Fathers Hard Hit by Autism

Fathers Autism


A groundbreaking University of Wisconsin-Madison study reveals some hard truths about the toll autism takes on fathers. According to the researchers:

* More than 30 percent of fathers of grown children with autism experience symptoms of depression so severe that they warrant clinical attention.

* Fathers of adolescents and young adults with autism experience high levels of depression and are pessimistic about what the future holds for their son or daughter, much more so than dads whose kids have other disabilities such as Down syndrome.

* Like mothers of autism spectrum children, fathers experience higher stress and that stress remains constant even as their children age. 

This is the first time researchers have specifically studied how dads cope as their autism spectrum children get older. While the mitigating factors such as the child’s behavior, how many children in the family have a disability, the father’s age and the mother’s well-being did factor into responses, fathers of children with autism still suffered more than those with other disabilities.

Extrapolating from my previous posting about the financial toll autism takes on moms, it’s not difficult to surmise some of the reasons for this phenomenon. Fathers of children with autism work more hours than other fathers to take up the slack for their hard-pressed wives, so the pressure on them to provide for their families is enormous and during this hard economy, potentially crushing.

And as the study on moms established, services for autism are fragmented and unequally covered by insurance, accounting for the findings relative to other disabilities.

Adolescence is a time of stress for all parents, but for parents of children with autism, abstract fear of the future now becomes palpable. 

It’s a well known fact that resources for young adults with autism are scant, so adulthood rarely signals the end of a father’s financial burdens. Pessimism is understandable given the unrelenting pressure and the contemplation of what will become of a child after the parent is gone. Even in my posting about grown autism children clustering to live independently, it was the parents, (i.e. largely the dads) who put up the money to establish and maintain their child’s housing. 

And this is just the financial angle. While there are support groups for autism dads, finding the time for them can be problematic and men are more socialized to just soldier on. The resultant emotional isolation can easily foster depression and if they look to their wives and see someone suffering from the burden of the daily care of the child, the father cannot help but be affected as well.

This study is just the tip of the iceberg about autism dads and as one of the researchers put it, “This is the first step to drawing attention to dads, we need to get away from just looking at moms.” 

Dads, we’d love to hear from you…..

84 Responses to Fathers Hard Hit by Autism

  1. tom burke says:

    Its great to draw attention to the problem but lets not succumb to self pity and despair. Autism is a deceptive and tormenting beast but WE are not alone. there is help and hope.

  2. Susan says:

    True enough! Letting people know they aren’t alone in their feelings is huge.

    Susan Moffitt

  3. Kevin Bowden says:

    Could not have said it better than Tom Burke ,Support is the key for the whole family.Moms are the real heros here.

  4. Susan says:

    Well, we moms appreciate your appreciation.


  5. Jackie Cunningham says:

    Moms are not the only heroes; unless Dad has left or is non-supportive / hands off in the raising of the kids. I am blessed with a very hands-on husband. Finances are surely an issue, as I am unable to work right now having 2 sons with autism (we have a 10yr old and a 6 year old who are both low functioning and non-verbal). Although I am the one here at home all of the time, Dad never stops helping or loving my sons and me; from the time he gets home until he passes out from exhaustion in the wee hours of the morning. I wish there would be more attention given to the hero fathers of autism…they do exist and I appreciate them :)

  6. Susan says:

    I’m happy for you that you have a such a great husband! I think our commenting dad, Kevin, was being gracious and self effacing, we all know that dads are heroes too.

  7. Matt says:

    We have been dealing with autism in our family for about six years now. It really sucks.

  8. Susan says:

    I know what you mean, it’s a harsh reality.

  9. Nathan Kartchner says:

    We have a six year old with high functioning autism. Some people don’t understand what it is like. It sure takes a lot of patience that is for sure and alot of love. The melt downs and him throwing things, I could do without.

  10. Susan says:

    People really don’t get it, I know.
    Patience and love is right, and yes, a day with few or no incidences is a very good day. You sound like a fine dad.

  11. Ron says:

    I was recently searching for an online father support group. Do not know if this is what this is supposed to be but seems like it is down those lines. Is there such a thing where fathers as myself can “vent” (I mean that in a productive way) to another father and get some advice? Thanks for any help.

  12. Tony says:

    Hi Ron,

    I am here for the same reasons. Looking for other fathers that can share experiences. I am the primary care-giver for my 3 year old daughter with ASD. I am learning how to seek therapy, advocate and navigate the obstacles but it is trying. I have learned when I am at my highest levels of stress, I remind myself what it takes to deal with Autism; Unwavering Patience. I visualize the word and hear it in my mind. It gives me strength and the resilience to get through tough times in the most constructive way I know how. I wade through all the info to gain as much knowledge as I can.
    The initial shock of diagnosis is gone. Now I can focus on what I need to do for my child. She is what drives me but I must remind myself that in order to do my best for her, I need to learn how to take care of myself. That is where I am stuck now and seeking answers.
    My biggest enemy isn’t Autism at all. It’s myself.

  13. saeed says:

    Hi guys
    My beautiful son was diagnosed with ASD over 1.5 years ago. He is 4 and not talking. Worse of all, he is my only child. I still haven’t come in term with it. I haven’t had a good night sleep since that September day in 2011. I hope I get better as I now the stress from work and my son will definitely get me unless I can do something about it. So far not successful. I wish you all good luck and I hate this thing from bottom of my heart.

  14. Susan says:

    I’m so sorry. Are you getting enough help and support? Is your son in treatment? Early intervention can bring huge gains. If there’s something I can do, I will.

    There is still hope, not for “normalcy”, but for real progress.

    Warmest Regards, Susan

  15. saeed says:

    Thanks Susan. We live in the U.K and my son has his private tutors at home. Like other fathers and mothers too sometimes the whole thing is so frustrating and I think I just wanted to get it off my chest for a short time. Are you guys based in States? Thanks again for offering help. I let you know if there is anything to ask. Good luck on your work.

  16. Susan Moffitt says:

    Well, I’m always available for venting. I’m glad your son has tutors. Sounds like you’re all over it.

    My editor is in Florida and I’m in Seattle.

    Best Wishes,


  17. Ian "Wolf" Williams says:

    Howdy, like many other dads, I too am searching for a support group for dads of kids diagnosed with autism.

    (that brought me here!)

    If any one knows of any in the Metro NY area please post. All i see are moms groups, and I know that men process and vent way differently than women. I’m finding that I need to be in an ‘iron sharpens iron” environment.

    My son is 5, diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Some days are good, great, and then not so great. I try to rationalise it and tell myself “dude, your situation aint that bad, you’ve seen more severe cases while visiting other schools, so count your blessings”. Sometimes it works, sometimes, not.

