Being A Father To A Child With Autism

Remember Dad Hacks When You Have A Child With Autism Make It Fun.

This is a very difficult part of being a dad if your child has their own problems, It can seriously make or break you as a father. My son Phoenix has a number of issues but to anyone else he acts and looks like a normal everyday kid, But trust me he really isn’t. I have found its all about trying to remember that its not his fault his brain is just wired differently to others, But trust me i can be very testing on your own mental health. So lets jump right in and i hope my experiences maybe able to help other dads out there, Plus remember I’m only an email away if your feeling really down or struggle as a dad, Lets all help each other out and together we can help our children be the best part of us.

We first thought something was different with Phoenix from the very first days of bringing him home from the hospital, This was because unlike other new born babies who would sleep most of the time, Phoenix just didn’t he would be so alert and awake for most of the time, All of our family and friends would say “Oh his fine etc” But we just knew something wasn’t right. As he got older around the age of 3 he just wouldn’t go to sleep at night no matter what we did, I can remember one night reading him about 10 stories and he was still wake awake that night he was up all night, And he was running around like a manic the following dad where me and the wife were walking around the house like cast members from the walking dead !!

Following this was knew we had to get help ‘Oh and by the way his 7 now and he still doesn’t sleep properly’ So after so many doctor appointments’ and them just saying to us he just being a child and he is normal. One early evening the wife was on the phone to a doctor from the hospital and when the doc was talking, Phoenix had one of his melt downs and luckily she heard the whole episode! That was the turning point for us as a family with a child with Autism.

What do i mean by ‘Melt Down’ Well this is the phrase we used when Phoenix has an episode, Now this can be a number of things anything from just him screaming and shouting to being physically violent, With punching kicking things of that nature. During his melt downs we try to be as calm as possible Now as a dad, Being a man it can be very difficult to deal with this situations but you must above all else keep your temper in check. Trust me losing your temper, Being loud will only escalate the situation as a lot of children with autistic trats will be very sensitive to loud sounds and you raising your voice really wont help. So being calm will always help the melt down to slow down and stop quicker. That’s my first tip on being a father to a child with autism but I’m no expert and I’m not trained in health care so if you are worried please visit your doctor before acting on my advice this is what we experienced with our son.

Does your child have sleep issues ? So as i spoke briefly about earlier my son Phoenix has sleep issues from birth and still has to this day, In fact he still sleeping in our bed and his 7 years old, He seems to have a big issue with being scared of everything and i mean everything. Also Phoenix is attached to me he doesn’t leave my side unless his at school, I can’t even go to toilet without him right by me, Are you having this issue with your child? If you are then please reach out as this is one of his problems that i just haven’t found a solution for just yet.

After years of fighting to get help for Phoenix after the phone call where the doctor heard his melt down they finally put him on medication to help him sleep, You would be thinking that finally after 4 years of waiting we would be happy and finally getting some sleep, Well you would be WRONG because even with the medication he still struggled to sleep, The issue seemed to be getting him to fall asleep now, As the meds where keeping him to sleep just not helping him to fall asleep. So i would do everything i could to make him tired, But this kid is unreal he can go days without sleep and his still running around like a mad hatter. I end up taking him to the park an hour before bed time, Or if his behaviour has been good i will take him to our local trampoline park, That’s a great Dad Hack the trampoline park because that place wears him right out and if we are lucky he will go to sleep a decent time, Instead of me fighting to get him till sleep at gone 11pm which is normal most nights, But don’t listen to the people that say “Oh his just playing you up” I get that one all the time but they aren’t the one that see’s the pure terror in his face at night time when his that petrified to go to sleep. Trust me it’s heart breaking when your child is so scared even though you explain to them that its my job to protect you and keep you safe, But they still won’t listen.

Is It Your Fault ??? Absolutely not!! We found ourselves asking each other this very same question, And honestly its not how could it be, Its only human nature to think that way, But talking from a father that’s not only lived it but is still living it IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT. If your feeling that way or you feel there is no way out then you have to trust in your self and always ask for help, That’s another Dad Hack, Always ask for help if you don’t then things will escalate very quickly, And that’s not good for you, Your child and the rest of you family.

How To Spot The Signs ?The first thing i would say is listen to You! You know your child better than anyone. If you start to see that things are right, Or that they are starting to show signs i.e Acting up, Sensitivity changes, Loud noises, Problems sleeping, These are just a few things to look out for there are hundreds of tell tale signs these are just the ones we noticed If you start to see these then always contact your health care provider first, If your lucky they will help you but don’t be surprised if they don’t, that’s what we found.

Living With Autism, Its not the end of the world, Yes your child can live to have a happy life with or without Autism, Its all about giving them the life and guidance they need, They will always be your child love and support them just as you would to a child that didn’t have problems. Being a dad is the best job in the world but also the hardest, My relationship with my son is amazing but also drives me nuts at the same time lots of ups but also alot of downs just make best of the good times, But ALWAYS remember the good times throughout the melt downs – the bad times that will help you get past it and move you on to the next one. If you are struggling as a dad you can always reach out to me on this blog.

This is me with my kids and dog trying to be the best dad i can be dad hacks make being a father fun and i have a child with autism. Remember there is lots of parental advice out there im no professional.

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So lads here we are i decided that it was a bout time i put my dad knowledge to some use. So who am i ? I'm Leigh a dad of six, Four Girls And Two Boys And man are they all hard work but i do love them is that by choice though haha. On a serious note i do love my children and would do anything for them, But I'm a bloke so I'm always on the look out for making my life easier and the quickest way possible aren't you ?? So I've put this little blog together to help fellow dads on there quest for greatness....

2 thoughts on “Being A Father To A Child With Autism

  • Erik E

    I adopted my nephew when he was little. He is on the spectrum from birth related modifications, including auditory processing disorder, executive function disorder and other language processing issues. The challenges are real. He’s turning 25 this month.

    I changed my career, shifted to be present every day and have helped him build his skill sets and we started a business that I hope he will learn to run and carry on after I am no longer around to help him. I went from being an IT CEO to running a two person automotive repair shop, as my son loves fixing cars and we’ve worked super hard over the last ten years to get ourselves here.

    All it takes is everything. Today I gave up, I lost my temper, I felt hopeless. But we made it through the day. I get little from him, little expression of care, or concern. He gets mad, focuses only on the moment and not on the journey, and takes it out on me. And in the same 15 minute period, he still needs my comfort or my professional skills. It’s not easy guys.

    It will never be easy. It will never give you a thank you gift.

    But if you want your child to succeed, be prepared to do more than make them a cocktail party story. Make some choices and understand that without your sacrifices and drive to help your children live the best life possible, they won’t. It’s that simple.

    • Hey Erik,

      Thank you for your comment and for sharing your own personal experiences when it comes to the subject of Autism. As you mentioned there is no quick fix you have to do what ever it takes to try and give your children the best chance at life, Being with autism or not! I also commend you on how you changed your whole life’s around including starting a business around what your son loves to do, I think that is amazing, Obviously not everyone maybe able to do such a big thing, But even the smaller things make a huge impact on a child with autism, As we know one second they are in the middle of a melt down the next they are showering you with love and affection. Its how we deal with these situations that build the better future for them.

      But as you stated it ain’t easy guys but there are so many support places you can go to to get advice on how to deal with these situations, But please also remember im always an email away and this blog is here to help the best i can and the more people that join us i feel we could build a soiled support and advice area for us dads, As we struggle with our own demons as well as taking on the worry of everyone around us.

      Another big thank you Erik for taking the time to share…


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