Exhausting efforts and interventions

It’s been a really frustrating day. Gavin’s been struggling behaviorally and I honestly don’t have the patience to deal with the outbursts.

In fairness, Gavin is doing so much better overall and he’s come such a long way. I’m incredibly proud of him. At the same time, there are things we need to work on. Gavin has a really short fuse and it doesn’t take a whole lot to set him off.

Today I was watching Bob’s Burgers, and Gavin sat down to eat lunch. He’s got this weird thing with shows like this and I’m not sure I understand where he’s coming from. Usually, he will get up and leave the room if something he doesn’t like comes on. Today he was eating lunch, so he didn’t really have anywhere to go.

I left the show on because I was there first and I want Gavin to be able to work through some of these things without freaking out.

He sorta blew me away because he just sat there watching. I even snagged a picture because he was smiling and laughing at the show. It was really kinda weird but also kind of exciting because I thought we’d made some progress.

At one point, and this was my downfall, I said that I was happy to see him enjoying the show.

It was that simple statement that set him off. I thought I was being encouraging and supportive but apparently I was wrong. Gavin flipped the fuck out and became very upset.

The worst he did was yell and slam his fist on the table. Frankly, that’s too much aggression but at the same time, he showed remarkable restraint because I could see how upset he was. A few years ago, he wouldn’t have had that restraint.

Still, it became an issue and I was trying to figure out why he was upset.

The only thing I can figure is that he didn’t want anyone to think he liked Bob’s Burgers. It really was a bit bizarre but I think I know what may have happened.

Gavin is the kind of kid that if you tell him something, he just accepts it. He will rarely challenge anyone because he’s just a very compliant kid. At some point, I think someone must have told him that Bob’s Burgers was inappropriate for him to watch. I think he doesn’t like the show because he was told it was inappropriate and he just accepted that.

Turns out, he actually does enjoy watching it but when he catches himself liking it, he feels like he’s breaking a rule. That’s why he gets so upset, especially when confronted with the fact that he was laughing and smiling while watching it. He was angry with himself for breaking whatever rule he feels is in place about watching this show.

This wouldn’t be the first time Gavin has taken someone’s comment to heart in regards to something being inappropriate. It takes a great deal of effort to undo that.

He did calm down and then proceeded to express himself quite well.

I explained to him that there’s nothing wrong with him liking a show that someone, other than his parents may have labeled as inappropriate. I told him that I will be the one to tell him if something is inappropriate and if I need help deciding, I’ll bring Lizze into it as well.

The reason I told him that I was happy to see him enjoying the show was because I was happy to see him enjoying the show. It’s awesome to see him laughing and smiling. I was trying to encourage him and all I did was upset him.

There were several other incidents today that required intervention and rather exhausting efforts to help him work through. I’m fucking tired and frustrated but also proud.

Despite the challenge, I feel like we at least made some progress. I got Gavin to admit that he does like watching Bob’s Burgers and he asked that I not make comments about him liking it. Fair enough and I’m cool with that. What a great job he did of expressing himself. ☺

Rob Gorski

Full time, work from home single Dad to my 3 amazing boys. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)
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I think it’s awesome that Gavin was able to relay to you that although he liked the show he had been told it was inappropriate for him to watch it. Hopefully he can go forward enjoying to watch it and not feel like he’s breaking any rules!!


My son was just diagnosed with level 2 Autism. He is 8. I’m in a weird state about it, wondering if I did something wrong, wondering if the diagnosis is wrong, wondering if my kid will ever lead a normal life. Constantly thinking about the events of his life from the past that are consistent with the diagnosis and wondering how we could have missed it.
Thank you for sharing your experiences.

Amy G

Awww Ace. It’s a hard thing. We have a plan for our kids, an idea of how we would like life to work out for them, and any kind of diagnoses can completely rock our world. Cut yourself some slack. There is absolutely nothing you could have done any different. And the great thing is you are getting a fairly early diagnosis so you and your son’s docs can come up with a plan moving forward that will best benefit him. Just a little lesson I learned the hard way, take care of yourself too!! Don’t feel guilty about taking a little ‘me time’ when you can, it will help you be the best parent you can be. Much ❤️ and to you!