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To The Autistic Parents Out There Trying their Best

Updated: Mar 22

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This post is dedicated to all of the autistic parents out there holding on by a thread. I feel you, I really really do. 

It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing we are simply inadequate, “bad” parents who can’t handle the job. The job is so straightforward: play with your kids, be there for them emotionally, help them co-regulate, enjoy it… so when we are snappy, cold, upset, irritable, just want to be left alone, it is real easy to be like “wow, I really suck at this.”

I am here to tell you that you don’t. All those lovely parenting posts about how to attune to your child and have a montessori-like home doesn’t factor in what it’s like to be an autistic parent. Not even close. We are climbing Mt. Everest every day and those posts make it seem like we just need to go to therapy and yoga and we’ll be the most attuned, serene parent that helps our child grow into a healthy, happy adult. Yeah, that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Instead, I am sitting here writing this post hoping for the sweet relief of catharsis because all of the things that keep me regulated like quiet, cleanliness, and being able to dive deeply into my SpIns weren’t available to me today. In fact, when I am with my kids, those things are far, far away. Some days I can tolerate it and some days, it feels like I am extra raw and every sound cuts into my brain like a knife “Mama, mama, mama, come see! Mama, mama, I want pizza. Mama, mama, call my friends!” 

Intellectually, I know. I know they are just trying to connect with me. I know the “right” thing is to turn toward them and connect. I know it. I know. But I can’t turn off being autistic. And you can’t either. 

I don’t have the magic potion to make this situation less jarring, uncomfortable, disheartening. But I do know that we are still good parents. Even when we are trying so desperately to hold onto sanity and we can’t pull that off while being warm and fuzzy too. When everything is so overwhelming, loud, and painful, I sometimes wish someone could just come and see how hard it is. Just look around, feel what I am feeling for a second and be like “damn, you do this every day? No wonder you are upset. No wonder you are overwhelmed and barely hanging on. I see you. Take a deep breath. You didn’t scream all the horrible thoughts in your head? Damn, you’re a rockstar.” 

1 Comment

Unfortunately, yes, I did scream all that ugly things in my head out loud.. and not once.. mostly I shouted on my unsupportive husband, but my children were also a target of my hopelessness too, I just could not help it. "All and everything at once". I slept like two to three hours a day for two years.. (yes there were some little naps, so sometimes it might have been maybe 4 hours, but REM sleep I have just "rediscovered".. now I cannot sleep more than 5 hours at a time - I am currently having a burnout and I feel this need for sleep that I cannot fulfil). I have not been diagnosed yet, I hope I will find…

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