Now Reading: A Letter To The Dads That Left Because Of Autism & The Ones That Are Thinking Of Leaving… (from a dad who stayed)

A Letter To The Dads That Left Because Of Autism & The Ones That Are Thinking Of Leaving… (from a dad who stayed)

A Letter To The Dads That Left Because Of Autism & The Ones That Are Thinking Of Leaving... (from a dad who stayed)

(originally written & published on January 15, 2012)

I hear alot on my Facebook Page from women who say that their husbands bailed out on their families/ marriages due to the stresses of autism in their lives. And every day I see another new Facebook page from single autism moms like “Single Mothers who have Children with Autism”   and “Tales Of A Single MomRaising A Child With Autism”

The whole thing, the idea of leaving your family due to a disability sounds so completely bizarre to me that I thought about writing a letter to these dads… And here it is…
A letter to the autism dads that left and to the ones who are thinking about leaving….

(I know, I know moms sometimes leave too…but the dads leave more often… so that’s who this letter is for)

Dear Dads,
Let’s get something out of the way right out of the gate.  Let’s admit it. Let’s call a spade a spade  You were a jerk already, before the autism, right?  You probably would’ve left for some other reason.  It was already in your DNA to be a loser, right?

Let’s be honest, if you didn’t have a kid with autism I still don’t think you’d be winning any father/husband of the year awards…

If you leave your wife and family cuz of autism then I’m betting you probably never would’ve been satisfied with your life /marriage and probably would’ve bailed at some point no matter what the circumstances or stayed and been miserable and/or a jerk.  Because if you honestly left your wife and family solely because of the hardships of life with this condition than you are not a man. You are a weasel.

I mean if your kid had cancer would you have left?  Would you have left your wife to deal with all of the stress alone then?  Or what about some other disease/ disorder?  Or what about cerebral palsy or down syndrome?  Would those have sent you running for the hills?  Or what was it about autism that scared you off so much?

I mean I get it fellas, you may not be able to have the “typical” family life you were always expecting.  You may not be able to take your kid to the ballgame, or play catch, or a million other things, but “WAAAA!” stop crying and get over it…  And do something to be happy!  I mean what else are you gonna do?  Try again for a typical family with another woman?   What if the autism is in your genetics?  You gonna keep trying to you get it right?

Now if you already left and divorced your wife. It’s not too late to step up and be a man and be an integral part of your ASD kid’s life.

Learn more about him. Learn what makes him tick. Take him more often and give your ex-wife a break more often. Take your kids for an extra weekend here, a week off from school there. Give your ex-wife a small chunk of the peace and quiet that you get all the time since you bailed out.

But when you do have the kids please abide by the rules your ex-wife has set up. You bailed out and left her in charge. So now you have to accept the decisions / choices that she’s made. If she’s got the kids on the GFCF diet, stick to it even if you don’t agree with it. If she’s got rules about how much tv they can watch abide by it. You gave up your right to help make those decisions. The least you can do is follow the rules / protocols she’s set up. RESPECT HER CHOICES.

And also try to be a unified front both in your parenting of your kids and out in the world. What I mean by this is  even though you’re divorced doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show up to your kid’s IEP meetings or open school nights or other important events like this. Even if you’re out of touch on the details just showing up as a sign of support and solidarity goes a long way!!

So if you were a loser who bailed on your wife / family because of autism, it’s not too late for you to step up and be a real man!  You can even start today!  Instead of going somewhere to watch the NFL Playoff games today call your ex-wife and grab your kids for the day and give her a break. You can always DVR the games and watch them tonight. I know you don’t want me to let all te women in on our little secret… But all us men know that if you remove the commercials, timeouts and halftime the average football game can be over in about 52 minutes….  🙂 So now you’ve got no excuse not to start today!

And to the dads of newly diagnosed kids with autism that are thinking about leaving…  


You don’t need to reinvent yourself and become this super amazing autism dad. That’s not what your spouse is looking for. Just be a wee bit better than the husband / father you were before autism hit.
If you were the kinda husband / father that went out 3x a week with the fellas, poker one night, golf on Saturday, football on Sunday, then that’s the precedent your family dynamic has set. So when autism enters your household don’t think your wife is looking for you to drop everything, just drop one of them, maybe two on stressful weeks.

And then pretty much do all the things I suggested to the divorced dads above. Be more involved, be a unified front, respect her decisions, etc, etc.

But if you are gonna stay in the marriage you have to be there.  Be present.  Don’t stay if you’re gonna stay and be miserable and distant and drag your wife down with you.

I would leave if I felt i was dragging my wife down.  But first I’d try to make myself better, thru drugs or running or something. Read this other post of mine with more tips and pointers on how to be happy in your marriage when autism comes along.

And to both the dads who bailed because of autism and the dads who are thinking about leaving because of autism… the fact that you are reading this is a big step. It’s not too late for you to make things right and to step up a be a real man, a true father, a good husband or ex-husband. Just take the first step. And if you ever want to chat about things or need a male shoulder to masculinely cry on 🙂 please join my Facebook page or email me at

Sincerely yours,

Autism Daddy

UPDATED 9/15/14
Every time I re-post this blog post on Facebook I always get a lock of flack.  So I’ll say 2 things straight away…

1) Yes, I know moms leave too… but c’mon it’s way more often dads…

but if it makes you feel any better, then re-read this post and replace the word “dad” for “parent” and then most of it still applies…

2) I know people leave their marriages for tons of other reasons. If you left for another reason then this letter doesn’t apply to you.

This letter only applies to the dads (ok, parents) that specifically left because the hardship of the diagnosis sent them running for the hills…we all know those guys/gals are out there…

if that’s not you, if you left for other reasons, then this letter doesn’t apply to you so you shouldn’t feel the need to defend yourself to me (a complete stranger)

Written by

Frank Campagna

I’m a 48 year old neurotypical dad with a 14 year old son with severe, non-verbal autism & epilepsy. I created this blog to rant about autism & epilepsy while celebrating my son who I affectionately call “the king” :-).

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154 People Replies to “A Letter To The Dads That Left Because Of Autism & The Ones That Are Thinking Of Leaving… (from a dad who stayed)”

  1. Anonymous

    My 8yrs old daughter is Autistic and her Father, my fiance then left us with all debt and mess.. so I have been raising her all by myself Without any financial, emotional, physical support from him and pay all his debt try to build my life again for my lil girl and myself but it is really hard.. I have no family here in US because Im from Japan. But I decided stay here because I believe my daughter can have better future and more opportunity.
    She is my Joy and everything but after she fall sleep and all quiet silence in my home I feel loneliness that Im fighting all alone… I cant even remember when was last time I hang out with friends or went out for date.
    But when sun goes up I hear her lough and smile make me feel like strong soldier again! Well I hope all single Autism parents know that you are not alone 🙂

  2. I can only say "AWESOME post" and I'm in tears <3

  3. Anonymous said…
    My ex left for different reasons. But the result is still the same. we have two children, our son being autistic and daughter not having a disability. Upon visits with their father my son would vomit (no exaggeration) within seconds of me telling him he was going to his father's. I would send him kicking and screaming, whilst my heart breaking. We then agreed that we wouldn't push him to go. My son then chose not to visit, then he didn't want any contact at all, not even by phone. My ex then stopped asking how my son was traveling. He has now given permission to my fiancé to adopt both children, as he 'will never have to deal with my "bulls#$@t" ever again'. My fiancé is absolutely wonderful, I am so very lucky to have such a terrific man like him. Both of my children absolutely adore him, and to much if my relief my son trusts him like he has never trusted any other male before.
    Goodluck to all of those out there. Unfortunately there are many, too many. We are all strong and all support one another.

  4. Anonymous

    So many comments I could not read… but what about the dads who stay, but are not really "there". The ones that cannot bear to go watch a therapy session or play with their kid. The ones who, when they are out in public with the child, make sure they always wear their one Autism Speaks t-shirt so people can see it. Every photo of my son before 8 yrs has his father in that same darned t-shirt. And every photo reminds me of each time I had to beg to leave the house as a family and go out in public, because he resisted so. What if they stay, but do not help, ignore, and do it so everyone in the family can feel their discomfort? Not sure which is worse, the leaver or the useless stayer.

  5. Anonymous

    My son was born with mild Cerebral palsy. My wife and I struggled to get past that diagnosis's. It meant not walking until he was 3 years old and wearing leg braces for the next 5 years. We learned to accept it until we got the Autism diagnosis's Shortly after his 4th birthday, he stopped talking and looking at us. We had to step up and handle this new situation now. Ironically, I was recalled to active duty after my daughter was only 3 weeks old. My wife had to deal with a new born and a son that was waking up at all hours of the night. My daughter is fine and she keeps us going. When my son turned 9 years old, he started having Seizures. He has had several over the last few years, but we have continued to monitor his medicine. In the meantime, we decided to do DNA testing and found out that he has Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. We found out that there are only about 1,000 known cases in the world right now, but many of the kids on the Autism spectrum might have this deficiency. I can honestly say this was devastating news, because there is little know about these kids. My son is now 15 years old and close to 6 feet tall. He is non-verbal and not potty trained. My wife and I are both trained in ABA and take him to therapy several times a week. Let's just say that the past 15 years have challenged me more than the time I spent fighting in both the Gulf War (1991) and Afghanistan War (2003).

    My wife and I have been together for 22 years now. We are not always happy with our situation, but we make the best out of it. We thought about getting a divorce many times over the last few years due to the stress on our marriage. However, we came to the realization that every marriage has their own set of problems. You can always find a reason to leave a marriage if you (yourself) are not happy with your own life. You need to make a choice to “fight” or “flight”. For some people, they are born fighters and there is no other option. For many others, they are running for the hills. I told her that she is my best friend and we are not going to let this disease destroy us. I find her to be the most amazing women I have ever met in my life. She has sacrificed her career, finances, and our dream house to support my son. She does it all with unconditional love for both my son and our family.

    I remember the first time I told my dad I couldn't handle the situation and wanted to leave our marriage. Being a retired cop, he told me that everyone has a cross to bear. You don't know when it is going to happen to you, but trust me, it will happen. You and your wife took on your cross early in your marriage and know what you need to do. Many others will have to bear a cross that will hit them out of nowhere and they will not make it. Be the example for others to follow and don't get hung up on the negativity. If you do, it will simply consume you and you will bail. But when you bail, ask yourself what are you running from yourself (Your own fears, failures, or self-pity). He also told me many of his former cops left their marriage for no good reasons and many of them are not with us today. In some cases, they wish they never left their 1st wife. My wife and I made the decision (for better or for worse) to deal with the hand we have been dealt and to do our best. We need to be an example for our daughter and others to follow. It is up to us to make sure that my son can be the best he can be no matter what the circumstances. We don’t know what the future will hold, but one thing is for sure, we will do it together!

