#Autism parents aren’t anti-social, we just don’t want to overstimulate our kids with Autism 

When Lizze and I decide that it’s best that we don’t make an appearance somewhere, it’s because we have to think about how the kids are going to cope or react to the situation we would be putting them in. That shouldn’t be misinterpreted because even an overwhelmingly positive situation can still have a negative impact on the kids.

That negative impact takes the form of overstimulation. 

Overstimulation can happen in both positive and negative situations. There’s a great deal of confusion about this because I think people in general don’t recognize that even the best, most awesome experience can lead to overstimulation in kids with Autism.

The problem is that most of the time, the fallout from this overstimulation doesn’t occur until after the fact.  In other words, most of the time, my kids will do fine at the event and then fall apart when they get home. This means that no one but my wife and I will experience the fallout.

When I say fallout, I am of course referring to the dreaded meltdown. 
The thing about meltdowns is that they are exhausting for everyone involved and when you are a chronically, sleep deprived, Autism parent; you do everything you can to avoid them. It’s quite honestly a matter of survival.

I hate seeing my kids in the kind of distress that occurs with a meltdown because they are so overwhelmed by everything, that their bodies simply purge. It’s very much a last, desperate act of their bodies to unload all the anxiety and stress in the only way they can.

As Autism parents, my wife and I desperately try to avoid situations that will cause our kids to experience overstimulation because it’s not fair to them.

Frankly, we’re already completely overwhelmed ourselves and while it’s bad for our kids, we can’t afford to put the boys in a situation that’s going to make life even more challenging than it already is.

Even after all these years, I still find that not everyone understands that we aren’t being antisocial or avoiding anyone.

We are simply trying to do right by our kids and ensure that we don’t put them in a situation that will lead to overstimulation, just because we want to go somewhere.

4 comments

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    • Ettina on July 27, 2016 at 9:18 am
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    Why do you call your kids “children with autism” and yourself an “autism parent”? (Not just you, Autism Dad, but anyone who describes themselves this way.) You think being a parent of a child on the spectrum is a part of your identity, yet you deny that autism is part of your child’s identity? As an autistic person, that seems hypocritical to me.

    1. Okay. I’m not sure where that came from but let me try to clarify because I think you may have the wrong impression. Have actually talked about this very thing, quite a bit.

      I think I understand where you’re coming from. As far as my choice to say “with Autism” or “Autistic”, it just depends on what I’m trying to say. To me, they both mean the same thing and I tend to choose the words that sorta flow better, in the context of what I’m talking about.

      I don’t view either way in a negative light.

      As for the Autism Dad comment, I don’t know that’s my identity per say. It’s the title of a blog and it’s describes my parenting situation. For me personally, I feel it helps me reach other Autism parents because when they see The Autism Dad, they know I’m someone who can understand and relate to them.

      In regards to being hypocritical, I don’t see it that way. Maybe that’s true for some but it’s not fair to say that as a blanket statement.

      I’ve never denied that Autism is part of who my kids are. It’s absolutely part of who they are. Does it define who they are? No it doesn’t.

      My kids are just my kids and they happen to also be on the Autism Spectrum. They also have brown hair and either blue or brown eyes,depending on whom I’m referring to.

      That’s one of the reasons that I would personally never try to “cure” my kids of Autism.. It’s part of who they are and it helps to make up their personality. Taking that away from them who fundamentaly change who they are and I would never do that to them.

      Some parents may feel differently because their situation is different than mine.

      There are plenty of times that I’ll say my 3 autistic kids… It just depends.

      Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, I’m happy to try again. I’m sorry if I ever gave you the impression that I view

    • Ettina on February 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    • Reply

    Why do you call your kids “children with autism” and yourself an “autism parent”? (Not just you, Autism Dad, but anyone who describes themselves this way.) You think being a parent of a child on the spectrum is a part of your identity, yet you deny that autism is part of your child’s identity? As an autistic person, that seems hypocritical to me.

    1. Okay. I’m not sure where that came from but let me try to clarify because I think you may have the wrong impression. Have actually talked about this very thing, quite a bit.

      I think I understand where you’re coming from. As far as my choice to say “with Autism” or “Autistic”, it just depends on what I’m trying to say. To me, they both mean the same thing and I tend to choose the words that sorta flow better, in the context of what I’m talking about.

      I don’t view either way in a negative light.

      As for the Autism Dad comment, I don’t know that’s my identity per say. It’s the title of a blog and it’s describes my parenting situation. For me personally, I feel it helps me reach other Autism parents because when they see The Autism Dad, they know I’m someone who can understand and relate to them.

      In regards to being hypocritical, I don’t see it that way. Maybe that’s true for some but it’s not fair to say that as a blanket statement.

      I’ve never denied that Autism is part of who my kids are. It’s absolutely part of who they are. Does it define who they are? No it doesn’t.

      My kids are just my kids and they happen to also be on the Autism Spectrum. They also have brown hair and either blue or brown eyes,depending on whom I’m referring to.

      That’s one of the reasons that I would personally never try to “cure” my kids of Autism.. It’s part of who they are and it helps to make up their personality. Taking that away from them who fundamentaly change who they are and I would never do that to them.

      Some parents may feel differently because their situation is different than mine.

      There are plenty of times that I’ll say my 3 autistic kids… It just depends.

      Does that make sense? If it doesn’t, I’m happy to try again. I’m sorry if I ever gave you the impression that I view

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