    I find myself going from anger, (not at him), to sadness, to depression to WTF???? Usually goes away for a bit when I’m at my desk and he runs over humming, and hugs my arm.

    I like the “unwavering patience” thing. I may have to print that out and put it on my wall.

    Be well, Stay strong.


  18. Susan says:

    I couldn’t find a dads group either, but at this page is a link w/advice on how to start your own group.

    Thanks for writing and good luck finding other autism dads…Susan


  19. Tom says:

    It is hard being a Dad of children with special needs. We have 16 year old triplets, all 3 with special needs. Son #2 has ASD & ID.

    I am scared to think about what their lives will be like without their Mom and me. Will Son #2 be able to get and keep a job? Will he have friends? Will he be happy? Will the special needs trust be enough for all 3 of them?

    The stress level in our house is beyond high. My relationship with DW has suffered from the stress and lack of time. Its frustrating. It was not what I signed up for. I want to scream, but she can’t hear me because she is under so much stress too. We have to stay together, because neither of us can do the job alone.

    Sometimes the children’s behaviors are too much. But what choice do I have. How many times can I hear the same questions from Son #2 about his preferred topic?

    The only friends we have are from the disability community. Old friends and neighbors do not want to spend time with us as a family. I want to scream the next time somebody says “God would not have given you more than you can handle”. Well, sometimes I can’t handle it!

    But then there are the wonderful times. Like when they learn to do something new and demonstrate independence.

    Thanks for listening.

  20. Susan says:

    Wow. I’m a single mom of autistic 17 yr old twins, so I can empathize to some extent, but triplets! The only thing I can suggest is to check out the DVR, Dept of Vocational Rehab and see about getting them SSI when they turn 18 (assuming you make too much money to apply for them now). DVR has a program for transitioning to adulthood that I hear is quite good. They pay for higher ed and job training. (I’m just going to the orientation next week). SSI will guarantee a monthly income close to $800 and open doors to other things like housing and programs and DVR costs completely covered. After 18 the parent of the disabled child can get a stipend for being his/her aide.

    Here’s a website too: http://www.autismafter16.com/

    Maybe a divide and conquer strategy might work better with your friends who are overwhelmed by hosting all your kids at once. Maybe if you bring one child at a time to their gatherings it would work. Just a thought…

    Best of luck to you. Feel free to keep me posted…S

  21. craig says:

    hi wonderful people. reading this page is very emotional for me having a 16 yr. old with autism. there has been many rough days and nights and lots of great times also. I stay home with my son while my wife works. We are drifting apart and I just don’t no where to turn to for help. wondering if anyone going through the same thing… love you all

  22. Susan says:

    Craig, your post brought tears to my eyes. Maybe you could show your wife this article…God bless…

  23. David Shechter says:

    I am the father of an 8-year old son who was diagnosed with autism at age 4. Some days are hopeful, others pretty bad. I have done my share of grieving, always in private. But I refuse to be unhappy about it. You’ve just got to hang in there and be strong. There are dark days, but there are other dads going through the same thing. My friends and my faith pull me through. I realize no one asked for advice, but what can I tell you – I’m a guy – don’t bog down in self-pity or a routine that doesn’t give you room to breathe. Exercise, et involved in your church – whatever works for you. Craig, please don’t let this situation continue. Hire a babysitter and get out a little. See a movie together then talk about it over dinner. You’ve got to spend some time talking about something other than your kid. God bless.

  24. Timothy says:

    As I speak I’m laying in bed with my 5 year old autistic son and my wife. we don’t trust him in a room of his own because he escapes one time I found him in the middle of the night running around in the snow.I just can’t trust him by himself at all. I have to follow him every where he goes. I love him very very much but I’m still feeling the sadness of crust dreams for my son. the thought of having to take care of him the rest of my life scares me. I love my Little Jaydrien but sometimes I feel like I’m at the end of my rope. Granted the theropits that come to work with have made Progress. But it feels like I’m not getting them fast enough. He is starting to talk more. mostly still bibber babber.and they are training him to go potty. I just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. my wife sees it I don’t. and it’s really hard to explane that to her. Even though I work I feel like it’s not a break because I’m at work. My poor wife doesn’t get break at all. and with all her nerve pain from her head to her feet. she feels like she can’t do much. My wife may be facing Multiple Scurosis that too scares me because I May have to take care of him by myself and only myself one day. Anyway i needed to vent I hope there is someone out that can really sympothis with me and help get me into a group in Utah. I really know I really need it, and so does my wife we don’t get much time together or time with our two older kids.

    Thanks alot for taking the time to listen


  25. Susan says:

    I just found this website:
    You could call and explain your situation and ask for suggestions. I know it’s very tough and exhausting and that alone can make the future look bleak. Every day is simple survival. It’s important to reach out for help and relief. Maybe there’s a therapeutic kindergarten your child could attend. You may qualify for respite care.

    Your child has his own unique journey and in the sweep of time you will be amazed at the gains he will make.

    If your wife has MS, low dose naltrexone (LDN) has been effective with this and other auto-immune conditions. One of my sons takes it for Crohn’s and it’s really helped. It regulates the immune system and is available through a naturopath’s prescription. Relatively inexpensive too ($40ish)

    Good luck to you and yours….Susan

  26. Ronald Palmer says:

    My name is Ronald Palmer and I am doing my dissertation on fathers with children that have autism I need fathers that are willing to talk to me I’m in a PhD program in counseling and I realize because I have a six-year-old that has been diagnosed with autism that the information and articles are focusing on the children and almost there is limited research providers

  27. Abbas says:

    Just having some catharsis here. My 3 1/2 yr old with ASD is really playing up. My 2 older boys aren’t much help, the oldest being deaf with possible Aspergers and the other who might be ok despite Global Developmental Delay.

    It’s nice to know there are articles acknowledging the Dads. I personally believe the only people that can truly empathise and sympathise are those who are in your position.

    But there are days I wish my boy could just disappear. I love him, but he drains me. I get moments when I love him unconditionally but these are fleeting. I’m just grateful to get 10-30 mins away from him when my wife takes over. Big difference is that she doesn’t get a break, whereas I get to go to work and have to deal with patients, some of whom have genuine problems (!).

    Anyway, happy new year. On to the next challenge

  28. Michael LeBlanc says:

    Ronald Palmer – please send me an e-mail as I would like to help you. I have 19 yr old son with Autism. I also work in the IDD industry. My wife and I are big proponents of “The Diet” Get your diagnosed kids off the wheat and dairy and see if this helps. It usually helps with sleep and the tantrums “fits”. I am also starting a support group for Dad’s in our area. Just getting started with it. If anyone has any info?