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks AD for your letter.

    I have girl friends whose "significant other" has left because they could not handle their child's disabilities. It breaks my heart to know they have to work twice as hard with no supportive figure in the home. But this also makes me in awe of them, knowing that they will do all they can for their kids even if it means parenting alone.

    My son has autism and is non-verbal and his dad is thankfully still with us. He works full-time and I work part-time so that I can help our son with his therapies, take him to his doctor appointments, and for me to attend classes. My husband has ADD and most times cannot focus long enough to pay attention to the therapy sessions but he tries.

    Best of all is that he listens to my retelling of the days events and follows my suggestions as best he can on how to help with our son. My husband understands that I spend almost 24/7 with our son and he will call me for suggestions when our son has meltdowns and headbanging that he cannot calm him down from.

    We have our moments when we get so frustrated that we yell but we do not let it brew between us and we let go of our anger. We love to spend time together as a family and would not trade it for anything in the world. Our lives are not what we hoped for but we make the best of each moment because we love our son and we love each other.

    Vionisia 🙂

  7. KJ

    Suck it up guys. I'm a stay at home dad with a 14yo autistic son and let me tell you its not a bed of roses. I contribute as much as I can through a home based photography business so my wife can have the occasional luxury she deserves (like a hot tub it took me 5 years to save up for) for the endless hours shes at work to pay for medications, therapy, disability tools and practically anything my sons heart desires (new computer, an iphone, toys, games etc) because parents of 'normal kids' never invite him to play, to parties or even want him around. I learnt the ropes of my business from scratch and take every free class I can find because we cant afford that kind of money for any professional art school training.

    You get lonely, deal with it. Any friends you once had quickly disappear and your own family and inlaws will screen their calls because they're terrified you might ask them to babysit… date night? that's lunch out once a week while he's in school, even the grandparents need to be heavily bribed to come over once a year on your anniversary so you can go out for dinner… while the rest of the year they're practically a revolving door of daily free daycare for everyone else in their family.

    You develop a tough spine… deal with it, if you don't stand up for your kid nobody else will. We've had everyone from other parents to schools discriminate against him, for the longest time it seemed like the school would use any and every minute excuse to suspend him for a week because of his disability so they wouldn't have to deal with him… Illegal I know but we cant afford a lawyer and they knew it. I learnt very quickly that weak people that discriminate against disabled children are motivated heavily by fear… I stopped sending emails to the principal about his teachers and started sending emails to the state board of education CCing the district superintendent about the school in general… you'd be surprised how fast heads rolled and they bent over backwards to make it right. On the street or in a store someone will make a rude or ignorant statement thinking your child cant understand them… he has ASD, he's not mentally retarded, just because he cant find the words to respond doesn't mean he doesn't understand every word said to him… Personally I take a little pleasure in utterly humiliating these people right where they stand in public, pointing out their ignorance and asking why they think its acceptable to pick on a disabled child… you'd be surprised how often the crowd turns on them too and joins in until they leave the store check-out line and abandon their full cart or leave a restaurant without finishing their meal. Grow a pair, your child cant stand up for himself… that's your job.

    There are perks… He doesn't understand how to be mean or malicious, he doesn't quite grasp the concept of lying, eternal innocence with a twisted sense of humor that comes in handy. When I want to pull a prank on his mother to break the boredom he's always a willing accomplice.

    It's not a normal life but you adjust and adapt, its not hard unless you overthink it and make it hard… roll with the punches and keep moving. Step up to the plate and see the small rainbows in between the never-ending storm clouds.

  8. Anonymous

    My name is chloe and i want to testify of the good work done by a faithful lord masuka, a spell caster. in my life i never thought there is such thing as spiritual intercession. my problem started 5 months back when the father of my kids started putting up some strange behavior, i never knew he was having an affair outside our matrimonial home. it dawn on me on that faithful day 4th of April 21st 4:23pm when he came to the house to pick his things that was when i knew that situation has gotten out of hand and he then told me he was quitting the marriage which i have built for over 6 years, i was confused and dumbfounded i called on family and friends but to no avail. two months after i started having problem with my kids welfare rent-age and all of it, i really went through hell. until a day i was browsing on the internet and i happen to meet lord masuka his email i never believed on this but i needed my man back so i gave the spell caster my problem at first i never trusted him so i was just doing it but you know a problem shared is half solved after a 2days my husband called me telling me that he his coming back home and that was all. now we are living happily, friends contact him on this email: for help

  9. I loved reading this!!!

    My daughter was recently diagnosed she is 7.. it took 2 years to get a diagnosis.. I'm a single mom her father walked a long time ago.. I have asked for years for medical history on his side, He would always yell at me and tell me I wasn't getting it…
    It's nice to see a real man out their thank you for showing women like me not all men are weasels that somewhere out there is a real man

  10. Anonymous

    I can proudly say that i'm the complete opposite. i told my girlfriend that we had to break up last year…we had a child together, turned out he is autistic, and she did nothing to help him. she also had her children, the youngest one also autistic. i gave all i could give to the whole family, trying to be there for both autistic children,

    i was the one went to all the appointments, both for my kid and hers, while stayed at home, smoking pot, playing video games. So now i've been living alone with my son, got reduced hours at work to have more time with my kid, i try to open every door possible so he can get all the help he needs, and the doors i cant open i simply bash'em down.

    In all honesty, its VERY tough. no social life at all at the moment, devoting all my time and energy to my son, i'm orking even though i'm on a burnout, because my son requires some expansive services.

    But, i wouldnt change a thing, the bond i have with my son is incredible. You have to decide to be an active part of his life, then the rewards are incredible. My son pushes my limits, making me a better person, a better dad than i ever thought i could be. Every little progress he makes is a reason for celebration, and knowing that i'm partly responsible for his greast development is amazing.

    Thanks for reading

    1. Anonymous

      You are AWESOME! Some day he will thank you. No doubt about it. You make all the difference.

  11. Anonymous

    This is a great letter.

    I have a somewhat unique situation. I have 9 y.o. boy/girl twins and my son is higher functioning ASD. My wife and I have recently filed for divorce but are currently still living in the same home although we sleep in separate rooms. We have come to the conclusion we are better as friends than as spouses but our foremost concern is the welfare of our two children. We are dysfunctional as spouses but very functional as parents.

    We currently are in the process of purchasing 18 acres of land with two homes on it where she will live in one and I will live in the other with a couple acres in between. Since we have gotten to the point where we are friends, we are able to realize the importance of having both a mother and father involved with our kids lives. Both kids need love and support from both of us and we are both committed to making that happen.

    When I have told people about what we intended to do I have gotten reactions of enthusiastic support to "What the F*&k, are you stupid". Fortunately, most people who know us understand and are very supportive. We both realize this is a very unconventional arrangement, we truly love each other as friends and only want to make sure our kids grow up in a loving environment which includes love and support from both of us. The people who spoke negatively of what we are doing have no concept of having a special needs child or what sacrificing personal wants and desires for the sake of your children. The good thing is that I do not give a crap what they think because if the spent a few days in our shoes then they would better understand.

  12. Anonymous

    To All u awesome parents thank u for just loving your kids. I am happy to say my husband and I are still quite a team. Took years to get where we are but we made it. Keep going. Never give up.

  13. Anonymous

    Don't forget a big shout out out to the mothers who quit the marriage because they "didn't want this life any more"… now they get paid, every other weekend off, and can sleep where they want.

  14. Anonymous

    My partner threatens to leave all the time, i feel hopeless.

  15. Anonymous

    There were too many comments for me to read(read first 10 or so).
    I'm not a hero…my daughter Jen is 37 yrs old. She is very beautiful physically , non verbal, and deep into her autism. She has lived away from me since she was 14. right now in a great group home and day program. There is not a minute of the day when I'm not thinking of her. I call her house 2x a day, take her out of program to do her hippotherapy and go to lunch weekly. I am totally on boards of agencies and live Autism. Jen loves seeing me- she lights up and is even more happy than usual.
    But I go home and I don't even know if she ever thinks of me. Such is life. I love her deeply and am trying to live in the present and accept the cards as they've been dealt.
    BTW-Been divorced from Jen's mom for a few years…..wound up remarrying her…..working this thing together.

  16. I'm in the same boat 3 boys 2 with special needs one I believe to be on the autism spectrum but no one sees it but me. We are dragged through the mud everyday by people that don't understand my boy's needs. They say they are just behavioral and needs pins on them. Physiologist at the school give me a hard time cause I want to know what's wrong with my boys so I can find out best way to help them, but they get offended and act like I'm stepping on their toes. They claim it's just post thematic syndrome blah blah blah… thing is all our trauma has been cause by people in schools not understanding them and throwing us to the wolf's (child protective services at our door & in the court systems) all cause they don't want the extra cost to implement special services into their schooling. Teachers claim they don't have time to work with them and can't do anything I suggest as I know it would help. I'm to the point where I don't feel comfortable sending them to school and am thinking homeschooling would be better. I just worry cause I know I would never get a break. For other than when they are at school I don't get a break. But I keep my head up and fight day to day for if I don't no one else will….

  17. Anonymous

    This is great and I agree. Real men (and women) don't bail. I became completely paralyzed when I was 27 and we had 2 very young kids. My husband did everything in his power to keep us together. Six years later we had a beautiful third child who is Autistic (high functioning), ADHD and has tourettes! My husband stays home with us trying to run two small businesses from home because there is no way we could afford care for us. I am paralyzed but don't qualify for disability because I hadn't worked enough hours when I became disabled. My husband is a Rock Star! We are best friends and have an amazing marriage. I agree that those who bail were not totally committed in the first place! I hate it when people use someone else's disability as an excuse for their bad behavior!

