Special needs parenting: I’m cracking under the pressure and coming apart of the seams

I just can’t sleep tonight.  Lizze and I decided to call Elliott off of school again because he’s not really eating.  He are lunch yesterday and that’s a food thing.  However, all he would eat for dinner was a small dish of yogurt.

He’s got big bags under his eyes and he’s just so incredibly sad. 

I have a 6 old little boy with aspergers, asthma, severe anxiety, most likely adhd and now a tree nut allergy.  He’s barely eating and is extremely moody. 

His little heart is broken over the whole Gavin thing and his anxiety is keeping him from eating because he’s afraid something will have nuts in it and he’ll get sick and have to use his epipen. That’s my best guess is to what’s going on. 

I feel like a complete failure as a father. 

I feel like somethings wrong with Elliott and I don’t know how to help him..

Maybe the medication was a mistake? At this point, I think that we have to look at everything.  He’s changed a great deal since beginning the medication for adhd and anxiety. However, at the same time, everything with Gavin happened about the same time.


Who the hell knows what’s going on? I certainly don’t.  That much I know for sure.

I know that Elliott won’t eat at school,even though the school would make sure it was safe. They have another student with a similar allergy as well.

How can I send him to school knowing that he’s not eating.  When you offer him something to eat, he simply says “no thank you, I’m fine.”

It’s 2am and I’m sitting up in bed, sick to my stomach with worry.

Not only about this thing with Elliott but also something that has come up with Gavin that I’ll go into in another post. 

I feel like a complete and utter failure. I can’t get anything done, no matter how hard I try. I have bills to pay, article deadlines to meet so I can pay those bills, kids that are in a daddy phase and demanding every ounce  of my attention, a wife who’s health is getting worse buy the day and child that we had to move out of our house at the age of 12.

Oh…..and a 6 year old that is refusing to eat out of fear for his life. 

There isn’t a pill, legal or not, that can help take the edge off of this.

We can go grocery shopping next week and that should help Elliott. However until then, we’re limited as to what we can offer him. 

I know this isn’t all about me but I’m totally beginning to come apart at the seams. Oh…..did I forget to mention that Emmett is rolling into another fever flare?

Whether it’s rational or not, you’ll never convince me that I’m not failing my family.  I realize that this is kind of a lot to cope with but to me, that’s no excuse.

Please God, let today be a better day. At least help Elliott to begin eating something

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I totally get that middle-of-the-night panic/guilt.  It's awful.  We suffer a lot as a parents, but our work makes a difference.  Just have faith that if you make each little decision from a good place (from love, from responsibility, from truth), then things will work out in the long run.  You're doing a hard hard job – the hardest there is.  Hang in there, take it a day at a time.

Brianne Lynn

My oldest son has been on Focalin for over 2 years.  We have had many issues with anxiety and lack of appetite.  Focalin did not take 4 weeks to kick in for our son.  It was like 2 days.  We are still playing around with meds to help with the anxiety but my son's endocrinologist put him on cyproheptadine which helps increase his appetite.  It works wonders!  That and we added a probiotic.  He is like a new kid.  Just letting you know how things are working for us that might work for you.

Mary Franzen Costell

Not sure if it will help, but when we found out Ethan has Celiac disease, our local store gave us a tour of the store and showed us what he could eat. Maybe Elliot would appreciate it. We didn't buy anything on that trip. Maybe you could take pictures on your camera and create a visual of safe foods for him.


From Drugs.com
side effects of dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) may include:
sleep problems (insomnia);
loss of appetite;
upset stomach;
feeling restless, anxious, or jittery;
dry mouth, sore throat; or
Adderall side effects:
fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
pain or burning when you urinate;
talking more than usual, feelings of extreme happiness or sadness;
tremors, hallucinations, unusual behavior, or motor tics (muscle twitches); or
dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).


I don't know if you remember (you talk to a lot of people :-)) but I started my son on Focalin literally the day after you started Elliott on his med.  We took him off this past Friday, and I am glad.  We have started him on Intuniv which is the only ADHD med that is not a stimulant.  Downside is that it takes about 4 weeks to fully kick in.  Why did we stop Focalin?  #1, Jack was not eating- appetite literally GONE.  And this is a kid who eats like it's his job usually.  Also, his sensory issues went beserk- he wouldn't poop, and his auditory issues were the worst they have been in years- he was wearing headphones all day everyday at school.  He didn't wear them at all yesterday.  And he is munching away.  I am sure that the allergy is making him anxious, but maybe the med is affecting Elliott's appetite too?  Just a thought


ahh yes the dark heart of the night, when all the shadows draw close each whispering a name a fault a worry an accusation,  when even the pale reflection of the moon's light is lost behind the leaden cloud of doubt.
ohh hope ohh false friend how you have deceived me.
But we endure. 
that is the heart of us. we grit our teeth around fates bit and we endure.  In this the Angels stand in awe, 
We endure.  
The dark heart of the night, 
we endure
on a more practical note and I just know you'll be loaded down with ever so helpful advice, so here's mine.  Your son's issue with food is really one of control,( for both of you really. )  The trick here is to give him some control back.  You might enroll in a cooking class,  (or have a cooking instructor drop by your place if perhaps a cooking class would be too much new stimulation and social groups)  Food allergies are becoming more common so cooking classes geared toward such allergies are available pretty much everywhere.  In learning to cook his own food, he will gain some control over his food.  In the short term, I might try to add ensure or some such and protein bars. Prepackaged foods he can be sure of and not open or unwrap til he eats it.  
hugs and hot cocoa, ( liberally spiked with spiced rum)