  29. jeremy says:

    I am a 37 year old with a wife of 11 years. We have been together for 21 years. We had our first child (our beautiful son) almost 3 years ago. He was diagnosed with autism early and it has been a struggle ever since. I love my family very much and work hard every day to provide a good house life, and anything my wife and son could ever need. My wife is the main care giver for our son. I go to work for 9-10 hrs a day,she stays at home. Then I come home to try to help with the caring of our son. My day start at 8am and i dont go to bed until 12-1 am. On the weekends i’ll try to get up before my son and wife, try to get the house picked up ,dishes done, clean up the chaos of toys, so my wife and son can wake up to a calm environment with no chaos! Long story short…My wife is very vocally aggressive towards me and say “She never gets a break” even after my son gets up and i try to play the role of mommy.(never works). I tell her to “get some sleep” because she is usually up until the break of dawn with our son. I try to take care of the physical things around the house that she has no time for,and she does all of the mental work. Like all the therapy appt, the doctor visits, and the education on our son. I myself have a reading disorder and I just cant read/comprehend all the facts needed to understand autism. So i rely on my wife for that. But when I try to put forth the effort and help, stay up as long as poss. to help her get that break…( play games, watch TV, play on the computer, etc. have a little time for her self) she chooses to read more about autism, not sleep, and then proceeds blame me for our son having meltdowns. I’m not sure or understand why (at the time) he is having the meltdown, but i get the brunt of it and told “I never help I hinder and I am just thinking of myself”. I have been threatened to be kicked out of the house a number of times. All I am trying to do is help and love my family the best I can. I don’t feel I think of myself. I truly love my wife and only want her to be happy and not miserable. But caring for the care giver is harder than dealing with the autism. Very confused and don’t know what to do.

  30. Susan Moffitt says:

    I really feel for you. Extreme sustained stress brutalizes relationships. You each and both experience isolation. It sounds like you need more than the two of you to bring you relief. I don’t know what’s available in your area, but some kind of therapeutic preschool for even 3 hours a day would be great. Or another competent person to give you both a break so that you can spend time together. I can understand her obsession with learning more about autism, but obviously it’s interfering with her personal well-being. Your wife could benefit from an autism support group. Those kind of groups often provide childcare for meetings. Check out what resources and services are available in your area. Let me know if I can help you in any way. Best, Susan

  31. Brandon says:

    My comment is to Susan. Our family was hit hard Feb 18 2014. Among various other hardships our 2 and a half year old son was diagnosed with ASD. Most days he is a handfull, to put it lightly, but he still remains our passion and the love of our life. We are taking things one day at a time. I have been battling with substantial depression. Dr. Has prescribed many different types of antidepressants for me but to no avail. I’ve been searching and searching for some sort of remedy despite my Drs efforts. Guess what I’m trying to say is the I have found some peace of mind through the literature found on your site. I would like to get more involved. Not sure how to exactly. This is all new to me. Looking forward to talking with you and other dads with similar issues and getting to know this site a little better. Thank you for your hard work. Anxiously awaiting a reply.

  32. Susan Moffitt says:

    Thank you for writing. I’m glad you’ve found solace in the site. My son used to be on antidepressants but a specialist had me wean him off them and replace them with Zen Mind, a natural supplement with no side effects.
    Zen Mind creates a clear, calm mind. Beyond that I would say to try to take care of yourself to the very best of your ability. (Mind you, this is something I still struggle with personally). Dealing with autism can be intensely isolating, so the fact of your reaching out is a huge positive. Maybe you could connect with other AS dads in your area.

    As far as your child goes, I would pay special attention to his diet. There’s lots of info on this site about diet and if i had anything to do over, it would be having my child tested for food allergies early on. Undiagnosed food allergies can exacerbate autism symptoms and lead to serious problems. And if you find he has no allergies, that’s a great rule out. Offering pure and healthy food is of paramount importance, as is limiting or eliminating refined sugar. You’ve got early intervention on your side, and that a huge plus.

    If I can be of further service to you, please let me know.


  33. Brandon says:

    Thank you for writing back. I replied to your
    advice and words of encouragement through my gmail acct. But was rejected by your server. System error of some sort. Was a long reply and I don’t have the time right now to retype the whole of it. Just wanted to say thank you very much for now.

  34. ellen says:

    My son and daughter-in-law are trying to cope with their younger daughter’s diagnosis of autism.. She is 4 now and was diagnosed when she was two. She had all the in house therapies and started school when she was three. I dont see much improvment…She is non-verbal. The marriage seems to be crumbling as Mom is allconsumed with the diagnosis as to be expected. My son is having much trouble dealing with the diagnosis and had a melt down the other day along with his daughter. How do you deal with the child’s meltdowns???…how do you visit friends without being afraid????…how do you survive..????…I am very afraid for the family as a whole. Any suggestions???…How do you not feel so isolated and alone????…thanks for any help….The big sister is 6 and I see changes in her. Autism does effect the entire family….Very sad…..

  35. David says:

    This is to Jeremy, who wrote in on February 16. Jeremy, your wife isn’t being fair to you. She is lashing out at you and it isn’t your fault. I’m not going to tell you to get counseling – as the father of an autistic boy myself, it’s glib advice – finding the time for it and dealing with the logistics can be impossible. Find a way that you can stand up for yourself, calmly and resolutely. The fact that your son is autistic isn’t your son’s fault, isn’t your wife’s fault, and last but not least isn’t your fault. Here in 2014, many men fail to understand that as men, they need to stand up for themselves and stop buying into the line that women are always stronger, smarter, better, etc. There is an important place for you in your son’s life.

  36. David says:

    “Mom is all consumed with the diagnosis as to be expected.” Actually, Mom is making a mistake in my opinion. My wife and I have our share of stresses with an autistic son, but my wife is wise enough to understand that our marriage is important, that our older two children are important, that we ourselves have lives to live. Perhaps our son would be doing better if we too decided to neglect everything else and focus only on him. But it would come at a huge cost. Like any child, autistic or otherwise, most kids do best if they have a loving home, with both their mother and father. In the all-consuming desire to help their autistic child, many mothers forget to nurture their marriage and their other kids. It is very sad because they are really trying their hardest to do what’s best for their kids, but it doesn’t work.

  37. Andrew says:

    I’m a parent of 2 children with Autism. My daughter is 7 and my son has just turned 4. Both were diagnosed at 3. I’d be lying if I could say life was easy. Everything is very difficult for my wife and I. And from what I see around me parents and carers struggle with so much. I can only begin to imagine what the kids go through. Both of my kids are mostly non-verbal and are not yet toilet trained. Every day is a struggle. As a man I do my best to provide for my family. I work in a job I hate and I seem to go in and out of a depressive state. Crying on the way to work in the car used to be a daily occurance. My faith gets me through and I wouldn’t be here for my family without it. I love my wife and my kids and will do anything for them.
    I find it hard to chat with other Dads about raising kids with ASD as a lot of them don’t really want to sit down and have a cry together. I’m trying to build a support group for Dads here in my local area for an Autism foundation I am on the board for. If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks guys God Bless.

