It’s was a sh!tty morning for this #Autism Dad

This morning sucked. On the positive side though, both boys got to school but it was a shifty, meltdown filled morning in The Autism Dad household. 

Elliott was pretty hyper but mostly cooperative and that’s awesome. 

Emmett was another story all together. He’s been having a rough time falling asleep at night since Christmas break threw his routine off and we’ve lost most all of the progress we’d made in that area. 

He’s not getting enough sleep and that exacerbates the sensory related challenges we face every single morning in regards to shoes and socks. 

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It was an absolute nightmare today and we battled for at least thirty minutes before he finally kept his shoes and socks on long enough to make it out the door, into the almost 0°F weather and off to school. 
We tried all the usual things like deep pressure, joint manipulation, brushing, redirecting, positive reinforcement, physically putting his shoes and socks on him without his help and even bribery. 

As terrible as it sounds, as shitty as it feels and it feels shitty, it’s almost like we have to break his will before he will wear them. I hate everything about this. I wish we could just forget shoes and socks but it’s too cold to do that. 

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I don’t know what else to do anymore. Nothing seems to help and I’ve spent so much money on shoes and socks that he will only wear a few times before they begin to bother him. This is something we’re working on at home and in OT but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere. 

Perhaps the focus this weekend should be on smoothing out bedtime. If he gets the sleep he needs, that puts him in a better place to tolerate his shoes and socks. 

This sucks big time and it sapped every last ounce of energy from my entire self. 

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Thankfully and almost unbelievably, he went to school in a good mood. He gave both Lizze and I a big hug before hopping out of the car and running into the school. He gave Lizze a hug before leaving the house cause she stayed back to watch Gavin but he was doing good once we worked through all this shit. 

Being an Autism parent is by far the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. 


  1. Jimmy Rock

    Sorry about the tough morning – that blows. I’m just to suggest one last time that you consider doing the joint manipulation, deep pressure, brushing, etc. at other times during the day, routinely (every day), and not just in the morning once Emmett won’t put on his shoes and socks. Sensory issues generally aren’t resolved just by trying tactile, sensory-related strategies in the midst of a sensory-induced meltdown. You said you’re working on it with the OT, but no matter how great an OT is, a once or twice a week OT session by itself isn’t going to do much for a sensory processing disorder. Have you asked the OT what you should be doing at home, in light of the difficulties that you’re having?

    It’s troubling that you’ve mentioned bribery again with respect to the putting on shoes. Has bribery ever worked in this situation with him? If bribery could work to convince him to wear his shoes, then at least some portion of the problem isn’t sensory-related, or, at the very least, it shows that he’s willing to endure the annoyance of how the socks and shoes feel if he is rewarded, and that suggests that it’s not that bad for him.

    OK on to another point – the sleep thing. It’s funny – in an earlier post you said that you feel like you need to have flexibility as a parent of a autistic child. I get that, and I get the point you were making there. But on the flip side, I think more often it’s important to be rigid. These children crave and expect routine. As much as it’s nice to sleep in and give everyone a break, with all of the sleep issues going on in your house, wouldn’t it be better to stick to the normal bedtime and waking up times, even during school breaks? It can be a pain, and I know that everyone is entitled to a break, but why basically throw away the progress you said you made in that area?

    Keeping on top of all this stuff is so hard – but if it results in a smoother running household, you in turn can become more productive. Best of luck.

    1. Quickly cause I’m walking out the door. We do sensory stuff throughout the week, not just on days it’s a problem.

      His shoes and socks are totally sensory related but it’s greatly impacted by his current demeanor. Bribery is something we pull out in desperate situations. Sometimes it works but not too often. It will work on a good day when what we offer is more important to him then being uncomfortable.

      As for the sleep thing..

      When I said flexibility, I was referring to myself as a parent. I have to be flexible because of the fluid, dynamic and ever changing nature of the challenges that present themselves in regards to three kids with Autism. You’re correct about ridged routine for the kids but parents need to be flexibal in order to adapt to a dynamic situation.. ☺️

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