The special needs of my daughter dictate the routine my entire family follows on a daily basis. Our daughter, Araya, inadvertently creates the greatest challenges to my family's life. When her doctors first diagnosed Araya as Severely Autistic, we were devastated, but since then we have managed to get her enrolled in special classes that have already made a difference in her communication skills and behavior. One of the biggest challenges for a family with an Autistic child is the fact that any disruption in routine can result in temper tantrums as the child struggles to deal with a new situation in a world that they already find impossible to negotiate on their own. Araya responds better to me and although her mother is also capable of caring for her every need, it is often works better for me to handle certain situations. Waiting with her for her bus has become part of my daily routine, as is meeting her at the end of her school day. Structure and a daily routine are integral to her progress, as are frequent meetings with her school and her aides. When Araya is assigned a new aide, our entire family has to deal with the upheaval created. A couple of months ago, Araya's progress was assessed through a hospital program and for a couple of weeks she stayed at the hospital. Because of her reaction to strange situations, my wife and I took turns staying with her. Just last week, we had problems because the bus that picks her up in the morning did not arrive as scheduled and my plans for the day dissolved instantly. Not only had I waited outside needlessly, but instead of the quiet day we envisioned, we had an upset child who did not understand why she was not going to school. We also had to ensure that whatever had caused the problem with the buses arrival was resolved, so that we would not have to deal with a repeat. We adapted. We had no choice. Our youngest child, our son, is a rambunctious, healthy two year old. That means he is into everything from the moment he gets up in the morning until he goes to bed at night. It also means he suffers from the usual childhood ailments, like earaches, that occasionally interrupt our days with trips to the doctor and sleepless nights. Although younger, in many ways he is socially more advanced than his sister, and as siblings they are also playmates. Because his sister's Autism sometimes results in her throwing things with no warning, we have to be constantly alert when the children play together, even more than most parents of toddlers. Araya simply does not understand the concept of cause and effect. Good and bad. Allotting the necessary time for my writing and studies has to be incorporated into an already existing structure that has little or no room for deviation. It also required the encouragement and full co-operation of my wife. It often means I stay up late working when the house is quiet, and that I might require a nap in the middle of the day to make up for a night of studying. As a father with a family and particularly with a special needs child, places unique challenges in Araya's path. I have to juggle my routine around a rigid schedule developed by health care professionals for my daughter. Changes to that schedule affect her treatment and her future, and also disrupt my entire family's serenity. I can honestly say that my life feels like controlled chaos, as I attempt to overcome the challenges I face and balance all the tasks required to take care of Araya.