Confessions of an #Autism Dad: I’m so frustrated

I’m going to share this with the expressed purpose of helping you all to understand that it’s okay to feel this way. You shouldn’t best yourself up for getting frustrated or being overwhelmed by your child with Autism.

Last night at Dr. Pattie’s, we were trying to talk with Gavin about the problems he’s having in Math.

We were asking Gavin to explain what kind of problems he’s having in Math and he didn’t know how.  We literally  tried a million different ways to get him to understand    what we were trying to learn and it just wasn’t happening. 

I literally got to the point that I wanted to beat my head into the table we were sitting around.  It’s not Gavin’s fault and I’m not mad at him but it’s unbelievably frustrating.  We need information from him that he’s not able to give us.  I’m not talking anything complicated either. We just needed very basic information. 

For example, we wanted to know if he’s getting the answers right or wrong and he couldn’t even tell us that.  We just get that absent stare.

Dr. Pattie, Lizze and myself finally got to the point that we gave up.  We never made Gavin feel like anything was wrong because we very carefully chose our words and hid our emotions.


This is just how far he’s declined.  Dr. Pattie said that she remembers when Gavin amazed her with his intellect and now he can’t answer a simple question most of the time. 

I don’t know what to really do because his teachers say he’s doing great.

Having said that, Gavin tells me almost every day that he’s lost behavioral points in Math because he got frustrated and lost his cool.

One of my fears is that we will have to rely solely on what his teachers say.  How many of you would be comfortable with that? I for one, am not.  It’s not that I don’t trust the school but I have reason to question his particular teachers.  Remember the whole Gavin asking for help because he was in pain, and they told him “what do you want me to do about it?” …..and then did nothing about it…..

His teachers deny that it happened like that but Gavin was very clear and I believe him, as does Lizze.  For the record, we don’t always believe what Gavin tells us.

I’m so frustrated with this whole goddamn situation.  I can’t focus on anything because I feel like there is this huge, looming thing…..and I don’t know how to prepare for it.  For Christ sake, I don’t even know how to help Gavin make it through the friggin day anymore.
The only thing I can say at this point is that I truly believe that it’s normal to be frustrated bybthe situation and even by Gavin.  I’m not blaming him or looking down on him.  I’m simply recognizing the situation for what it is, frustrating as all hell.

God help us…….

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Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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Lost and Tired

Pooshnc to be honest, I don’t know if he has been evaluated for dyscalculia…..  Although Math has only been an issue in recent years.  I think his issue revolves around Story based problems because he has very little ability to comprehend what he reads.  
With that said, we truly don’t have any idea what’s going on because he can’t relay the information to us.  
Thank you for sharing that.  I really appreciate your insight.  🙂

Lost and Tired

dotdash wise words as usual.  Although, just so we’re on the same page, the memory issues are not related to meds.  It’s part of the overall decide.  It’s been recommended that we find a neuropsychiatric professional.  They can explore the cognitive regression and help to identify the causes.  
As always my friend, I appreciate your thoughts.  🙂


I have dyscalculia…think dyslexia only instead of letters it’s numbers. Frustration is a mild way to put how I feel when it comes to math and it’s especially frustrating when someone asks me why I struggle do math or what it is that I can’t understand about math and numbers. That absent stare that you get from Gavin is the same stare that I gave every teacher I had all through school. This was even more evident recently when I went back to college. I had to take college math last quarter and my instructor got a lot of “the stare” from me because there is NO connection for me and numbers. Does no good to ask me why I can’t understand it because I don’t know why myself!! The numbers may as well be written in Arabic because it makes no impact on my comprehension of their numerical values! If there had been behavior points deducted I would have been in a mess because yes, yes, I threw my math book more than once, cursed, stomped my feet, threw out and out tantrums in my frustration over it. Through perseverance on the part of my math instructor, my husband (a math wizard who sat there and helped me with every single math problem I had for homework)), my father in law (a civil engineer who tutored me) I passed it by the skin of my teeth. Through the years I learned basic math skills. I can add, subtract, multiply and divide on the very most basic levels….think maybe a 4th or 5th grade level at best. Thankfully the degree I am getting does not require anymore math courses because I think my husband would shove his head in the oven before he goes thru that much drama with me again. Have Gain evaluated for dyscalculia, it might shed some light on why youy guys are getting the “stare”.


You are doing the best you can in a very difficult situation and that is sometimes all you can do.  We are so used to being able to solve things (especially medical things), that we can drive ourselves crazy looking for a solution where there is none.  Gavin needs the medications he’s on for critical behavioral reasons, so you have to accept the memory side effects, right?  If you think about it that way, maybe you give yourself a break.  Maybe at some point you will be able to draw a different line on the behavioral medication and then he will gain some memory and concentration back.   But as long as you are doing your best — well, I guess it is hard anyway.  Hang in there.