The Depressed Special Needs Parent and Autism

I write about this many times ready but I want to touch on this again. The reason is that I really think that it’s important for people to see an accurate picture of what life as a special needs parent can be like.

There are many,  many special needs parents out there,  each with their own unique set of circumstances.

I’m not speaking for anyone but myself here. 

Life in the Lost and Tired house is difficult on any given day.  Without sounding cliche,  any day that we physically survive, is considered a good day. 

So far we have survived the bad days as well but the bad days are really bad. 

Now bad doesn’t mean the same for everyone,  so let me clarify.  A bad day is a day like today,  for example.

Today was extremely difficult and very overwhelming.  To put it bluntly,  Elliott’s off his rocker. This medication issue,  has made Elliott freaking crazy.  I mean that in the most loving but realistic way.

He is driving me freaking crazy… I love him completely but goddamn if he is testing the limits of my patience.

It’s not his fault and hopefully he will be getting better soon.

At the same time as Elliott’s going through this,  Lizze is in the middle of a flare and spent most of the day in bed. 

Part of the reason for her sleeping is the fact that her meds had to be increased to control her tremors.  They are getting so bad that she has a hard time doing anything that requires a remotely steady have.

Gavin is having problems at school now. Tonight, he had a huge and I mean huge meltdown tonight. He seems to have a very low threshold for everything right now. It doesn’t take anything to set him off.

Emmett is just pushing everyone’s buttons. It’s like pouring gasoline on a fire.

This is what I consider one of the bad days.
I can’t even imagine coping with this if I hadn’t gone on antidepressants.  I have been battling with depression for a few years now and as things get more challenging, my depression becomes all that much more important to manage.

If my depression isn’t managed I can’t take care of my family.  I have a really hard time even getting out of bed.  I also crumble under all the pressure of trying to raise 3 special needs kids. 

I will say that there aren’t any medications available that will help if I have many more days like today.


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Rob Gorski
Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate
Rob Gorski

Rob Gorski

Father to 3 boys with #Autism, 1 with Fragile Health. Award winning blogger, techy and advocate. #AutismDad @GuardianLocate

0 thoughts on “The Depressed Special Needs Parent and Autism

  • February 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    As a parent of a child with autism (PDD) I completely understand your frustrations. I can’t imagine 3 children with special needs. I would take the advice to get help from outside sources. I could free up a lot of time for you mentally. Let me tell you what has helped me….GOD!   Of course I went thru the blame God times and the why me times. When my son is crying and can’t tell me whats wrong or his sensory levels are high that all I see in his face is anger, I didn’t feel like calling on God. But, I have and still do. I don’t care what anyone tells you, it is not meant for our children to have this disability. I see improvements in my son everyday. Those little things people take for granted. They have a right to live a normal thriving life. And they can.  Nothing is impossible through God. My verse that I stand on is John 10:10    “Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy. But I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”    I will pray for your family. I know how hard it is. I ask God to give you guidance, peace and comfort. Strength to be what you need to be as parents.  I love you all and will be praying continually for your family.

  • February 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm

    Hi Rob,

    My heart cringes to read your words…  I know that sounds discouraging, but I mean in the most sincere way. You have tugged on my heart-strings! I agree with everyone else, that writing is a great outlet, but can only get you so far. It sounds like you have taken advantage of what modern medicine has to offer and I am glad to hear that you are reaching out for a solution, instead of just letting yourself drown. My 7-year-old son has Autism and mild Cerebral Palsy, as well as issues that have required ADHD medication. My 5-year-old daughter is typically developing, but incredibly strong willed. Life is challenging, to say the least, and I know exactly what you mean when you say that any day we physically survive is a good day. The stress literally takes a physical toll on everyone, especially the parent who is mostly responsible. Our definition of a “good day” is vastly different from that of families not accustomed to the same daily struggles we face. I know what you are saying, I get it. I also know that what I deal with and face on a daily basis is multiplied by at least three times for you and your family… and for that, all I can say is my prayers are with you as you seek refuge from the chaos. I echo what the others have said and would encourage you to find respite for yourself, somehow, someway! I know you love your boys and are doing the best you can, and taking care of yourself is part of that! I don’t know where you live, but sometimes churches and other organizations have free programs for parents to drop off their special needs kids where they get safe, one-on-one care for an hour or two so the parents can get a break. These programs have different names, like “Buddy Break,” for example. Also, someone else mentioned a student going to school who needs the experience… we have a girl who volunteers to work with our son 3 Saturday nights a month in his church class because he needs the one-on-one care and this way I can go to the service without having to worry about him (I am extremely paranoid about his safety!). She is going to school to work with special needs kids and jumped at the opportunity to help us out. There may be someone who would be willing to come to your home and help out with your boys once in a while, you just have to stick your neck out there and look for it. Don’t be afraid to ASK for help. Thank you for opening up and sharing your burden with us. Hang in there, you can do this!

  • February 14, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Oh, how I wished I could do something for you.  As the parent of a special needs child, and now raising my child by myself, due to recent divorce, I know it is hard.  Are your children involved with the county programs where professionals can give you some guidance on how to get some help?  Don’t be embarrased to ask for help.  You are only one person…. You can’t do everything, no matter how much you want to.  My son is on a home health care waiver program, and I am his paid personal assistance. I can also get other assistants to help me, if need be.  I left my fulltime job with a great company so I could stay home with him.  Maybe, your county has something like that.  Family members can also be paid providers, if someone in your family such as your sister or brother, can be paid providers.  If I can be of any assistance pointing you in the direction of assistance, please let me know.  Writing is good for your soul and helps, but you will benefit from other help also.  Prayers….

  • February 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    I agree with everyone, does your insurance help with aids?  I went for major surgery and had my insurance pay for an aide to help me with my son.  I couldn’t help wash him and his OT.  Something to look into. also if you dont mind me asking, what your wife if battling with right now.  I have Chrons and wondering if it had something to do with my son having autism.  

  • February 12, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I agree with @shadowrunner81 and @autismlearn101.  Writing can help only so much.  I too am on antidepressants and they only help so much too. I have very little advice to offer other than that.  I know writing, for me, has helped a lot; but it is a combination of a lot of other things.

  • February 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Rob,

    I wish so badly that I had something inspirational to say to you that could make things more positive.

    Can you apply to get some assistance in the form of respite? You really seem to need a break – depression is not to be taken lightly. You seem like a very good dad and this is a lot to manage. Perhaps inquiring at a college to recommend a student – or two – who is getting a degree in autism to work with your children during the day (no charge) for the hands on experience?

    I hope these suggestions will be of some help. I wish you the best.


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