A Gavin Update: It’s fricking exhausting

Gavin’s been spending more and more time, locked away in his room lately. Some of this time revolves around his tablet and some of it around missions.

He’s not really talking about his missions a whole lot anymore.

The last time he said something about them, was a few days ago and it’d been awhile before that.

It’s difficult to really grasp exactly what’s going on with Gavin because while he talks constantly, it’s not usually about anything meaningful. He never talks much about how he feels but instead talks a great deal about the games on his tablet.

In fact, I don’t think he knows how to talk about anything else.

After the race yesterday, my parents wanted to treat everyone to some ice cream. It was the five of us, my two sister, their long time boyfriends (who are incidentally, very good with the boys) and of course, my parents.

Gavin did nothing but talk about his food or his latest tablet game.

I sometimes forget how incredibly awkward he is in social situations. I’m so used to it at home, it doesn’t always register with me how bad it is until I see him in action around others.

I always feel compelled to intervene and stop him from assaulting them with his barrage of words.

He is relentless with his talking and doesn’t allow for anyone else to talk about what they want to talk about. We’ve worked on this his whole life and it’s just never helped. He’s not really talking to you either, he’s talking at you.

Everyone is really patient with him because they aren’t exposed to it as continuously as we are.

My Mom and I were talking about how exhausting it is to be on the receiving end of all this talking. She hangs out with Gavin frequently and has had her share of constant, one-sided conversations with him, as have Lizze’s parents.

Still, there’s a big difference between relatively minimal exposure and living with him 24/7.

I swear to God it’s like a form of torture. I’ve said that for years because it’s true. When he gets going, there’s no nice way to really stop him from talking. It wears me down over time and like constant flowing water, it errods away my sanity.

While he will continue to talk, he’s not expecting anyone to say anything back to him so in a small way, that’s a blessing. I’ve been known to listen for a bit, then literally put my earbuds in and drown out his voice with music. He doesn’t seem to know the difference.

I share this, not to make Gavin seem weird or difficult because none of this is his fault. He simply doesn’t comprehend or possess good communication skills. He can’t read people, their expressions or emotions.

This is quite common in the world of Autism. It’s a great deal easier to take when they’re younger though. Now that he’s 18 years old and physically an adult, it’s harder to deal with this stuff. I guess I’d always hoped that at some point, these behaviors would change and now that he’s an adult, it’s pretty obvious they won’t.

My only goal here is to shed some light on an Autism related challenge we face on a daily basis and the effects it has on me as a parent.

Do you have a constant talker in your family? How does it impact you or anyone else? Leave your story in the comment s below and we’ll talk about it.. ☺

Rob Gorski

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