Until the day I die

I sent him back upstairs to finish shaving and explained that he needs to shave everything if he’s shaving his chin. We went back upstairs, hitting himself along the way because he needed to be reminded to finish shaving.

He came back down five minutes later having only shaved his mustache and leaving the rest of his beard. I sent him back up a second time and he intensified his attacks to his own body.

He came back down about three minutes later, having shaved his cheeks but leaving his neck. I had to send him back a third time to finish the job. This time he was really upset with himself.

He’s eighteen years old and I had to send him back to finish shaving three or four times in a row. If I hadn’t been so busy getting the kids ready and trying to get out the door, I would have walked him through it, step by step.

It’s this kind of thing that shows up in almost every area of his life and it’s so absolutely exhausting for me as a parent. I love Gavin unconditionally but at the same time, knowing that I will have to this until the day I die is overwhelming, demoralizing and frankly, terrifying. Knowing that it’s only going to get worse over time is beyond my ability to articulate.

Rob Gorski

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

Where was Lizze that she wasn’t able to get the other boys ready so you could divide and conquer and help Gavin? Also, would it have helped if you had said “go shave all the hair off your face” or has his comprehension slipped along with his other faculties?


I have a feeling that this is something you would have gotten a wry amusement from before, or maybe even laughed at outright. I mean, why would you waste any time or emotion AT ALL on whether an 18 year old had weird facial hair? (They just do. All of them. Some on purpose.) Sometimes, under enough stress, it’s hard to separate the small stuff from the big stuff. I’m worried about you.


The main point I wanted to make was that I think that you would have laughed about this a year ago. Or two years. Which leads me to think you are in a darker place now. It’s worrisome and I worry about you. That’s all.


It sounds like motor planning. A lot of people with autism have difficulty. My adult son still needs to have my hubby help him shave. Actually I’m trying to teach hubby to not do it all for him. Have you tried a social story? It’s really a step by step story with pics & words describing an event which is read, often describing feelings of anger or frustration the person with autism has. You have a lot of events in your life, but the common thread is a need to describe feelings and how appropriately to deal with them. Titles of stories could be ” When I shave myself” “When I go to the Dr. and need a shot” As a speech therapist, I just made up alot of stories for events like “When we have a fire drill”. Carol Gray is the guru of social stories.


So can I ask, why was it a big deal he only shaved the part that was bothering him? Besides looking silly maybe. That seems like a pick your own battles thing

Daino Rosso

Yes, it does.