  18. Anonymous

    I am a Single Mom and it is hard to find someone who will be there for you and your child it gets Lonely I have one child a little girl who is 5 I was never married to her father and he comes I and out of her life and I am in the process of getting my daughter diagnoised with autism we are do to getting her seen by the special towards the end of the yr and I have made attempts for my daughters father to see her and he just doesn't acknoweledge her like he should I feel sometimes he may be ashamed of my daughter because he doesn't want to spend enough time getting know her I don't get any help from him or anyone in my family I take care of her all on my own

  19. catherine

    I had doubts about magic spells after purchasing many spells that never worked and actually decided to never buy a spell again. I have tried different spell casters..Some of them never answered me after I paid and were obvious scammers, some really cast a spell but for some reason it didn't work. Then I saw a video on you-tube with a person who was mentioning she had results with DR,Anita. Despite the suspicions I had her site looked real so I gave spells a last try. It's probably the best decision I ever made in my life because it worked and my Ex husband came back with me after leaving me and my kids for 2years now After I broke up with him I spent a lot of time wishing that I could just turn the clock backwards.she helped me do just that. In fact our relationship feels like the break up never even happened. We have never been this happy or passionate, all thanks to mama Anita. If you're looking for a good spell caster to restore your marriage then look no further,MAMA ANITA surpass all other spell-casters,you can contact her straight on (

  20. Anonymous

    my husband died when my children were very young…..I have 1 severely autistic son & 2 others with a genetic disease that there father died from. It was extremely rough but I found a great man that would do anything for my children ….now our children we have a little girl together…..just saying THERE IS HOPE for the single's! hope!

  21. Well said, but I left with the kids because his temper towards our Autistic child, whom he still believe to this day 4 years later is still a normal child, that he can punish the way you can a normal child. But, he hasn't been in our kids life in over a year. Barely calls, but fought me tooth and nail for 3 years in the divorce for custody. I wish he could see our son is different and not normal, yea he isn't typical autistic, he is high functioning. But, he still have problems and some of those behavior issues with autism do wear me out. But, as I go to bed at 1a.m. every night and up again at 6a.m. every day I am always there. Where he hasn't. He has never went to any doctor, or specialist visit with us to talk to them. He don't want to believe our son is different. I love my sons autism, it makes him special and unique.

    1. Anonymous

      Anger and denial are perfectly normal and healthy and normal stages of grief and when your child isn't perfect you grieve. When my son was diagnosed I refused to believe it and trust me… I was pissed off. It took a couple of years of research and learning for me to accept it then recognize that its more of a gift than a curse, if it wasn't for people who by their described behavior and personalities would be diagnosed with ASD today (einstein, tesla, mozart, newton…) we wouldn't have the society we have.

      You chose to cut him out before he could work through the stages of grief and suspend him in his current state without resolution so suck it up and enjoy the bed you made for yourself.

      FYI we dont discipline our son any differently than a 'normal' child… he's expected to follow the same rules and experiences the same consequences because the real world doesnt care if he's different… one day you'll be dead and he'll be expected to function without your special treatment.

  22. michelle m

    I truely take my hat off to you! your letter is awesome, am seriously thinking of forwarding the link to my sons dad, not sure he would take any notice if it came from me though. he was a 'part time dad' to my son once all the dna test results were back (my son was already 9 months old then) I went through the pregnancy and birth without him, he chose to belive I was having some other guys baby. he was lucky after the drama with his and my family (his family hated me, my family hated him) that I sat down with him and our lawyers and worked things out out of court. he hasnt seen my son since the middle of march. he had missed the last 3 weekly visits, made so many excuses why he hadnt done the genetic screening test my sons peadiatrician wanted us to do. I guess I just got so fed up with the lies, excuses and seeing the dissapointment on my wee boys face each time he didnt show, and getting so frustrated he would start banging his head on the sliding glass door that I finally snapped and told him exactly what I thought about him not manning up and being the dad my son needs, could have handled it a bit more tactfully. he used me as the excuse why he wasnt bonding with his son when untill nearer his 3rd birthday on visitations he wouldnt even touch or play with my son, he would just sit there and text on his phone. he also was not consistant with visits showing up sometimes only once a month. he also contradicted himself saying i was always nice and polite to him when he was in my home for visitation. he wasnt happy about what i said because he knew it was the truth and he didnt want to hear it, infact 3 days after that I had a call from cyfs (child youth and family) he had made some trumped up complaints, by the time i finnished talking to the guy from cyfs (equivalent of child protective services) he was laughing and totally agreed that i was a good mum and nothin to worry about. havent heard from my sons dad since. I chose not to confront him about the call from cyfs, didnt want to play his game. It makes me glad to know theres guys out there stepping up to the mark and being there for their kids! if i was the dad aint nothin would keep me from seing my child!

  23. And to all the dads that stick around and play trains for the 1 billionth time and listen to the same rote stories and know all the quirks — YOU ROCK!!!

  24. Anonymous

    While I don't disagree that this letter could apply to many, I do want to state, as the mother of an autistic boy and girl, that I was relieved when my husband asked me for a divorce…. it was too much work raising him and our children!

    Autism comes from somewhere and we can clearly see the relationship between the fruit and the tree, so I needed to NOT have to solve his problems and fix his fiascoes, and set boundaries that most grown men understood by age 15. We co-parent better because it is clear between us that I am the rule-maker and he is the big buddy, the playmate, the rainy-day movie date.

    There are no regrets. My kids are amazing. There is no blame. I am too tired at the end of each day to waste mental energy on that. There is only loving, living, learning, new therapies, two steps forward and a minor regression, a new friend (hope it lasts), a sleep-over (hope it works out) and interest in a new toy or topic (please don't fixate!)….IDEA 2004 (read the fine print), advocacy galore, and an endless well of patience I didn't know I had…

    And the only thing I have time to consciously miss about 'marriage' is the foot massages… but then I think how nice it is not to have to share a bathroom or a bed with anyone after a long day of crashing, bashing, clinging, hugging, I'm thirsty, I-need-to-make-a-poopy, shoving lego men in my cleavage to have my hands free to hold yours…your adorable, warm, sometimes sticky fingers in mine….

    and then I sleep.

  25. Hi, sir! I have reposted your letter, if it's okay. I will definitely take it down, if you ask me too. Here is the link:

    Thank you. God bless!

  26. I have two kids with the oldest on the spectrum (Asperger's) and other disabilities. Their dad couldn't leave fast enough, and rarely sees them. Never pays his child support, has no time to even talk about them, yet gets angry when he learns things second-hand because I gave up trying to talk to him myself. We've known each other since we were 4 years old, and this is the first time I've seen his true colors. He's completely wrecked my trust in men. I hope the rest of you special needs dads pay attention to this gentleman's letter-he's got the right attitude. Don't stay out of guilt-just stay involved because they are your child(ren) and you love them.

    1. Dave Johnson

      please destinee, don't put us all in the one basket. I'm a single dad to 3 kids, and my youngest 2 are in the spectrum. I have been at it alone for nearly 5 yrs – and its been a rough road. My now ex could not accept the fact we had special needs kids and went on a bender, finally pulling knives on me and hurting the kids. I left my 50k job to come home to care for my kids and get the wife help, but it was no use, she had to leave and wanted to anyway. There are many dads out there with similar circumstances doing it alone. Yes, you hear more about the dads leaving than the mums, but its out there. I hope one day to meet someone again, but thats not a priority. what is , that i'm dedicated to my kids and nothing else right now. so please have some glimmer of faith in us mere males (lol).not all are useless lumps. If there are any men out there that want to have a whinge about what the ladies do all day, I'll bloody well tell them how hard it is getting things done. SO IF THE BLOKES HAVE NOT RUN A HOME FOR AT LEAST A WEEK ON THEIR OWN – SHUT THE HELL UP, COS YOU DON'T KNOW A THING. I wish you all the happiness and success Destinee.x

  27. Anonymous

    I'm new to the divorce scene. My husband left me with two kids alone three days before thanksgiving this past November. He's in the navy so he slept on the ship for a day and then went to another state with a ship mate to have thanksgiving. I'm getting full custody with supervised visitation. Our son was diagnosed ASD in October. And up until then we had been getting services for him as well as enrolled him in a special education elementary school. He hasn't seen the since and I haven't seen him since either. And he never checks in. Our divorce will be finalized by the end of the year. I do miss him at times but he gave up on our life, me and most importantly these amazing kids. Our son is almost four in April and our daughter will be 2 in September. This year would have been our fifth wedding anniversary. And instead of her big bash we planned to do we are getting a divorce.
    I'm trying so hard to figure all this out as a single parent. But he was gone all the time with the navy so it's not too much different. I'm working part time bc that's all I can find right now and living with family so I can save.
    I'm very hurt. I don't think anyone will ever want to be with me bc they don't want to deal with my son. And my husband and I decided we weren't going to have anymore and he wanted me to tie my tubes. So I did.
    I just want to be happy and these kids have a father but not him. He doesn't deserve a second chance.


  28. Dru

    I love this letter. I am a single mother of an Autistic child but it is by my choosing. It just wasn't working with the daddy, but we do get a long for our son's sake and he is in his life, which is what matters. 🙂 Keep up the good work!

  29. Anonymous

    LOVE this post and LOVE your blog. You are pretty alright too!
    Keep up the good work!

  30. I am Doris used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes…i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (Priests Meruja); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps
    for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn't mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I'm sure any help/ extra work will benefit him as He travel sometimes.i cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay and he’ will replied to any emails asap,love marriage,finance, job promotion ,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,Trouble in marriage,HIV AIDS,it's all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something

  31. Dave

    Dave, from Australia.
    I just got my ex back, we are happily in love just like old times, she left me for another guy 2weeks ago just because i didn't buy her something so expensive on her birthday, she said i dont love her that i could not appreciate her on her birthday.
    So she left for another guy who has been asking her out for about 2months now. There was no other way i could prove to her its not what she thinks, i called her phone more than 3thousand times a day but she wont answer my, instead she black list me number that i can no longer call her with my number., this happened for a week, than i found a lady email on line who they say she does spell work to bring back lover, her email is, i contacted her and she warned me to that if she brings her bacvk, i should respect and adore her and make her know that she's everything to me. I was so surprise how the spell lady knew that i dont care for her.
    Well i learnt my lessons that not until you lose what you have, you wont know its value. The spell lady asked me for some information and pictures and proceed with the spell to return my love back to me, and in 2days later i received a call from her asking to me were i was, it was to unusual because she has not done that for week now.
    I was on top of the world when she came back to me and told me that she has broken up with the other guy because she notice that she cant do without me, and that was the exact words the spell lady said that she's going to tell me when she comes back.
    I am so thankful like never before for having my lover back, the spell lady is the perfect one to meet on problems.

  32. Anonymous

    Your blog makes me feel better, as I feel it's not my fault that my marriage collapsed because I ' choose' my autistic son over his own dad.