  38. Thomas says:

    Sometimes I go out to the garage just to cry. I’m not talking about a few tears either — I’m weeping uncontrollably. It’s like grieving over the death of a close love one but the healing never starts. The wound is always raw and savage. [FYI: I'm a former ARMY RANGER (3rd Bn/75th RGR Rgt), so don't tell me I'm weak or a crybaby! That said, I don't think I'd be comfortable having one of theses "sessions" in public.]

  39. ellen says:

    Daid….you are so right….the marriage needs to be thought of…I dont know how I can help them…..but thanks for the reply….the situation is getting worse…..

  40. ellen says:

    @Thomas…..I feel for you…..and no one would ever call you a cry baby…..

  41. ellen says:

    Andrew…I feel yor you and your wife….My son is about to break down…he has ssaid some things that really upset me….He is the type of guy who could deal with tnaything…but he is not doing well with this….I know guys wont talk to each other…but your idea is a good one….Can I ask you where you live????….

  42. David says:

    Thomas and Andrew, don’t ever cry in front of another man (not so sure it’s a good idea to do it in front of a woman either). All it does is make him uncomfortable. I too have cried in the garage, car, you name it, but always privately. That said, it doesn’t mean that other guys can’t help you in some way. Fathers of autistic kids can relate to and validate your feelings, and also provide helpful suggestions. Andrew, I too would like to know where you live.

  43. ellen says:

    David…can I ask you how you deal with your stress???…do you constantly think about the future????….Your words are very kind and true…..

  44. Andrew says:

    Ellen & David, It is tough let me tell you. I live in Sydney Australia. I believe you guys are in America but I’m happy to build a support base through social media. I cry often. Sometimes infront of other people and on the phone to suppprt ministries when I need prayer. Being a former Sailor men do cry. I have now found the joy of distance running. It helps clear my head and keep the weight off. I feel it’s good to have an outlet or hobby to keep your mind occupied and to have something you can call your own. My wife is creative and does a lot of logo design over the internet. We each need our own space and we need our own time together too. we don’t get it too often but it’s great when we do. If anyone wants to contact me privately my e-mail is aferguson618@gmail.com Cheers guys.

  45. ellen says:

    Andrew….your suggesstions were great….I guess all we can really do is stay strong. Im going to tell my sonn to contact you…..dont knopw if he will…but you have already rpovided me with some good advice for them…..

  46. Timothy says:

    Dear Ellen

    I can really feel for your son. I had my break down at a wendys. My son was acting up and this one lady just sat there. Stairing at me and my son and regretably I snapped at her. Me and my wife have had our disputes. The thing that learned is that I sat down and thought about new goals and new expectations. You see as a father we have dreams of what we expect our kids espeacially our boys of what we want them to be.I had to learn that every child is differnt. My son still frustrates me very much. But I’m getting better. Your son just has to be more presetantt and doing the thoerpies with his son. I suggest that he sits down with his and the theropists and does the thoerpy with them so that he can learn to do it too. My son is getting better he just got potty trianed about three months ago and he is five about to turn 6 may 20th. One that also helped me. Was my church group. I’m not sure what your son believes. But my church has a men’s fraturnity Called the 33 series. It’s series that talks about haveing a true and auhthentic manhood. It is christ centured and there might a church thats near him. That might be hosting the men’s fraturnity. The men may not have autistics themselves. But are willing to have an open ear and may have some suggestions too. I want you know that if your son would like to get some help he is free to e-mail at seadogg88@gmail.com I also have one mre suggestion Take His Wife out on a date if you have to watch your grandson. Those two need to go out on date and rebuild their romance and tell to go buy a book called the love dare. That helped me out A LOT.

  47. Timothy says:

    Another is to see if there is a parents support center for autism. And like I said dates for the parents will help very much. Also there is a tap to talk App For androids and apple tablets. See most autistics speak things through pictures. If your son is on medicade he may be able to get his daugther a tablet through medicade. Also what has helped to is that my son is on Social Security. And it was his medicade that is getting us a tablet for him because it will be used for a medical purpose. If he gets his daughter on Social security have him bring his daughter in to because the social security worker also has to give is personal essement on the person with the disabilty too. As we speak my son is eating icecream without permission silly kid. Alright well I have a mess to clean up. Remember Dates Dates Dates they need it.

  48. Andrew says:

    Timothy, I love your advice mate. I have checked out the 33 series and it looks great. Both my kids are not yet toilet trained and I will be rejoycing the day they are.
    Ellen, Your son or anyone here can contact me anytime. I’ll help in any way that I can.

  49. ellen says:

    Timothy and Andrew….thanks for taking the time to write. As we speak I think my son is mad at me for suggesting he seek some help after his daughter’s meltdown last week. He is the kind of person who always has to be in control and I think this has hit him so hard because he cant control the situation. He is constantly thinking about her future. I try to tell him to take day by day, but I guess its not easy. Can either of you tell me what to do when she had a bad meltdown. SHe is in school and the therapists say jut try to keep her safe, but there has to be something else to do. As you are dealing with the same things, I was wondering what you do. I try to tell them to have date nights and babysit for both the girls whenever they want, but their relationship seems to be getting worse. They seem to resent each other. I am very afraid for the whole family. I am on the outside looking in and dont know how much I can do. I will ask him to write, but dont know if he is ready to do that…thanks so muchfor your thoughts. You are very kind men adn I wish you the best.

  50. Andrew says:

    Hi Ellen,
    With your Grand daughters meltdowns in my experience with my kids distraction is the key. Is there a favourite toy or something she likes that she can be distracted with? My daughter is in a normal school but in a special needs support class. The teachers work with her daily and have become very equiped to handle a meltdown and look for the warning signs one is coming. When she is at school she takes another bag with a few favourite toys of hers that the teachers use as a reward system.
    At home sometimes it is best to put her in her room and let her calm down on her own. Sometimes we can distract her with a game or favoutirte movie.
    We have to take everything day by day and live our lives day by day at the moment. Your son may like to control the situation and I understand that but Autism is something you can’t control. A big key is routine which kids with Autism thrive on. I feel as a man all I can do is be the best husband and father I can be to my family. My wife and I know things are tough and if we ever separated life would be a lot harder. The advice I can give for your son is to love his wife and daughter with all of his heart. I do that as best as I can and leave the rest up to God. Also the Love Dare book Timothy suggested is a great idea. There is a movie based on this book starring Kirk Cameron. If you guys haven’t seen it it is well worth the watch.

