Confessions of a frustrated #Autism Dad

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I explained to him that I never told him it was okay to do that. The only thing I can think of is that a couple of years ago, Gavin was trying to re-download an app that he had bought, but it wasn’t showing up on the Play Store for some reason. We downloaded the apk for the app off of this site and sideloaded it for him. That was years ago, and I told him never to do that on his own because you have to be careful what you sideload.

Rather than just acknowledge that he forgot and ask for help removing the file from his tablet, he chose to argue that I had permitted him to do this whenever he wanted. That simply never happened.

It’s frustrating for me because it’s so easy for him to misread, misunderstand or even mishear what is said and rather than deal with that, he very often doubles down. No progress can be made in the conversation because Gavin does not like making mistakes.

He became very frustrated with what happened to his tablet because I wasn’t doing what he wanted me to do. The reality was that I hadn’t a clue what the fuck he was talking about. I can’t help him if I don’t know what he is asking for help with.

Everyone in the room became frustrated with Gavin because he was getting so upset. Emmett, who’s fuse runneth short on a good day, had all he could take and basically told Gavin that no one knows what he’s talking about. He didn’t say it quite that nicely but he’s ten years old, and patience isn’t his strong suit right now, especially with all that happened with my grandmother. Emmett’s pretty much constantly living on the edge of a meltdown. Frankly, the fact that it took him fifteen minutes to reach his limit is pretty impressive.

Anyway, I never did figure out precisely what he wanted me to do, but he ended up figuring it out on his own, which isn’t a bad thing. I didn’t know that he was sideloading apps and now that I do, I’m going to have to remove permissions from his device to better protect him from the things that shouldn’t be on his tablet.

We currently use Google’s Family Link, but that doesn’t appear to report apps being sideloaded. I’m very open to app suggestions that could fill this role for us, so please feel free to leave a comment below. ☺

This is just one example of the challenges we’re facing with Gavin. This seems to be happening more and more. It would be more manageable if he tolerated mistakes, but I have very little hope of that ever changing. He’s always been that way, and nothing we ever say or do has had any lasting impact on him.

It’s so incredibly exhausting to spend so much time and energy on things like this. It’s frustrating for everyone, and that includes Gavin. I’m anxiously awaiting the results of his neuropsych testing from earlier in the month. I’m supposed to call later this week or early next week for that.

Nothing we learn from the results will fix anything, but it can provide insight and help us discover more effective ways of assisting him through life. It will be interesting to see where he is now compared to 2014 when he was last tested.

I’m going to bed tonight with the knowledge that tomorrow is a brand new day and a fresh start. That doesn’t always help, especially if I don’t get enough sleep. Still, I will remain hopeful. ☺

Rob Gorski

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

I greatly empathize with you. My 18-year old son will come to me and start saying “computer” when he wants something on his computer. It’s up to me to figure it out and he’ll keep saying it escalating to a meltdown.

One thing that we’ve done to help with this is to give him a whiteboard pen and write/draw what he wants. We’ll hand him the pen and say, “The boy wants . . .” in the hope of prompting him to finish the sentence. It actually works sometimes.


What ever happened with getting Gavin into some sort of program? Or even getting him some workbooks to help keep his mind as sharp as possible. Both of those things came up awhile ago but I haven’t seen any updates. I think that the program especially would really benefit all of you. Spending that much time with anyone, no matter how much you love them, is just not great.