    I was married for 7 years until I found out about my (soon to be ex) affair. He told me that his reason is because he feel like I choose our son over him. our son, Matt is an autistic boy.
    When we found out that Matt is Autistic, he can't accept it and runway to his job, I took care Matt mostly by myself as he prefer to be 'not at home', then he blame me as I was too busy took care Matt by myself.
    Two years ago he was asked me to choose, him or our son, and I automatically answered 'Matt".
    What was in my mind, he was 42 years old by then and Matt is only 4 years old, so of course Matt can't take care himself, but he can, and for me it was a weird rhetoric question.
    Apparently my answer gave him an excuse to stopped loving me (as what he confessed to me after we separate).
    Now we've been separate, and he keep avoiding to visit his son. I was hurt by his infidelity,especially his reason for doing that, and what his gf says that I hate him because I choose Matt over him.
    But I pushed all that hurt away so my son can still has a father figure, I begged him to able to visit his son and loving him. but I was wrong as it eventually put Matt in misery, as he can feel his father rejection.
    Now I understand that it's not my job to make him do his duty as a father. But it's my job to protect my child from a misery.

    Thank you again for your article.

  33. Antonia

    Oh my mine!! sincere thanks to you, I GOT FIANCE BACK. Im so excited, It only took 6 Days for him to come home. bless the ancient ancestors and bless god bless you too my great spell caster. i must be dreaming as i never thoughts he would be back to me after all this time. I am so much shock and just cant believe my eyes. thank you thank you thank you from the bottom of my heart. Antonia

  34. I`m from Ukraine, and i`m read your great post in tranlated in to russian, and now, i com to yor blog for say you:
    BIG BIG BIG Thank you!!
    i`m 32 years old, my son 3 years old with autism
    I'm just starting my way

  35. Anonymous

    I am a single mother of a 7 year old son who have Autism having been challenging and reward. When he was diagnosis at the age of 3 years old, it was hard for me to accept but I knew that I had a special person to raise. As time moved on, the bond that developed between me and my son grew so strong that nothing or no one could ever break. Entering into a relationship, if I was serious about that person, I would inform about my son having autism and if they couldn't accept it then they wouldn't be a apart of my life because a guy would have to be apart of his life just as much as mine. If I felt like I wasn't or couldn't be serious about the person, then I wouldn't give the honor in known my wonderful son. I feel like I have done a wonderful job in raising my son. He have won awards in school, he is known is one of the most polite child and he is my bestfriend !

  36. Anonymous

    Autism Daddy, thank you for your post. I am separated from my husband who, from what research I've been able to do, fits into the "category" of asperger's syndrome. I am also the mother of three boys, all of whom have certain characteristics of asperger's, but none so clearly as my youngest (13yo) who also has a severe bleeding disorder, ehler's danlos syndrome, asthma, allergies, sleep apnea, depression and anxiety. No one will diagnose him because his "obvious" health issues scream louder. I left my husband a year ago next month to keep my sanity and protect my youngest son. Our house was out of control. My husband is a workaholic and left everything to me. It wasn't easy for him either. We have no extended family, and both of us came from dysfunctional families. We were not prepared for our kids' issues (both of my older sons had serious emotional and behavioral issues). But their dad hid from us (and himself) by working constantly. The thing that saddens me is that I think he has asperger's himself. But he won't listen. And I have to save my sanity and my son. Thank you for staying. Thank you for writing.

  37. Anonymous

    Still married but feel as if I am not. We live in the house together but does not feel like husband and wife. He is always angry and upset. My daughter was diagnosed with SPD at 3, ASD at 6 and APD at 7. With every diagnosis we grow further apart. He does not work with me to help her and would yell or ignore her. He has no patience. He just does not get why she does what she does and yells. If I need a break he is either busy or when he does give me the break he does not bother with her. It is like he wants us to leave. He does anything he can to avoid doing things as a family. I do understand things have to get done around the house but there is a limit. He is always comparing her to his two boys, previous marriage, and that he did not have to do this for them or they would not do that. She is not the boys and he just does not get she thinks differently.
    For all of you who are a couple and work together for your autistic child, you are blessed to have each other.
    For all of those who are on their own raising your autistic child, they are your blessing.
    I love her for who she is during the good and the bad and will never stop being her rock to lean on.

  38. Anonymous

    All i can say is Wow!! Your Story here was very inspiring, I have 3 boys, one is grown and moved out my 2 little ones are 7 and 9, my 7 yr old was diagnosed 2 yrs ago with atutism, put a strain on my marriage real bad, we live in the same house but apart, its hard and im thinking of taking that leap to get out with my boys because i dont get the help from him or support, he goes to work comes home just to sit on the couch and act like he doesnt need to get involved, i can do this on my own and not watch him just sit there. i had to give up so much but i wanted to and needed to, my son will come first and has with me, yes alot changed in our lives but not to much because we always did things as a family before, but i think he is still in denial with his son. I have dreams and my kids are a big part of that even if one is Autistic. Ive even been blamed for this happening to my son by him, and everyone that knows about Autism knows you can't blame a person for this in a relationship. I could go on and on, but i'll stop here. iv'e been so lost for so long because of my husband that i'm ready to find myself with my kids.

    Thanks for all your post and stories, and everything you do to help us.

  39. Anonymous

    As a grown-up with responsibilities to our child, bills and devotion I fully understand you were totally incapable of ever looking past the nose on your face.

    Our little guy he is 8 now and we both are adjusting to what life is really all about. I never knew life could be so full and beautiful and so full of spunk. The tickles and giggles echo through our house and the endless one topic stories I can never get enough of. I had no idea of the blessings in life I would be rewarded with once our son came into the world. It is a real shame you were not man enough to stick around and find out what a real life is all about. When you thought we would fail without you around, guess you got the last laugh, I know we did.

    You will never have what we have or be a part of what we are all about and how strong inside we really are. To think for one moment you were here, sickens me to know end. You were never deserving of our time, attention, love or devotion. I do not respect you. I respect our son who despite his differences has made great strides in his steps and walk in life every single day. You were just too weak inside to stick around for the long haul and too weak of a person to really hold value of what life is really all about.

    We do not miss you one single bit, in fact we are glad you are no longer here wasting our time, attention and days.

  40. Powerful letter that all dads should read regardless of their thoughts about staying or leaving. As moms we need help and support. There are also the dads who do not think of leaving but leave everything up to the moms and end up being mere spectators in their own children's lives. Even if one parent is mostly in charge and in most cases it is the moms, the dad can still help and be involved in the ways you described. I know at times it takes men a longer time to accept their child's diagnosis (sometimes longer if the child is male) but sooner or later they need to face it and jump in there to help their child and their family as a whole. Thanks so much for sharing this.

  41. Digby

    I think I'd be better off single. My partner has absolutely zero interest in anything to do with our son. He has no patience, they constantly fight because even after 10 years he doesn't get why the boy 1. Can't be normal, 2. Can't just listen, 3.doesnt get when dad is angry. It's like I'm constantly fighting a battle to stand up for our son and keep the peace. He is great with the other kids, but sometimes I feel like he doesn't even like his son. It breaks my heart. And what's even scarier is if I left and they would have to spend time alone together, without me there to referee. I could never put my son in that position.

  42. Anonymous

    I was never married to my daughters father. We split when I was 4 months pregnant. He was cheating, taking my money and going to party with other girls. So I had enough. Minutes after my daughter was born, I called him to inform him. See, I did the right thing.
    He came around like a great person for 2 weeks. Then, he got the H1N1 flu virus and was put in the hospital for a night or 2. He became angry with me because I would not let him around my 3 week old daughter while he was getting over the swine flu! (this is the same man that wouldn't bring me tylenol when I was sick because he didn't want to possible "catch" anything) I did NOT bend on refusing him access to my daughter while he was sick.
    The very next week, he pops up with pink eye. Can you guess… yep, he got mad because I would not let him put his infected fingers on my child. I'm hoping that you are seeing a pattern here.
    So, he decides he doesn't want to see her again until he ran into us at the park when she was 13 MONTHS OLD!!! Over a year old. He did not call or try to see her on her birthday.
    She just turned 3 two weeks ago. This was the THIRD year in a row that he did not contact on her birthday. Oh, maybe I should also mention that he's never given her a Christmas gift, Valentins's gift, Easter, etc etc…. I think that I also forgot to mention that he has 2 sons that are7 and 10 now. They have only seen her once and she was 2 weeks old. He does absolutely everything with them. But has never offered to do anything for my daughter.
    It has been 1 year and 4 months since he has seen my child. He does not know, as far as I know, about her recent dx on the spectrum and I have absolutely no intentions in telling him. He would only use this info to create a pity party for himself to gain attention from females. Not gonna happen here.
    And yes, I'm sure that you've noticed that I use the term MY DAUGHTER. Well, guess what, she is MY daughter. I raise her on my own. I have not gone after him for child support, nor do I plan to. And let me tell you, I struggle severly finacially. I do not bad mouth him in front of my daughter. I don't have to either. She will know all on her own who loves her and who takes care of her.
    Now, with that being said…. we are all smart enough to know that not ALL men are complete losers. There are some good ones out there.

  43. My decision to split from my husband…it wasn't our son's Aspergers/Autism that split us….it was the feeling that I was better off doing it on my own without him….he left it all to me. I was able to deal with it better without him around than with him around. It wasn't the big A that split us – it was our own behaviour/personalities that did surrounding the big A.
    His relationship with our son and daughter was great before…its amazing now. Although I really wish he would read your posting…

  44. Anonymous

    Have sent it on to my ex husband – thank you

  45. To the gentleman with 8 year old daughter, don't ever feel discourage on how life turns out! I'm a single mom of two beautiful children. I've been blessed with a magnificent 13 year old autistic son and a beautiful 16 year old daughter, who are the light and air of my life and who I love like crazy!!! I truly share your pain cause my ex-husband was a coward and walked out on us. He felt he didn't have time to be part of what was important "FAMILY". He used work as an excuse to escape our world. In the process of walking out he managed to steal twenty years of my hard work….basically he was able to buy the law and was granted everything minus the children which he didn't want, he left us with nothing. He took away a life style that my children was born into. Over the years we learned to over come what we lost, it hasn't been easy. My beautiful children were the ones who taught me to let go of the small stuff. My daughter shocked me one day, when I apologized for failing them. Her reply was "mom you haven't failed us cause we still have your love and don't worry even after we lose everything and even if we end up on the streets as long as we have each other that's all that matters and always remember all for one and one for all!". We call ourselves the Three Musketeers. Sometimes we as parents need our children to teach us what really matters in life which is the LOVE we have for each other. I am truly blessed cause I get plenty of love from my children….especially from my son….who reminds me every day that he's the man of my life and that he will always take care of me….imagine that! So to all the men who have the hearts of an angel….I take my hat off to you, you're greatly admired!