  51. Andrew says:

    The movie is called Fireproof.

  52. Timothy says:

    Hi Ellen,
    I am Tim’s wife, Angie. Tim and I talked about your original post and talked about suggestions last time. I am writing to you because in our relationship, I am the one who always feels the need to be in control of things. I once had someone say something to me that hit home and helped me understand and accept my son’s autism. When Jaydrien (my son) was born, I thought that he would be ‘normal’ like my other 2 children. I dreamed of the many things that we would do and felt excited at the thought of how sweet his voice would sound saying mama. As I went through my grieving process a friend asked me if the dreams I spoke of were my dreams or Jaydrien’s? I realized that I had to find out what my son’s dreams were. It helped me. Now I dream of Jaydrien achieving his dreams. Maybe this can help your son? He may be lost as to the cause to fight for and unsure as to how to fight for his daughter.
    As for the melt-downs this worked for my son:
    Tacky glue (walmart’s arts and crafts section even sells it)
    Fine powdered glitter (light colors don’t work as well)
    Same colored glitter glue
    Goo B Gone (hardware section at Walmart had it)
    Old clear plastic water bottle.
    Using the goo b gone remove the label
    Add a little boiling hot water
    Add a little tacky glue
    Add a little glitter glue
    Add a lot of glitter.
    Repeat until bottle is full.
    Seal by putting super glue in the threads and putting the lid on tightly.
    You now have what is called a calming bottle
    My son loves his many different calming bottles. The therapists who come out to the house even use them in therapy.
    Parents with autistic children fear that they are at fault and somehow “caused” their children’s autism. It was something someone even accused my husband and I of. “If you hadn’t vaccinated” ….. “maybe if you had not gone outside” “maybe you shouldn’t have had another child”… I firmly believe that God makes no mistakes and that my child is a gift. Maybe it isn’t resentment but fear that your son and his wife are experiencing? Is it possible that maybe he is afraid of failing his wife and/or daughter in some way? Maybe his wife feels isolated as your son grieves?
    I feel for your son and daughter in law because as I have some very unpleasant health problems, my husband has had to take on so much. It isn’t always easy but if we separated it would be so painful for us and even worse for our son who needs us both.
    Check out tap to talk and possibly buying an android tablet for the child. My son is also non-verbal. This program will talk for the child and can actually teach some autistic children to talk. Finding an autistic child’s strength can help too. Maybe sign language might work for her.
    I truly hope for wonderful things for your whole family!
    Angie (Tim’s wife)

  53. Timothy says:

    P.S. There is nothing wrong with a good cry. My husband and I wept and felt heart-broken for all that we thought our son was losing out on. It wasn’t until I realized that those were our dreams for him that we realized all his achievements…. Tim still cries sometimes.

  54. Timothy says:

    David I think it is okay to cry infront of other men. Because it shows that your human. That we need support. We can’t be expected to handle everything on our own.Thats our society talking telling us we can’t cry. Because it seen as weak its not weakness it shows a lot of strength to admit that you need help your first instinct is to shove it all in. That is a defence mechanism our heart wants to do. We really do need to say no to the norm. And do things differently. That’s why this whole forum was put together to get men connecting with other men to cry to rejoice and talk about our day to day struggles with our autisic children and seek support and help. I love you all and hope that everything is going good.

  55. Thomas says:

    There’s nothing wrong with crying. It’s better to let it out than hold on to that kind of pain. My two son’s with autism (16, 10) give me days of great joy as well as those of great sadness. The sadness, most of it anyway, is tied to my fears about their future after I’m gone. This, along with a medical research, should be the number one priority for the autism community. I’ve resolved to try and do something about this in my community. I suggest every ASD parent do the same.

  56. ellen says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your reply….They do try to distract her but it doesnt work. They have put her in her room…but is it ok to leaver her alone. They are afraid she will hurt herself as sometimes she hits herself…You are so right about being separated being much harder…I read that 80 % of parents of ASD kids get divorced which I would hate to see happen….I will give them your advice as best I can…you sound like you are holding it together pretty good and I wish you only the best…and you are right this is one situation he cant control and he has to get that through his head…..Wish things were different though…I will keep you posted…..

  57. ellen says:

    Hi Angie…
    Wow….your reply was beauiful and heartfelt. Yes my kids of course blamed themselves…I guess that is common..I think you hit the point when you talked about your dreams for you son…Every parent has dreams and the diagnosis seems to totally shatter those dreams…One person even told my daughter-in-law that you have to grieve for a while. That was at griup therapy. Neddless to say, she never went back as she felt the word grieve was a horrible word. In a way it is because you do have your beautiful child and what is there really to grieve????…it does hurt and people can be cruel but I dont think they mean to be…The calming bottle sounds great and I will pass it along to my daughter-in law. Right now though things are really bad for the relationship wise…I think they need to join a support group with parents going through what they are…but they tried it and many parents were just total downers and they got turned off. Do you belongto a support group? Do you ahve any friends in the same situation. It is very easy to say how special our kids are…but I guess the day to day lives are very demanding and hard on parents. I wish you the best and lets keep in touch….SO sorry to hear about your health problems and I will pray for you…and yes she is non-verbal which I think makes things many times worse….Do you live in the US????…my best wishes always….

  58. ellen says:

    Hi Susan Moffit:
    I received your reply via my email address but dont seem to see it on here….strange….thanks for your words regarding meltdowns…..I will check to see if she has been tested for allergies or not….So glad to hear your sons are doing well….thanks again….

  59. Timothy says:

    I have 3 friends who have similar circumstances. It helps to talk things out, share ideas, and sometimes just have someone say, “I understand”. If you will email me at angelicagragg@gmail.com , I would be happy to send you my phone number. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. We are number 2 in the country for autism with New Jersey as number 1.
    The word grieve is often mistaken for sadness over death. Yes, we have our beautiful children but we are sad (grieving) for the memories and things that we can’t make and won’t do. It is a grief of letting go of the future that we planned for our children to give to them the future that they dream of. It is the loss of our expectations.
    The word may seem ugly to some but truly only denotes the sadness that we are going through, the heartbrake and the fear. We are closing the door on one thing and begining anew; it is a new life that we embark on. We learn to speak for our children. We learn to fight and pray and to see a moment of beauty for the amazing gift it is…. maybe that is the only moment in the day that our child is sitting down and seeing something that perks their curiosity, maybe it is a moment when our non-verbal child suddenly becomes echolalic and clumsily sings along to a song on a movie or dances. We hold these moments with the knowledge that the next might be hard.
    I am your friend,

  60. ellen says:

    Beautiful words…My son lives in NJ…didint know they were number one… Too bad you are so far away in Utah…but we can communicate. I do tell my son to look for the beauty in his child, but right now, I am afraid he cannot see any beauty. I do see the little things she does as wonderful and so does my daughter-in-law. I guess my son just has to get there. I pray he will. You and your husband seem very tight and seem to have held your relationship together. That is wonderful…How are you coping with your child’s diagnosis…are you a stay at home mom….I will email you at your gmail address and maybe we can speak one day…..I am your friend too….

