But I had supposed that the day would come later, say after he turned 21. Something clicked with me this week...I think he might need to be placed before the end of high school. I don't think I will be able to care for him for 10 more years. He's too big, too heavy. The load is almost too great to bear, especially since DH can't always keep up. I feel like Atlas, holding up the weight of the world. One false move and everything could come crashing down. This is not a need for respite. We have Christian go to a respite provider at times. This was a wake-up call--our son is going through puberty. This is the beginning of him becoming a man. I'm 50yrs old. When I'm 60, he'll be 22. DH's health is slowly, steadily declining so I can't count on him to have the ability or strength to care for him for another 20-30 years. The realization is not new, but it is painful. No one wants to place their loved one in an institution. But sometimes the circumstances warrant a plan. I think I need to get in contact with our local ARC group and start getting the ball rolling. It can take up to 7yrs to get placement in this area. Don't want to miss the boat.