  46. My wife and I joke that we'll never get a divorce since neither of us wants to be stuck with the kids. 🙂 Can you imagine the look on the judge's face when we both stand there arguing how the other parent should have full custody?

  47. Well, as one of the women who have started a blog site about raising my children "Differentbrain" is my channel on youTube, I Thank You.

    (video url I made about dads – copy and paste into browser and it might work)

    Yes, I have an ex that chooses other than the kids. And that sucks, I assure you. You described it very well.
    I also hold the side of compassion (most days anyway) for my former spouse. I don't allow it as an excuse, but I do allow it as an explanation. Since the 'apple didn't fall far from the tree' (my son is VERY similar to Dad). Dad seems to have deep scars from childhood that I simply don't know how much therapy or drugs could fix.
    I kick ass as a mother in my opinion and their father honors that. I'm grateful for that part. He pays all the medical and therapy and special schools and… I honestly believe it's what he can do and even in our marriage I didn't see his ability to do much more. Ho-hum.

    I also have a boyfriend for over a year that loves my son and struggles with him all at the same time. 🙂 And I love my boyfriend VERY much, so there IS hope after 40 with a high-need child.

    Life… I'm living.

    Thanks for your communications! I have found them very helpful. Keep speaking please.
    Love, Mica

  48. Anonymous

    You're a great dad. very supportive, i salute you, sometimes got jealous to those father bringing their child in school and everywhere… thank you for sharing your blog, it can give help and to those family not yet accept the situations then. for many years i am just alone taking care of my son kristian…More power and be safe all of your family. Mimie filipina mom

  49. I am Doris used every single spell worker on the internet, spent untold amounts of money and discovered they are all fakes…i was the fool though; doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In the end, I decided that I wanted a tarot reading to know what my future held for me; I contacted a woman who lives locally to me and she told me about a man named (priests meruja); he does not advertise on the internet, has another job for income, has no set prices, makes no false promises and refuses to help anyone that cannot be helped and even helps
    for free sometimes, he will give you proof before taking money. He is a wonderful man and he was the only person who actually gave me real results. I really hope he doesn’t mind me advertising his contact on the internet but I’m sure any help/ extra work will benefit him as He travel marriage,finance, job promotion ,gambling voodoo,lottery Voodoo,poker voodoo,golf Voodoo,Law & Court case Spells,money voodoo,weigh loss voodoo,any sicknesses voodoo,Trouble in marriage,it’s all he does Hope this helps everyone that is in a desperate situation as I once was; I know how it feels to hold onto something and never have a chance to move on because of the false promises and then to feel trapped in wanting something
    more. his cell phone number 5182932141 !

  50. Anonymous

    I think a big part of the problem is that a lot of the dads are undiagnosed Aspies themselves and frankly, it can be very, very difficult for Aspies to put the needs of their family ahead of their own self-centered desires. The type of dad who complains, complains, complains about the cost of autism treatments for the child but then will turn around and waste money on something frivolous he likes. It's hard to make a marriage like that work.

    1. I am a diagnosed aspie with my pdd-nos autism and adhd son. I would never quit on him. That is NO excuse.

  51. It can get worse, my ex has abandoned his son.
    Vin has medium functioning autism and ADHD. He is able to speak, starts writing and a cutie.

    We are Vin and Nathalie, Vin is 5 years old. He has last seen his father, when he was 3. His father became depressive and detached with his condition and remained untreated. Vin sees his father maybe 25 minutes on Skype per week, if he is lucky. But his father never wants to see him and he does not seem to understand. Why?

    There are depressions as a condition involved, but I also agree that his father has done nothing against it. He is a jerk. Yes. And a mean one. He just looks for his own convenience once in a while through his computer. His son knows that this is dad. He should get a price for torturing his son. Seriously.

  52. Julie B

    My husband didn't leave because my daughter had autism. He left because I threw him out for bashing our 5 year old autistic daughter.

    Even leaving would have been better than the hell he put us through.

    He didn't need to leave us – he had already left in every way except physically by that stage. When he actually was employed, in fact even when he was unemployed (which was most of our marriage), he would spend nearly every waking moment dividing his time between illicit drug use with his dealing and screwing around with his mistresses. He kept most of the drug use and all of the cheating from me until I kicked him out and found out about it all from one his many mistresses.

    Only reason I didn't kick him out sooner was because it was only me he bashed until then, and I could protect our daughter when he flew into his rages, and with the f***ed up way the family court is here, I knew if I kicked him out, no matter what he had done to us, he would get shared custody.

    As long as we were together, he didn't want to spend a single second with our daughter because her autism meant he couldn't pass her off as "cute" and "entertaining" to his loser mates. But as soon as I kicked him, he did exactly what I predicted, and suddenly wanted to assert his "rights" and insisted on shared custody. And despite his long history of violence and drug use and criminal convictions, he was awarded shared custody after a three year battle.

    Thank goodness for my daughter and I, that as soon as he got what he wanted in court, to prove (in his own mind anyway) that he could still use the court to control us even if he was no longer able to physically control us, he decided an autistic daughter was too much to handle, and the mistress he shacked up was jealous of the time he spent stalking and abusing me (yes, jealous – to her, the abuse and stalking and harassing was a sign he still wanted me and she didn't like that – she had no problem with the abuse, frequently telling him to bash me while he and I were together), and so he cut off all contact with us.

    The comment about the jerks who want to start over and try to make a non-autistic family really stuck in my head, because it doesn't work that way. My ex discovered that one! Autism is genetic, and now he has gone from having a daughter with relatively mild autism, to now having a son with that mistress who appears to be much lower functioning on the spectrum – and now he is stuck married to this woman, who is even more violent than he is and isn't a loving mother or wife. Last I heard one of his other mistresses had a kid who he denies is his, but it probably is.

    Whereas my beautiful daughter and I have found a lovely man who I am marrying very soon, who loves me and loves my daughter, and who doesn't see her as anything different, and they get on like a house on fire. He is the absolutely best thing to happen to her (and to me too of course). When the two of them are together, you'd never know he wasn't her real daddy because he is just so amazing with her.

    And his wonderful family has accepted her as their own too. His parents are the best grandparents imaginable, and his sisters are infinitely better than her father's disgusting sister who does things like make fun of her autistic behaviours on facebook, even when she knew full well my daughter's father would let my daughter see the nasty comments.

    Sometimes, some men (and women too) are better off leaving. Of course, it should never come to that – they shouldn't be that awful in the first place. But sometimes, they are that awful, and the best thing for the child is to never see these horrible people again. I just wish the family court could understand that. My daughter has made amazing progress since her father left her life 2 years ago and even though it hurt her feelings, it has been better for her.

  53. Anonymous

    Thank you!

  54. Thank you, thank you for this wonderful letter. My ex-husband left 8 years ago and has not looked back. I am proud to say, I too, am an Autism Mommy Rock Star!! However, I could never articulate my feelings to this extent. God bless you and your beautiful family!!

  55. My son's father has been out of his life since long before the spd. He was heavy into drugs, and no good for our family. However, my fiance (who was a friend in my teenage years)was just in time I guess you could say for the diagnosis. He is great, patient enough to try to disentangle the EXTREMELY spoiled 6 year old (we have lived with his grandmother and great grandmother for five years now)from the spd/autistic meltdowns. When mommy is worn out and apt to treat every fit as a meltdown, this in itself is a lifesaver.

  56. I have a form of autism myself and I'm a first time dad to a 5 month old son. My partner felt at times during pregnancy that she had to cope with 2 kids, an unborn one and a 42 year old, and had everything ready to leave if it got worse. I'm very glad she decided to stay and give me the chance to grow in the role of becoming a partner and a dad. My son doesn't show any signs of autism luckily.

  57. I am a special education teacher working with children with classic autism. They are all non-verbal or have only limited verbal skills. Amazingly all of the parents are still together.
    At home, I am a step-dad to two on the spectrum, both HF, one Aspie and the other an undiagnosed PDD. My wife had to leave her ex because he just couldn't handle having kids like this. So sad for him – they are great kids.

  58. I know this mom; she used the threat of divorce to try to force the dad to do something he did not wanted. She took the thread as far as to actually file for divorce and to get a court order to sell the family house. She took the threat as far as to actually sell the house.
    Now she claims he left because the son is Asbergers.

    What do you call that mom?

  59. This letter applies to all those friends and family members who bailed out too! I would give anything to find a partner who has the full understanding of what it takes, what it's like to be the ONE who stays, who stands, who endures. I don't know what that looks like! I am willing to believe it exists, however 🙂

  60. I am a mother of a 21 year old daughter with autism. As a special needs mom I am constantly have my “feelers” up for resources that can benefit so many families; I know you can relate to that on a daily basis as well. I receive a lot of great info on helping families and this is the best I have seen in a long time!

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  61. Anonymous

    You should contact the Commander's wife – she would be in charge of the support group usually for the families of the unit and should know the resources for your area. Since you are now divorced, as long as you have all the paperwork (birth, marriage, divorce paperwork, deployment, etc.), I wouldn't think it would be a problem, for your daughter to get her ID card. The few staff that stay back at home should be able to assist you.

  62. Anonymous

    I have a page on FB The Sensing of Kylie.

  63. I am a newly divorced single mother and my child was diagnosed in the autism spectrum. Oh it was so good to have read this post. My ex was actually complaining to me that I was a horrible mom because our daughter wasn't like his friends kids. Then he deployed, about two months later I was diagnosed with breast cancer and he told me he met someone else. We are divorced now and I had to contact some of his chain of command because he failed to pay child support and alimony. After being forced, he wrote to me and told me it was a test to see what will I do and the test only shows that I won't leave him alone. I think he lost his mind, but I have been encouraging him to exercise his visitations with his daughter and he continues to not exercise them. I have came to the point of actually knowing you can't force him or anyone else to be a good father, but only the minimal the law allows. He actually wrote to me saying she didn't need a dependant ID Card proving she is enrolled into DEERS, but that was a total lie and his CDR stated its the child's right to have one and the ID Card facility stated she couldn't get care if she didn't have proof…the ID Card.

    any advice to handle this situation would be greatly appreciated from anyone reading. I have primary custody, but I really think its best if I have Sole…he could still visit. Just doesn't have a part on Kylie's medical decisions and such.

  64. Anonymous

    Thank you.

    -from a single mother with two with ASD

  65. Anonymous

    Our family is not your typical family, we are an intact autism family with not one, but two children with autism and let me tell you that it has not been a walk in the park or a piece of cake. I cannot even imagine that my hubby would take the easy way out and leave. He loves his babies too much!!! We have a solid relationship that has had its ups and downs, but this June we will be together for 20 years! We have also buried a child and that was before we had our autistic kids. It is not easy and I will never pretend that it is, but we know that we created these lives and we must make the best of whatever is thrown our way. To any man or woman out there that wants to bail, get over it, life is not easy and count the blessings you have with what you have already in your life!!!