  61. Timothy says:

    I am a stay at home mother. My son was diagnosed April of 2011. I am blessed in that although my husband and I struggled very much with the diagnosis we cried together. There were times that I had to leave him to think and times that I had to be my husband’s strength.
    I am Christian and was sitting in church one day when it hit me, almost like a voice…. blessed is the child who remains a child. They possess the purity of God himself. My husband was sitting next to me as the service let out and tears were streaming down his face, as they were mine. Only his were sadness and mine were the realization that as hard as this was, it was a gift. I told my husband what I had realized and felt a great weight lifted.
    I have learned to be my son’s warrior and know that he is my teacher. There are moments of frustration even now for me. Sometimes, I look back on them and chuckle a little.
    For example, one day I woke up early and decided that I was going to clean my house spotless. I worked hard and fast and had almost accomplished my goal when Jaydrien woke up. He immediately went into my kitchen and asked for a glass of milk which I joyfully gave him. He took 2 sips and dumped the entire glass of milk on my freshly mopped floor and puddle jumped in it. I ran for the mop and Jaydrien ran into the living-room where he dumped all the DVD’s onto the floor. I set the mop down and decided that I would clean up the milk after I picked up the DVD’s. I ran into the living-room and managed to get 2 DVD’s into the case before Jaydrien emptied his dresser AND knocked it down onto himself. I was so scared that he had hurt himself but there was giggling underneath the dresser. I lifted it up and he was fine. I immediately burst into tears as just then there was a knock on my door. I went to the door and his therapist was there for his morning therapy. There I stood blubbering with my house in shambles behind me. She looked at me and said, ” Angie, I have Jaydrien. Just do what you need to do and I will take care of him.” She even got him to help clean up his clothes so I could clean up the rest of the house.
    I know that my situation may have seemed stressful to me at the time but now I look back and chuckle over it. Jaydrien sure had a lot of fun that day.
    Your son sounds like he has a big heart for his wife and children and is lost in the stress and fears. He is probably a very responsible man. I imagine how hard it must be for him and how terribly frightening to wonder how to perform the role of protector, father, provider and man. He probably has dreams of family vacations rather than expensive autism treatments, of moments when he could look into his wife’s eyes and fall in love with her all over again rather than hear her say, “oh thank goodness you’re home, I can’t take this! I need a break!” He probably dreamed of who his children would be, what they would choose as a career, maybe even walking his daughter down the aisle and seeing her grow into independence, seeing his son become a man and marry and have children. I cry for them. I understand their pain. I dreamed and hoped that Jaydrien could have an amazing career and own his own home, not live his life on social security and medicare.
    I truly pray that he will look at his wife one day and say, “we will survive this. I will be by your side and no matter the obstacles, you, my wife are worth my strength and heart.” I believe that if he got to that place that he would find a grateful wife on the other side. I understand the terrible stress placed on a marriage with autism involved. The statistic for divorce among couples with autistic children is staggeringly high. Most couples don’t make it. Unfortunately, that creates an even worse problem for autistic children as they grow up in a one-parent home. They require babysitters and daycare. There is no guarantee that a daycare will keep those children or if the daycare does those precious children will face criticism from those charged to care for them. Perhaps even mistreatment. The cost for daycare for autistic children (if you can find a care center willing to take them) is so enormously, financially burdensome that it is almost impossible to care for normal, every day bills.
    I know that my husband and Andrew recommended the movie Fireproof and the Love Dare book. I would recommend the movie Courageous for your son. If he is also Christian, it talks about the struggle of being a father and how to be a successful father. It talks about finding your child’s interests and connecting with them that way, rather than through your expectations of your child.
    No matter the path your son chooses, I can only imagine the terrible pain and gripping fear he battles. My heart and prayers are with your entire family!
    Your friend,
    P.S. If you send me your phone number in my email, I would gladly call you. You could also call me anytime. I am happy to be a support and friend.

  62. Timothy says:

    Wow my Wife is good at writing this. Yes everything my said is true. those were my exacted dreams and wishes. But my wishes now is that I hope we can try to get him to function in sociity. And I see it happening he has been comunicating more. It just takes time. my son ran out I will close this now

  63. ellen says:

    Angie and Timothy,
    You are truly wonderful people. Just when you think there are not that many good people in the world…you get surprised. I only wish that my son and hiswife had friends like you both…going through the same situation and difficulties in life. You are quite right…it is all about your attitude and maybe they are just not there yet. As for my son Angie, you hit the nail on the head. He does have a big heart and does provide well for his family at a young age. He did do everything “right” in life and I think he kind of thinks you are suppposed to get rewarded for that. Ahh, but life is funny that way. He should consdier both his girls a gift from God…I wish they had even one friend going through the samething they are going through, but they dont. Their daughter was making progress in school, but it seems like she is going backwards now. She was supposed to be tested for rett sysdrome and that is my greatest fear. She hasnt been tested yet. I pray everyday that it is not that and I think that is also in the back of his mind. It is the most severe form of autism only in girls. Your dreams are crushed with the diagnosis but like Timothy said now we can only hope that one day they might be able to live on their own. I just want her to be happy. She doesnt seem happy. My son was a handful when he was a toddler and had some autistic like tnedancies, but back then who knew. He did thrive once he went to school do I just consdiered it a behavior problem. Dont know if its genetic or not. They are both very isolated and need to get away from it. I will encourage them to do so. I try to be the best I can with regard to helping htme, but I do work 5 days per week. Your words have inspired me and I will let them know everything you have shared. Hope to talk with you soon…..love…

  64. ellen says:


    The story about the mess in your house was so true. You sound like a wonderful…caring mother…best to you…..

