Confessions of an #Autism parent: The 7 emotions I feel almost daily

Based on my last two posts, it’s probably not much of a surprise to hear that I’m not in the best place right now.

I’ve reached a point of being so overwhelmed by everything, I feel like I’m frozen in place and just don’t know what to do.  I feel crushed under the weight of everything and I know that I’m not going to see any help.

The only help I get is from my parents and there’s only so many ways they can help.

Elliott and Emmett have been much more challenging over the last few weeks and their therapist and I have not been able to really nail down a trigger or cause. There doesn’t even have to be a discernible reason, it could just be one of those things.


We try to identify a stressor or cause because if we do, we can address it and hopefully make life easier for everyone.

I don’t know how to really describe the behavior I’m seeing but it’s sorta like their ADHD meds just stopped working. They’re all over the place and never seem to slow down. They’re a sensory nightmare and I feel like I have front row seats and season tickets to the neverending meltdown.

Maybe it’s the holiday’s or the change in time and weather.  Maybe it’s that we are approaching the end of the school year or maybe it’s something else entirely…

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As a single parent, I’m feeling crushed at times because there’s no escape from the stress. I almost never sleep through the night or even wake up feeling like I slept at all.

I get 2 nights off a month. It’s more time off than some parents get and I try never to forget that but the truth is, those 2 nights really have no impact because it’s not even uninterrupted time to myself.  There’s almost always something that I dragged into and it’s not like I can just ignore these things because my kids are involved.

Still, I do get those 2 nights off and I’m grateful for them.

I don’t think there’s any one thing that’s got me dangling from a ledge. It’s probably a combination of things that are occurring or have occurred in my recent life.

It’s really hard to articulate what it’s like to be a single parent to 3 kids with the kind of special needs that mine have.  Taken individually, those needs are far more easily met but unfortunately, taken individually just isn’t a possible approach..

I’m tired.

I’m stressed out.

I’m overwhelmed.

I’m frustrated.

I’m depressed.

I’m in dispair.

I’m alone.

These are just a few of the feelings I experience on a daily basis and I imagine that’s something many of you are able to relate to.

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The reality is that I do have a support system but it’s less than half of what it used to be.  It’s limited in nature but it’s more than what some people have and I’m beyond grateful for whatever help I do get.  It’s just not enough to really make an impact.

Here’s the reality of the situation and it’s a situation that far too many Autism parents have to contend with.

There are few things out there that can take the place of an actively involved second parent in the home.  That’s just the way it is and unfortunately,  that’s not going to change for myself or many others..

I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone but that limited comfort doesn’t make things any easier.

At this point, I experience feelings of despair because there’s no perceiveable end in sight.  It sometimes doesn’t feel like things will ever get better and that’s not a very good feeling.

If you can relate to any of this, please leave a comment and we can chat about our experiences if you want.  It might help to connect with someone who gets it…

There’s not much in my life that’s easy.  Loving my kids is very easy for me..  Raising them is anything but……


  1. dotdash

    I don’t think you should underestimate the difficulty of the situation you are in, either publicly or to yourself.

    Remember that things will get better. Your children are really smart and when their cognition catches up with their emotions, they will self-regulate better. The smarter the child, the more they can cognitively overcome whatever sensory or emotional challenges they run into. So each day brings you closer to an easier time.

    We all are rooting for you, even if there is nothing much we can do to help.

  2. Jimmy Rock

    Things have been a bit challenging lately in my household too. I get it, at least to some small extent. I hope you keep in mind that some well intentioned people sometimes might have criticisms, critiques, or suggestions that are misguided or worse. But they are well meaning. We can talk all we want about acceptance but the fact of the matter is that the majority of people are able to understand only as far as their own personal experience allows them to. Maybe it’s not a sunshine and rainbows kind of attitude but I think it’s accurate.

    That doesn’t mean that there aren’t some amazing people out there. Find them and hold on to them as your friends, therapists, teachers, or whatever role they might fill.

    As for people judging, f- ’em. Their opinions are irrelevant. I don’t have time for worrying about that nonsense and neither should you.

    Hang in there.

  3. Ian Peak

    Thanks Rob for your blog. Makes me feel not so bad about myself when I’m not coping with ours too well! Reading your posts helps me feel it’s OK to feel overwhelmed sometimes, and it’s normal to have ups and downs, but the downs don’t last forever, and progress and the ups are just around the corner…whether good or bad, today is not forever! When feel I’m not coping so well, others usually remind me I’m doing better, and the reality is that children are doing better than my perception says.

  4. tannawings

    Three boys are tough, it is just a fact of life. They have you outnumbered, plus they have more energy, and can outrun you.:) Elliott and Emmett are super close in age, they likely just set each other off, and a slight case of cabin fever is setting in- its nice you got them to burn some energy with that walk!
    It will get better, and like Dot says your kids are smart..
    Keep going, keep your head up.

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