  66. What a load of sanctimonious crap. There is no broad stroke picture you can paint of the father who leaves a family with autism behind. Every situation and every story is different. Women file for divorce in the majority, men are pushed out more than they walk out. Fathers are often a little on the spectrum themselves owing to the genetic nature of autism, and are ill equip for the emotional battles of family court. As a man and a father I had to fight a uphill battle to retain custody of my autistic son. The laws, and court system is stacked against fathers. Your essay stereotyping autism dads probably made you feel superior to other dads, but I doubt it will accomplish any more than create false impressions of autism families in distress.

    1. Amen. Women file 2/3rds of the time. Uphill as in one of the fathers in my church got on the front page of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and the Fargo Forum before his battle was over to keep his son. Mine only cost me 35 grand in legal fees. But it's fun to be self-righteous.

  67. Anonymous

    My husband is great with our ASD son, dont even think it ever entered his head to leave, he works all day then he will come home and help with our son and other 2 kids and if i have had a bad day he does dinner baths and bed for all of them so i can relax, there is no way i could do it all by myself and i feel so sorry for the parents who have too.

  68. Autistic Daddy 2

    Good letter, but I must say that leaving the family is still better than homocide. I suppose most of us had wanted to escape from the hell of raising an autistic child in many ways but have been able to stick with it. It isn't easy and so it is understandable that some are going to bail out.

  69. You sound like a great dad. My husband has stuck around too but it is hard sometimes. He has autism too and it is hard for him to understand our son. But he promises he isn't going anywhere. So if my husband can stick around I believe any real man can. May God bless your family.

  70. X for me was one of the jerks that left before the diagnosis actually before he was born. I was seven months pregnant and he wasn't happy about it already felt like I didn't pay enough attention to him because of my NT daughter and my Lupus mom that lives with me. He wouldn't have been happy no matter what unless he was the center of attention he didn't even like me trying to go to school. My David is wonderful and I wouldn't change him for the world so sad that he has never seen his father or his father's family but we all love him and support him. I do have faith that there is somebody out there that is meant to be the husband and father my family deserves but for now we'll "just keep swimmin "

  71. Anonymous

    When my daughter was dx so was my husband. It was a breakthough. to find out that my husband had aspergers. It put a new light on my marriage. It gave me an understanding of him that I never had before. We have been able to co parent and he has helped me to understand my daughter better.

  72. Well AD…if the ladies didn't love you before, they certainly love you now! This is awesome! I read it to my husband who is one who decided to stay. Though, I'm sure he has his days. And today is one of them, you know with the kids being out of school and all. Your wife and your son are blessed to have you.

  73. Anonymous

    I wish I could make my husband read this! The fact that I am too afraid to ask is not a good sign.

    1. so don't ask 🙂 usually when there is something I want my husband to see i leave the computer on where I want him to see it. or a book open where he'll see it. there is success in subtleties…

      as far as the article, I do believe you've done a great job, again. although I cannot speak from personal experience, I have been there myself. I would love to pick up and leave. but really? this is my daughter. I love her. there's no way on God's green earth I would leave my baby. so she's not "normal", so what? we have a new "normal" now and in the end I think we're better for it. my husband may not be the best at helping around the house but he works two jobs so I can stay home. so, I guess I can relate w little, feeling like a single married person most days :/ it does suck, but we do nurture our relationship first. Kylee will always have autism. it will never go away. it is not the end all of things. I know if I don't get to a certain task with her that day she won't be worse for it. but I do know that if I let my husband's feelings go for a day, that is more detrimental.
      and, as far as it being her fault if the guy cheats? what a crass answer! Dr Laura doesn't know her way out of a paper bag….much less how to give relational advice. sorry, just my opinion.

  74. Anonymous

    "…. if a husband cheats, the wife should blame herself."


  75. Anonymous

    Agreed. But what does a husband do when he is relegated to 3rd or 4th class status in the wife's priorities, and there is no time left for him? Suck it up? Accept that you're only a roommate?

    Supermoms must remember that they need to nurture their marriages as well. Radio talk show guru, Dr. Laura once said if a husband cheats, the wife should blame herself.

    1. Anonymous

      Yeah. Accept you 3rd and 4th class status. The kids need you guys now, not later, you need to help and nurture while they are young. The problem is that most men are selfish. So what if you are not top of the list, be a good father an think of your kids. They should be first on the list, you chose to have these kids then let them have center stage. It's pathetic how needy some men are, and how they are jealous of their own children. I'm a single mom on an autistic child who's father chose to walk out well before he was even born and has never looked back. I am actually very grateful that he walked out, because he would have been dead weight and ruined our lives. To the men that are concerned about being at the bottom of the list? The fact that you have that concern, informs te world that you are in fact a selfish jerk. I hope you do leave your wife and kids because all you do is cause more problems anyways.
      -a proud and completely happy single mom

    2. Anonymous

      By all accounts, Dr. Laura has been divorced, took up with a married man, didn't speak to her sister for years and her mother for almost two decades. Found out her mother died months after the fact and was cold as ice. Says she never had an emotional bond with her parents.

      If this is where you are getting your relationship advice, good luck with that.

      And for the record, I am a special needs supermom. I support us financially, arrange all the therapists, fundraise for autism charities, take care of all of my son's needs (which are significant), deal with the school district, run him from doctor to doctor (he is sick often), arrange and participate in all of his recreational activities, educate myself on best practices and am figuring out how to create the best future possible for him. My husband is not "nurtured" the way he should be, and he understands that is because I am exhausted. We both have sacrificed for the sake of our beloved child–life has been unfair to both of us and our marriage isn't would it should have been. But we stick it out and try to make a solid, joyful life for our child.

      It's called maturity. Deal with it.

    3. Anonymous

      Sorry, but I believe you are a jerk, too.

    4. Jan Goodenough

      Great letter. Shame about the reply of Jan 16th 2012 06.57am. How selfish and facile is that?! Anyway, more to the point – I wonder how many marriages break up, as mine did, before diagnosis, but when the child has marked behavioural issues? X was never around, leaving before the kids got up and returning when they were in bed, so I was blamed for my son's aberrant behaviour. For years I was told that he could not be an Aspie as his language development was so precocious. He was subsequently diagnosed as being a person with hyperlexic Asperger's Syndrome – quite a rare type, so I'm told. Even so, the doctors should not have been so ignorant. And while my son, bless 'im, was struggling with everything that comes with AS and I was trying to cope, there was X's 'secretarty' as I call her, waiting on him hand and foot (and other bits, too) to provide stark contrast. After X left, he kids had no Christmas cards or birthday cards, let alone positive involvement. Well, son Alex is now at Cambridge University (England) and scoring at first class degree level in exams so far. Google Alex Goodenough – he's quite something, even if I'm biased as his mum. I'm now regarded as a successful lone parent of a successful pair of children – quite a turnaround. X is the one who has lost out. I tried so hard to get X to stay in touch with his kids and even now make sure the kids know where their father is, but neither of them wants any involvement with him. On the odd occasions when he has contacted the children via Facebook, he just criticizes me to them. Blame is a negative word, Mr Anonymous, with its focus on the past and what cannot be changed. Repentance, forgiveness and forward-looking focus are positive concepts that make for a better future. I forgive X and do take some responsibility for the failure of my marriage, but, regrettably he's meaningless to our children and still consumed by his own venom.

  76. Anonymous

    Very well written.
    My husband lost all interest in our son, and our family as a unit, after our boy's diagnosis. He became sullen, depressed, self-pitying and has left me to do all the child-raising alone, even though he's technically still present. He's one of the "stick around and make everyone miserable" guys, and I'm afraid that after 4 years of this he'll either hit the road soon or I'll have to point the way. Very stressful around here right now.

  77. This is fanTABulous! You are right on. (The children are probably better off if he or she was a jerk in the first place!!)

  78. Anonymous

    one of my friends is an asd mum, and her husband cheated on her and still wont leave the house "because of the kids"… I think that sux for her….

  79. Sorry. Too many unwarranted assumptions here. In some cases, dads have different views about how a child with ASD should be raised … or they may disagree with a mother's excessive self-sacrifice (co-dependence). They leave because they cannot stand the resultant environment, and they find the courts will not give them much say in their child's up-bringing. For some fathers, it is all too painful for them to bear.
    You may be right about most cases … but don't assume that ALL disability-related separation are down to males (or the partner who left) not doing their best.

    1. Anonymous

      If you leave your partner to care for your child with ASD, you are a coward. Period! It is absolutely essential to constantly advocate for children with ASD. Your partner is doing the right thing for your child.

  80. Donna Barrows

    Great letter. To bad it was not around 21 years ago when the father of my son walked out.

    He is paying the price now. We had 2 wonderful sons, David and Billy. David is the son with austism. He was not around for the last 20 years. He missed their growing up. He missed watching David graduate from High School, when no one but his family and elementary school principal believed in him. He missed watching our sons become loving compassionate men.

    The biggest thing my exhusband missed was saying good bye to our wonderful David when he passed on Christmas of 2010. He will never be able to know David know except thru stories of others or looking at his facebook. He will never know how loving, caring and magnificant David was. David is a special angel that god sent to us. He taught me as many lessons as I taught him. His father will never learn those lessons.

    Now that he is trying to get to know our other son, Billy, he is finding it very difficult. Billy knows his dad was never there for him or his brother. He knows the pain that David felt because of his dad. He knows that David would have rejected any attempts now for his dad to have contact. Billy knows that he is what is left from the Barrows brothers and he is dedicated to doing what his brother and he wanted to keep their dad out of their lives. Cant come in 21 years later and be a dad.

    My hope is for a father thinking of leaving will read this and know what the ultimate price he might pay one day.

    RIP David Michael Barrows 11/30/88 – 12/25/10

  81. Anonymous

    A great letter, but we must remember it is not always just the DAD sometimes its two people working so hard to help there child/children that they neglect themselves and their relationship ( these things need attention too). I know as a parent of an ASD child I often forget to attend to my own needs and as a result sometimes burnout. I am a single parent, my son's father is deceased and dating is out of the question. Thank goodness suppport forums where parents of children with disabilies can go to support each other. The group I am a member of has been incrediably supportive, informative and not to forget the great belly laughs that can be had. This group has helped me see beyond the disability and see the possiablities !