  65. Timothy says:

    Thank you so much. I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to respond. In the day(from about 1:00pm my time) until (normally) 9pm or 10pm, it is hard for me to get on the computer to respond. My husband got home early from work because they didn’t have much for him to do.
    Thank you for your kind compliment.
    Tim and I will definitely be praying for you and the whole family. I certainly pray it isn’t Rhett Syndrome. I know that is devastating. It is a hard thing to face being a parent all your life.
    Jaydrien regressed from 1-3 years of age. I feared so much for him at that time. I found out that all his ear infections had caused him to go deaf for one year but then he never really got everything back. He started talking at the normal age … his first step was at 8 months (we caught it on video). He was diagnosed at 3 years of age with classic autism. There are 5 different kinds of autism, they have found a link between genetics and autism but they have also found links in pollution and autism as well.
    I didn’t realize or know that your son lives in New Jersey… they are number 1 in pollution also and Utah is number 2 in pollution which correlates to our autism rankings as well.
    To be honest, I don’t think that anyone really knows why so many children are being born with autism. I believe that we as a society owe it to the world to support each other with love in all that we must face.
    If your son continues to stay isolated (his wife as well) then it will make it even harder for them to move forward or face any diagnoses that might be coming. I will pray that they can find supportive, loving friends.
    As for the one thing that I have noticed, Ellen, they have you. I am truly impressed by your obvious loving concern for the family. I will pray for you as well. I know that it isn’t easy to see the pain your son and his wife are in. I believe that you may just be their greatest support.
    I will always be here if you, or your son or his wife need a friend. I have sent you my email address and will respond to any emails you send.
    I am praying for wonderful things for all of you!

  66. Timothy says:

    Realized that I wasn’t very clear…. Jaydrien talked from about 10 months until his autism became active. By the age of 2, there were no more words left in his vocabulary. He has been classified as non-verbal ever since.
    Your friend,

  67. David says:

    Timothy, I respect your opinion about crying in front of other men. What matters is if it works for you – if it does, please go with your gut. I suppose the mistake I made was to generalize my own viewpoint, which may not work for everyone. I am 52 and have never cried in front of anyone as an adult, but that is my choice and doesn’t have to be yours.

    Ellen, you asked how I deal with all this. There are two responses. First, and several people have commented on this, part of the sadness stems from a mental image you have in your head of what you expected for your child, and how an autistic child does not meet that expectation. But that expectation is really a figment of your imagination – it isn’t real, it’s just a story in your head. Once you can let go of that it becomes much easier. It’s hardest for me when I’m cleaning out a closet or going through my older kids’ toys/books, etc., and I realize that my youngest son isn’t going to have or be those things. But if you can free your mind of that expectation, and just let your child be who they are, you will find it liberating.

    The second reason is that I had some significant challenges in my upbringing and when I look at all that I have achieved and all of the positive things in my life, it exceeds my own expectations. Having an autistic son just doesn’t seem as bad as some of the other things I’ve had to endure. That may or may not help you, I don’t know. But the common thread is that you get to choose how you’re going to feel. I’m not going to tell you I’m happy to have an autistic son, but I refuse to be unhappy about it.

    You also asked me if I think about the future. I do in a broad sense; for example, we are creating a special needs trust for our son. But not day to day. I try to focus on the moment and not let my imagination run wild.

    Please don’t think I’m some kind of emotional superman. I’m not. I have my bad days, my crying spells, etc., but I am still not unhappy. Everyone in this conversation is capable of the same thing. God bless and I look forward to continuing the discussion.

  68. ellen says:


    I willemail you at your email address and maybe we can speak soon…Thank you for saying that they have me. I only wishI can do more asthe other grandma does not even want to discuss the situation. She just keeps telling her daughter that everything will get better….Me…I live in the real world and know that you have to deal with problems head on…Belive me I know about problems…you cant ignore them…you have to face them head on.
    Im going to see them this weekend and will et you know how things go. I wish they were open to talking to people about their situation. I will try to convince them…I just wish she would talk….that would mean so much. Of coruse she is frustrated she cant communicate what is bothering her. She does have an ipad and uses it. She has gotten very good therapies at home and now in school. I will keep you and you son and Tim in my prayers.
    With love, Ellen…..

  69. ellen says:


    Your words hit home with me. You do have to let your expectations go and when you do it does seem like a weight is lifted. I dont think my son has done that yet. And you are right…many peole with challenges have gone on to surprise us. Yes your words do help. ANd lets face it…no one really should dwell on the futre about anything because as we know, plans usually dont come true with regard to many aspects in our lives. I have to focus on telling my son to take day by tday….Honestly that is the way Ihave lived my life as I in my personal life have had many disappointments…Belive me…I have learned not to make plans. I do think you are doing the best you can and am so glad you are not unhappy….I pray for my son and his wife to be happy…Me I do the best I can as a grandma…

    I too look forward to the discussion continuing….All of you haved helped me immensely…so glad I found all of you…..love…..

  70. Tom says:

    I am comming at this most recent thread from a slightly different perspective. My son #3 has ASD in addition to ADHD & ID is now 17. He is one of triplets all with special needs.

    I can’t say it gets easier as they grow up, just different. At times, I have focused on each tree and not looked at the forest. As parents, we need to take the time to look at the progress they make, no matter how small. Its amazing to look back 5 years and think about what they have learned to do and try to guess what progress they will make in the next 5 years.

    There are set backs along the road. They can be frustrating for sure. Sometimes, we have 2 steps forward and a huge leap backwards and we have to start over. But there is progress over time.

    But when they accomplish something (big or small) or gain some independence, it is so cool. A typical parent may not understand, but we all do.

    The pressures on a mariage are over whelming. DW and I realized neither of us can do it alone. We have stuck together and made it work. Should we have gotten counseling, yes. But we have not and have learned to deal with each other’s quirks. Each of us has walked out of the house for a break many times, but always have come back an hour or so later in a better place. We try to find some time together (every few months) and that is helpful if even to talk about the children’s issues. We have divided up the big household/children duties and both try to attend IEP meetings or agree on issues before if 1 can not make it. It is hard.

    Many of us feel guilt. I know my DW does. I have told her that it happened, and she should not feel any guilt. If the triplets had not been born with special needs, I would not be the person I am today. I have experienced so much in life and met so many wonderful people because of them.

    No matter what, we look at our role as preparing them for a happy and successful life. It will be different life than what a typical parent is looking at, but the goal for all parents is still the same, just the details are different.

    One of the best stories I have read is “Welcome to Holland”. Google it and post it on your refrig/office cube/office cork board. When you feel over whelmed, re-read it.

  71. ellen says:


    I can imagine that it doesnt get easier…but very different from what you were expecting I am sure. The point about focusing in on their accomplishes is great…and so true.
    So sad about what it does to a marriage.But there has to be hope. Taking a break is a good thing and you probably both neeeded to doit many times. I think you both have to get to the point and know how much you both loved each other and rememebr that. I have seen on son’s marriage go way doen hill for two reasons.. Hi wife is all consumed with ASD to be expected and he is withdrawing from the family. And the guilt must be overwhelming too. I am sure there are couple that work together and work through it as you did Tom and I am happy for you.I am going to google Wlecome to Holland and see what it is about. Best wishes to your son and the family….

