Confessions of an #Autism Dad: What I’ve learned from doubting myself

I don’t know how many people ever feel this way, let alone admit it, but there are times where I seriously question what the powers that be were thinking when they put me on this path. 

Being a parent is hard enough. Adding Autism, fragile health, and several other serious mental health issues into the mix, makes things infinitely more difficult. 

As Autism parents, we have to function twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year, sometimes for the rest of our natural lives. We may never experience an empty nest. 



It’s exhausting, overwhelming, frustrating, heartbreaking, and even devastating at times. The stress level alone doesn’t even qualify as stress. In reality, there isn’t a word that can accurately express the level of stress an Autism parent deals with on a daily basis. 

Simply saying it’s stressful is not only a disservice, but it’s the equivalent of referring to the Grand Canyon as a crack or a ditch. 

As parents to a child with Autism, we are tasked with a job that often requires superhuman abilities. Unfortunately, the best we have to offer are human abilities, and those are more often than not, woefully inadequate. 



For me personally, I find that being unable to meet many of the needs my kids have, can lead me to feeling like I’m not cut out for this job. Sometimes, I even feel like they deserve so much better than me. Other times I feel like a complete failure. 

I know that I’m not really a failure, but when I’m beaten down, exhausted, overwhelmed, and in way over my head, it’s hard to see that. 

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This is something that I suspect happens to the best of us. It’s normal to feel this way when faced with such enormous challenges. The important thing to remember is that all we can expect from ourselves, is the best we can do. No one can ask for more than that. 

Without getting all spiritual, as I’m not a super spiritual person, I do believe we are chosen to walk this difficult path. There’s something inside each of us that makes us uniquely qualified to help guide a child with these kinds of challenges, through life. 

I think it was known ahead of time that we would never be perfect parents. It was probably not a secret that we would make mistakes and often fall short of meeting the ever growing, ever changing needs of our special kids.

In a way, I also feel like mayne we are the ones who hold ourselves to an impossible standard. Perhaps if we just took a step back, we might see that while we are far from perfect, we are the perfect people to parent our kids with Autism. 

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