    1. To the gentleman with the 8 year old daughter. Don't ever feel discourage on how life turns out. I'm a single mother of two beautiful children. I have a magnificent 13 year old autistic son and a beautiful 16 year old daughter; who are the light and air of my life and who I love like crazy!!! I truly share your pain cause my ex-husband was a coward and
      walked out on us; he felt he didn't have time to be
      part of what was important "FAMILY". He used work as the excuse to escape our world. In the process
      of walking out he managed steal twenty years of my
      hard work….basically he was able to buy the law
      and was granted everything, minus the children
      which he didn't want; he left us with nothing. He
      took away a life style that my children was born into.
      Over the years we learned to over come what we
      lost, it hasn't been easy. My beautiful children were
      the ones who taught me to let go of the small stuff.
      My daughter shocked me one day when I
      apologized for failing them. Her reply was "mom you
      haven't failed us cause we have your love and don't
      worry even after we lose everything and even if we
      end up on the streets as long as we have each
      other that's all it matters and always remember all
      for one and one for all!", we call ourselves the Three
      Musketeers! Sometimes we as parents need our
      children to teach us what really matters in life which
      is the LOVE we have for each other. I am truly
      blessed cause I get plenty of love from my children,
      especially from son who reminds me everyday that
      he's the man of my life and that he's going to take
      care of me….imagine that! So to all the men who
      have the hearts of an angel….my hat off to you,
      you're greatly admired!!! Helena.

    2. Anonymous

      I am a single father of an 8 year old autistic daughter. The mother is deceased. I wish I could meet someone who understood. Then you have to hire someone that works with autistic chidren to stay with your child while you go out no matter the cost. Even if it was just for an hour. I wish I could find that special someone (it would have to be someone very special), because I know I have a lot of love still in my heart to give. But it would be a miracle to find that woman. Running a small business out of my house, so I could be at home, and taking care of my daughter does not leave time to properly romance a woman. And I do not mean an online romance. I believe in fate (if I could ever get out of the house).

  82. THANK YOU! as a single mom of a high functioning Autistic 13 yr old.. THANK YOU!!!! it's so hard to comprehend sometimes.. the risk of dating and wondering what man would love me enough.. let alone love my children for all their quirks and have the patience to learn..THANK YOU!!!!

  83. Anonymous

    my daughter has been diagnosed with high functioning autism. its hard to change your ways of thinking because you are set in your ways but people are not made of concrete and the benifits are you will become a better person,parent and partner. my wife is doing an amazing job of helping our daughter understand and is an inspiration to me. i am in our marriage for the long haul and i back my wife up when im not at work and on the phone if im at work. my daughter has a beautiful way of looking at the world and teaches me something new every day. it was hard before we got a diagnosis but information on the internet is a god send.please look at yourself before you start looking for whats wrong in others as if you fix yourself you might see it all starts with the way you think.this letter is great and i thought this might help those thinking about leaving i dont judge anyone as they only know what their going through but hopefully this helps.

  84. Autism Daddy,

    This is a moving letter and a wonderful blog.

  85. Anonymous

    That was so well said….hopefully someone who is thinking of leaving will think twice about doing it….but like you said once a jerk always a jerk…thanks autism daddy for doing an amazing job for you family…your wife and son are very lucky to have you in their lives…

  86. Anonymous

    we chose to have these children so we made that commitment before they were born. There should be no option not to follow through with this, regardless of how the child turns out.There are so many weak mums/dads out there that do walk because this was not how they pictured there lives to be, well guess what our kids didn't pick their lives either.

  87. I was told by my wife to leave just over a year ago. I hope it solved everyone's problems.

    1. Anonymous

      Obviously your wife did not want to face facts that her behavior and attitude were problematic in the relationship and was unwilling to change to save the relationship. It takes two people to save a relationship not one. You did not take the easy way out. She gave you no choice. I wish you the best of luck in future relationships and do not let anyone tell you that you are the sole reason a relationship fails when a therapists has said another needs to change.

    2. Anonymous

      If she asked that of you, it probably did help. Yeah to you NOT

    3. We were in counseling, but once the counselor started to suggest that my wife had to make some changes in her behavior and attitude, we suddenly and mysteriously had to stop seeing that counselor.
      I am also on the spectrum, and have been struggling with employment issues because of that.
      I will dispute your contention that I chose "the ez way out" [sic]. All I want is for my wife to be happy, and if she's happy with her decision, so be it. Like I said, I hope my absence has solved everyone's problems.

    4. but did she do it because the lack on your part? because she needed you….are you she she wasn't just so frustrated she didnt know what to do….and you chose..sorry to say…the ez way out.
      it is so hard to fight the world for your child…even harder if you have to fight your spouse for your child….counceling shouldve been done so that BOTH of you coould get your feelings out, BOTH feel validated and unjudged…then TOGETHER raise your child.

  88. jeffb

    As my wife is flight attendant out of town 3-4 days a week, i understand what it like to be a single parent with an autistic child. I empathize with you ladies who have an incredible burden.

    Whether you have an Autistic kid or neurotypical child, the job of a parent is to provide them with a better life each day.

    Autism has made our marriage, our life and our love much stronger. Autism still sucks…no doubt about that, but making it suck less for you by bailing only makes it that much worse for the spouse and child that you leave behind. I could never imagine making other people's lives worse…much less my spouse and children's.
    Is that what you want to be known for? an abandoner of disabled children?
    No thanks, I'll take this autism and try my best to heal her and make her life better each day.

    1. Anonymous


      Thank you for recognizing the difficult job we moms do everyday! Please be careful when saying the word heal…just being there is a gift and I'm glad to hear your marriage is stronger, my husband and I feel the same way, it has been a gift that has brought us together. Your girls are lucky to have you !

  89. thank-you…

    now if there was only a way to share this with the one who abandoned me and our kids…

    1. Anonymous

      ya i asked the writer to send to my husband…i'll send yo yours if you like

  90. Thank you.

    Honestly and sincerely thank you – your children will grow up knowing that their dad is the best in the world.
    Your wife will respect and value you for years to come.
    Life may not be perfect but no life ever is.

    Whether or not any men "man up" after reading this its great that you are taking a stand for what is right – my vows said for better or worse in sickness and in health – it never said unless something "unexpected" happened.

  91. Dear Autism Daddy, I already loved your writing style (you make me laugh some days when I feel like nothing ever will again), I'm thankful for you telling it how it is (some days knowing there is another family in the world like ours makes it easier to go on),admired your involvement as a parent (esp. as a dad) and the love you obviously show for your son. Now I am in awe that you've taken such a bold stand on a topic that is usually ignored. Thank you for being an example out there for fathers trying to make their way through this mess that is autism and the wreck it havoc's on a family. You aren't perfect and you show that human side so others know that it can be done even if it isn't easy. Bravo AD!!!!

    1. Anonymous

      I have been with my wife and our Autistic son,,he is my world… true, I hit,, bottom when I found out he was Austistic. But, deep down I know,,that he is a very loving kid that has a lot to offer… I could honestly say,,I never thought of leaving them..I know,,I have lost time,,doing those father son things,, but oh well…

  92. I will admit that I was not as involved as I should be in the past. Being in the military also gave me another excuse to hide behind as well. This past year though has opened my eyes to a lot of the truth that you have mentioned here after trying to help my wife out by doing the weekly routine for her any chance I could. As a father of two autistic kids, the thought of leaving never really occurred to me for the same reasons that you posted on here, Autism Daddy. But like you said, every Dad needs to try to be better at it. Thanks again for writing this and I will repost it!

  93. Anonymous

    Amazing article, thank you. Our oldest son's bio-dad is exactly what you described here. Just at the time we didn't know exactly what our son's issues were, as he was an infant that had a transplant.

    Anyways, my husband came into the picture when our son was 2 (he is now 6) and took on the role as his father. It is the best thing that could have happened to us. It has been a struggle, but we are improving together and as a family.

    Fast forward, it is true to not seek out a typical family, whether it is the father or the mother. We have 4 bio children, and as it turns out, they are all on the spectrum. We would have never seen this coming, but nevertheless feel blessed to have them in our lives. : )

  94. Anonymous

    My daughter's father left me, not because of autism, because we didn't know what it was back then. But he never saw her consistently and as the years passed and her behaviors got worse he stopped seeing her altogether. He blamed me for her meltdowns, told me I was spoon feeding the drs so they would tell me she is sick, basically that I made her this way. He belittled her and let his new wife and kids treat her horribly. So I am glad that he chose to stay away from my daughter. Karma struck his household when his new wife left him with their two children, one who has noticeable delays, but he says he is fine. He now has four children by 3 different women and he only sees the one's his ex-wife left him with. Although it is super hard to go at the spectrum alone my daughter and I are much better off. Thanks for your understanding, Autism Daddy!~Angela Mitchell Atkinson

  95. We don't have a child with autism, but we do have a 20 month old medical miracle who has a trach/vent, cerebral palsy, and profound hearing loss. Her cares are intense and her therapies take a lot of free time. But when things got rough for her Daddy stepped up and started sleeping in her room at night so I could get some much needed rest. Because that's what real men do… step up when life gets rough even though selfishly walking away would be so much easier. Real life is rewarding; selfishness, not so much.

    Well written, Autism Daddy.

  96. Anonymous

    I love the fact that you've spoken out, brilliant letter. Your right these guys were probably jerks before the arrival of the child and would have left anyway. Fine walk out of a relationship with your partner but never walk out on a relationship with your kids no matter what the cost. I have no problems with the fact my ex husband walked out on me,though I dislike him immensely for walking out on our 3 kids. He chose the no contact rule, not me. Any parent that walks away from their children is the one that's missing out. Disabilities do not ruin families, self centred jerks do. I applaud your letter.

  97. Impressed

    Standing ovation!!!! My ex is abusive (and allows his extended family to be) toward our ASD child and clearly treated the others very differently. Been 2.5 years since last word, 5 since he split and was married within months. She can have him. Have to wonder what he tells her. Sadly, he came from a broken home with a very distant father so I am sure he justifies it in his mind because "clearly he turned out just fine." Yes, we struggled, it is really a challenge to have a career flexible to raise kids, yet alone two chronically ill and one ASD, but we have built a tremendous support network. I discovered and slowly even the chaos and clutter of the home is reducing at a steady pace. I would love a MAN in our lives, but I must say because of our supporting cast my kids have learned to fish and are learning various dad things (don't worry, I had football and baseball covered). Maybe I need to find a single parent of ASD group because I would love to go to dinner with someone who just gets it. Definitely the only downside to small town living. Thank you for your brutal honesty. I know it is having an impact both for the dads and the moms who feel dumped on just to know someone gets it.