  72. ellen says:

    Ok….just had to write this…
    My co-wokrer just came by with her new granddaughter and her two year old granddaughter. The two year old was talking and understanding everything. For just one minute my heart hurt for my granddaughter who is 4 and a half and really doesnt understand or talk but thinking of you guys I swear I said NO to myself…she is a gift….and went about playing with her adorable granddaughter….They are all blessings…sorry I wrote again….just wanted to let you know how much your words are really helping me…love…..

  73. Tom says:

    Ellen –

    It has been over whelming at times. We both get all consumed with the children’s issues at times. We do withdraw from the family at times. We have few “friends” outside of the disability community. Ask my brother, I get pissed off at my DW many times and I know she complains about me to her sister. They both give us a perspective that helps. At times it feels like the cards we were handed suck. But we can not ask for a re-deal of the cards.

    I do not want to jump into somebody else’s business, but here are 2 thoughts anyways.

    1) Your son needs to find somebody to talk to as does your DIL. It may be a brother or sister, clergy, friend, co-worker or another parent in the disability community (does not have to be ASD), just somebody.

    2) IMO, the best help you can give them is to spend time with your grandchild. It sounds like the parents need a break. As you form a bond with the child and help with the therapies they are doing, it will make a difference. Be patient, because it takes a special person to do it. Your role is not to interfer or tell either your son or DIL what to do. Your job is to take directions about how to support the child and love your grandchild. When you go home, you will want to scream sometimes (ok most of the time), but remember your help will make a difference in all 3 lives. The progress may be slow, but it will hopefully be there with your help.

  74. ellen says:


    Yes…I do think my DIL speaks toher mother about my son…its just that my son has no one to talk to….he hold everything ina nd I think I need to be there for him more. I am there forthem with regarding to them going out, but lately it seems like they really dont want to be with each other. Th epoint Angie spoke about how more difficulyt it would be to be seaparated is a good one..I cant imagine doing it as a single parent.
    I spend as much time as I can with the little ones..I have to admit..I am a little afraid of my granddaughter with ASD as sometimes honestly I dont know how to comfort her or what to do with her..I hate to say it does take from the situation a bit and the older one get much less attention….But I can only do what I can do as I am getting older (not really that old but the body is just not the same)….If I didnt work..I would be there as much as I could, but circumstances force me to still hold a full time job. Believe me, I would rather be with the kids…Have a great day Tom…..love….

  75. Lance says:

    I have found that talking about this disorder is key. I have started a facebook forum for this reason. Facebook group: Autistic,ADHD,ODD,Aspergers,and PTSD A dads perspective.

  76. Susan Moffitt says:

    good for you!

  77. Thomas says:

    I’m back [first post: 4/21/14]. Today my 16 y/o son assaulted me AGAIN. I miss my sweet little boy, my dreams, my life…

    What I have left is a frustrated (and very angry) teen son and the complete absence of hope for a better future. I feel utter despair and complete emotional desolation. I can barely hold it together to make through a shift at work. I don’t think a Facebook page is going to help.

  78. Susan Moffitt says:

    Thomas, you need outside help. Who can you turn to?? This is not a good trajectory. If you tell me where you live I will research available resources.

  79. David says:


    First and foremost, do not let this jeopardize your job.
    Your work gives you valuable time away from home.
    Losing your job will make a tough situation worse.

    Have you talked to a physician about your son’s aggression?
    There are medications for that. Our son is now 9 and risperdal has
    been a godsend.

    Please do not despair. See if you can get your son on
    medication. Talking isn’t going to help right now. Please write
    Back and let us know how you are doing.

  80. Thanks designed for sharing such a good idea, paragraph is nice,
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  81. Richard wright says:

    I am from the uk but live in Melbourne Australia I have a none verbal ASD girl of ten and had a lot of problems other people have talked about on this site, started out not being able to say the word autism thought 12-14 hours a day driving a truck was the answer big fall off the truck into the floor, 9 months stuck at home driving my wife up the wall but met my girl for the first time! Lots of money for all the bills is one thing but time with your child is how you find the real gold .now me my wife share all of my girls needs, we moved fom the uk to oz to get her into asd pre school (aeiou) in Queensland Australia and the from that state to Victoria to a ASD school that has ABA,speach,ots etc etc all in the school, we have to pay a few hundred bucks a year, tax payers a picking up the rest thank god, MY girl is a class of four kids and she has a teacher plus an teachers aid and is doing well the last thing to say stress can be over powering, and we all need help, I found the men’s shed is a fantastic place ,men get together(no women) have some fun and share your problems if you want to, google men’s shed Australia is so good I am setting up a shed for the dads at my kids school , the shed system is so good for men’s mental health that the health department are backing them!!!!! All the best hope the shed idea helps

  82. ellen says:

    Wishing your daughter the best Richard….my son is going thru the same thing….his daughetr is 4 non-verbal and we have the highest hopes for her….sheis in school and is doing well….you are so right when you speak about having some fun…..my best to you…..

  83. ABXC says:

    Fathers of autistic kids are under pressure? What about us Moms? We are still expected to work full time at higher power careers and yet somehow ensure our child is adequately cared for, even if extended family refuses to step up and help out. Often this is without state services, especially if our child is higher functioning. If we gain weight from all the stress, our own families make us feel bad because of it. We get our reputations trashed time and again when our autistic children are kicked out of schools, preschools, daycares, summer camps, etc. I even had the public school summer camp director tell me nobody likes my child, to my face, when she kicked him out of the program without warning. Sometimes we even have to battle our spouses who are close-minded to get our children the care, therapies or services they need. And what happens when Mom gets sick? I was recently diagnosed with immune deficiency and many chronic infections. I had to turn down an opportunity a family member gave me to interview for a job that required long hours that wouldn’t work for my family. Family won’t even speak to me anymore because of that. MIL stated that I was stupid for turning down “all that money”. What about my kids? Who will take care of them if I’m gone all the time and husband’s schedule is full too?
    Yes, I wish this was my husband’s problem, but its not. It’s all mine.

  84. ellen says:

    I hear you (ABXC) and totally understand as I watch my daughter-in-law struggle with day to day live. I guess this was just a sight for fathers who as you say have a difficult time, but most of everything is on the mom…I agree with you on that…I guess most fathers arent equipped to deal and so the mothers have no other choice but to taken on all or most of the responsibility. I am sure you are doing a great job and the best that you can for your child. Wishing you well…..

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Did You Know?

  • * In 1970, Autism affected 1 out of 10,000 children
  • * Autism now affects 1 out of 88 children
  • * Autism affects 1 in 54 boys
  • * 1.7 million Americans have some form of autism
  • * 4 out of 5 autistic children are boys

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