The heartbreaking reality of parenting an adult child – Page 2

The heartbreaking reality of parenting an adult child

There is absolutely no part of me that believes Gavin is trying to cause a problem. In fact, I truly believe he’s simply trying to help but doing so in a way that is inappropriate and creates major problems within the house.

The boys have begun to resent him for it and they’re not shy about telling him so.

Both the boys are on the Autism Spectrum and have various other special needs of their own but for the most part, do pretty well. Maybe not so much when compared to their neurotypical peers but light years ahead of Gavin, in pretty much all things except age. That’s not meant to be a dig at Gavin either. It’s simply the reality we are living in.

Emmett is the youngest at 10 years of age and honestly, surpassed Gavin both cognitively and emotionally, a long time ago. The same goes for Elliott.

When Gavin tries to intervene, parent or discipline the boys, they don’t take it very well. In all fairness to them, they were patient for a very long time but Gavin just doesn’t quit and he also doesn’t learn from his mistakes. Part of that is probably tied to memory problems and part of it is a lack of capacity.

Lizze and I are having to stay on top of him because that’s the best chance we have of intervening ASAP.

He truly means well but as we all know, the road to Hell was paved with good intentions. At the end of the day, his intentions don’t really matter because he keeps doing this, despite countless attempts to curtail this behavior.

I don’t want there to be resentment between Gavin and his younger brothers. I don’t want them lashing out at him either but at the same time, he just won’t stop doing the things that are pissing them off. They aren’t wrong for being upset. I get it. Gavin drives me crazy but I have the tools to cope with things, while the boys are still developing some of those skills.

Both Elliott and Emmett struggle with life in many ways. They tend to react rather than respond. They react to Gavin before thinking it through.

We had several situations today that resulted in screaming matches because Gavin was sticking his nose where it didn’t belong.

We’re going to be working on this at family therapy. I’m not sure how to address it on our own, so we’ll continue to seek professional guidance.

This is just one of the many things that make parenting an adult child, very difficult. Knowing it will be at least this bad forever, not something I’m super excited about. In fact, it’s a source of enormous amounts of my daily stress.

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Our adult son with autism has average intelligence but doesn’t talk very much so we have what’s called a durable power of attorney which includes medical and financial and we do a Representative Payee for Social Security. There may be a site online for POA for each state in the country. You could run a search for your state. Applying for a Representative Payee can be done at your local SS office.


You all are under so much stress! Did you decide if you would get legal guardianship of Gavin? Seems like that would be a priority.

kimmy gebhardt

What are the problems you’re having with the paperwork which require an attorney, and is there anyone in the Orphan’s Court who can help you with it since you don’t have the money to hire one?

Regarding Gavin disciplining his brothers, is this something new or has he always bossed them around (like many older siblings will do)?

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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