  98. Brilliant letter. Seeing this all over shared all over facebook today. Well done 🙂

  99. Sheila

    My son works a full time job and a part time job 2-3 nights a week in order for his wife to be able to stay at home and be a full time mom for their ASD son and "typical" daughter. This has enabled our grandson to go to a special school in the mornings and have an aide come in for the afternoon to further teach our grandson the skills he will need in the future. Our daughter-in-law has become very active in bringing Autism Awareness to the public. She has done radio interviews, represented her son's school at functions and the two of them are active in raising funds for their son's school. Kudos to both of these fine parents. A parent knows they've done their job when you see your own children step up to the plate.

    1. antonella

      You must be so proud of your son. My ex-husband told me that I was hiding behind my daughter and using her autism as an excuse not to return to work. I started working part time at a minimum wage job while she was in school and trying to juggle her therapy appts. He still made me feel like I was using him to financially support us, not that he was doing a good job at it anyway. Now I'm on my own and he is still complaining about the support payments. Some men are just not meant to be fathers. When I look at him now I see a coward and a failure.

  100. Anonymous

    One of your best letters- I feel the same way you do – and my heart goes out to these other amazing moms who are raising there children on there own. You are fantastic strong woman and sometimes our soulmate isn't a man- it could be our girlfriends too- im sorry these men turned out to be so disappointing – but don't let the past sadness dictate your future -Let your strength carry you through

  101. Anonymous

    My daughter has "autistic tendancies" but I was told she is much to young for an official diagnosis. The problem with that is, she has then because I got a virus when I was pregnant that has completely taken away her ability to ever so anything a typical child could or would do. She has severe brain damage, epilepsy, (extreme) reflux, "autistic tendencies", poor coordination and motor function, etc. She spent the first two months of her life in the NICU. Which means she has been home for only 4 months. My husband walked out on us a month and a half ago. He has two "average" children, from two different women, he sees on a regular basis. They're 4 and 5 years old. His parenting skills, even with them, are extremely sub-par. But he spends time with them at least. His only daughter wouldn't know him if she saw him. That's incredibly depressing. And I don't know how to get through to him. He says he wants to work it out but refuses to step up to any of the responsibility, especially financially. He met us at the e.r. after she had a seizure, but only because it made him look good. I wish I wouldn't have told him we were even going to the hospital. I wish he would've just stayed home with his "average" kids. I love the man, but I hate his guts leaving me with all the responsibility of a disabled infant. I had no job when he left, and I almost lost my car last week. Luckily my family is supportive enough to cover my ass until I can pay them back. Someone please kill him for me.

  102. LOVE THIS LETTER! Thank you for telling it like it is. I think a copy of this letter should be given to Dads on the day of their kids diagnosis.

    I am one of the lucky ones I guess. I have a supportive husband who is extremely involved. But whenever we walk into meetings together, the fact that we are always together is commented on. Because they are surprised to see it. And I am sure that it also has something to do with the fact that we are a working class Latino family – Latino men have an especially hard time with having an autistic son.

    Last father's day I wrote a post about fatherhood and autism. Hope you don't mind me sharing it here –

  103. Wow & Thank You…in my case my ex boyfriend I knew was a VERY weak man..felt it in my heart from the very beginning of our relationship but he was such a sweetheart so loving & caring..We have a 4yesr old son born Profoundly Deaf & has Autism( Moderate/Severe) in the 4 years I think he has seen him 5 times (MAYBE)he has been to only 2 appointments with us..I have gone thru surgeries sitting in a waitting from as the single mom ALL by myself while I had to sit there & watch a Mom & Dad wait for their child..I gave him many chance to be here to help to be a part of my son's life but he thinks once a year or whenever he feels guilty he will try That is NOT acceptable..He now has been in a new relationship & NOW has the nerver after a year goes by have his new girlfriend texting me asking me when can he see his SON!!! I refuse to answer for reasons 1) I dont kno who this woman is 2)I owe her NO explanation 3)she has NO business texting me!!!

    1. Anonymous

      I can tell you that my sons father did the same thing he used his then girlfriend/now wife to see my son(sorry I call him mine cuz his dad left when I told him I was pregnant, so my son is mine not ours) I let him go a couple of times and she couldn't handle him and she even slapped him.So he hasn't seen him in over 5 years then we seen him at the county fair and he looked right at him and walked away. my son stood there and cried cuz his dad didn't say hi! So I know how you feel!

    2. Anonymous

      With the way you have described this guy, I would say that he's MAKING her txt you so that he can try to push your buttons. If she was truly trying to make him a better person, she would have introduced herself and asked what she could do to help make things better. That's just my opinion on it.

    3. Anonymous

      My guess is she is trying to step up to make him a better person. It's the woman's instinct to make it right with a child & I find it is usually the woman pushing the "man" to do his part.

  104. Anonymous

    from all us moms, thank you..I have an amazing husband helping me with our twins who are autistic plus two more. HE IS SET APART BECAUSE HE FEELS LEAVING HIS FAMILY IS NOT AN OPTION!I know so many mamas who do this alone and I ache for them.

  105. Pete

    A great letter again! My son is 11 and quite severe, and our WHOLE WORLD has been torn apart and turned upside down. Key word is 'our'. Guilty of the 'distant' part at times. Will make a conscious effort today after reading this!

    1. Anonymous

      Good on you for owning you past mistakes Pete! Good luck with your efforts to be more involved!! It will be so worth it for all of you!! Kristy

  106. Anonymous

    Couldn't have said it better myself! My son was born with multiple disabilities and has autisim. My partner never spent any quality time with him and left it up to me.On top of that he expected a spotless house, dinner when he arrived home from work and for me to "look after him" by laying his clothes out for him when he was getting ready to have a life. He never attended any doctors appointments, training, info sessions or family days organised by the various organisations we were involved in. I worked so hard day after day with my son on things such as,using pics to comunicate, a bedtime routine, and exposing him to new enviroments and situations. However it was like hitting my head against a brick wall because my ex would not even try to listen to how my day was let alone what he could do to help his son.I was then asked to leave the house and I am now on my own with my 2 kids renting and feeling terrible that I most likely will be moving my autistic child to a new home every few years.My ex has had limited time with his kids, has let them down by not following through with the promised sleep over and has responded with "its your call" when I told him I would be going to get full custody.I feel as though I will be alone forever as I dont get a break to have any kind of life outside my role as a mother and carer, however I am determined to make sure a "weasel" like that doesnt hold me back!

  107. Anonymous

    I can completley identify. My daughters father was my best friend of 13yrs. She was born w heart problems and they told us she would be disabled, possibly mentally retarded, and may not live past toddlerhood. His feet couldnt hit the pavement fast enough. I had no where to go, our baby was on life support after her open heart, and I ended up living at the Ronald McDonald house for some time. He told me to abandon the baby, come home n take care of him and if I hadnt he would find someone else. I refused to leave my baby so He moved his ex and her five children in, they took everything I owned, furniture, clothes, even all the baby supplies!!! Then on top of it all, she was stalking me, he was giving her names, addresses. and phone #s to do so and even delivered a hand written letter from her stating that if I went for child support, she would get her hands on my baby during visitation and I would get a dead baby back. Never in a trillion yrs would I have even dreamed up such a senerio, nor believed he would ever do such a thing.
    Well, his ex wife had severe mental health issues (who would of thunk it. lol), abandoned him for a guy online, abandoned all of her children, and he got stuck raising them but continously being tormented by this woman. He ran after her, they went on n off between dozens of other men,She ended up almost killing one of her children and then herself and was institutionalized. I should write a book, i tell ya! lol. He recently contacted me (after being lonley and abandoned for yrs) & had the audacity to say "he had to do what he had to do, and he did what was right, and he had to take care of these other kids".
    Unfortunatley, I seem to meet one jerk after another. They seem great until they learn of or meet my angel. The either pretend to be ok with it, try to deal with it, have no interest in being around her, or lead me along for a long time and then decide they cant accept her, or the last one was clearly wanting me to get rid of her so she would he out of his way (turned out to b very needy, selfish, high maintenance, and wanted to be total center of my attention/affection). Why are men like this???. Because of my circumstances and me being the only care provider, I can not hold a job, and seems like most men assume I am lazy, taking advantage of the system, or just looking for a meal ticket for my daughter and I, all of which are the farthest from the truth. Very frustrating!!!

    1. Bruce

      I like the dating site idea.

    2. Anonymous

      Amen Awesome MOM! I can only imagine that your little angel is as special to you as my grandson is to me. He has Autism and his father-A.K.A-the sperm doner wants nothing to do with him or his mother. He actualy expects my daughter to support him because he is the father. I know makes no snese but then again he is nothing more than a sperm doner. I give you kuddos & Blessings. Always remember "God Doesn't like Ugly" and your daughter's so called father-A.K.A- SPERM DONER is UGLY! Children are a gift from God.

    3. Anonymous

      You go girl !!! My mom did the same thing with brother never worked since she had us. He needs around the clock help. I have two Autism twins it gets rough n lonley but only God knows who is a fit for us. I had to let my youngest daughter father go cuz I fell out of love with him. Cuz he ignorant toward the illness. My kids come first

  108. Sue

    I am awe struck at this post. I have a dear friend with 3 children and two of them have autism. Her husband bailed on her and she was devastated. Just devastated. Your perception is right. He would have bailed on her anyway.
    I have a cousin with twin 9 year old boys. Both have autism. Each one is on opposite ends of the spectrum. It is tough. Her husband, however, may not understand autism like some dads. But he would never dream of bailing on his family. He loves his wife and boys and he accepts his dear sons for who they are. But if their boys had been typical…he would not have bailed then either. Because he is not a jerk.
    I LOVE YOUR BLOG. I cannot express how much it means to me to read your words. I respect you so much.

  109. Jennifer

    I salute all the autism dads out there that don't have to be one, but choose to be one. My 13 year old son has never had a relationship with his biological father. Three years ago a wonderful man came into our lives and became a father to my son even though he never had to be. He has always treated my son as his own, and has never looked back.

  110. Anonymous

    lovely and brilliant letter as it is x

  111. Great letter.

    I'm at the other end of things. I have two autistic daughters and was a stay at home dad from the get go. It was my wife that bailed out on us when our daughters were quite young. She is still involved with the kids in a superficial way (her name is on the mortgage and she sees $$$$ signs) but it has been me doing it all. I will never marry again. Have a very hard time getting involved and have met women who can't deal with my kids. Such is life. One day at a time.


    1. Mamasmash

      Don't give up! My Fiance and I are raising his daughter with moderate Classic Autism. It's not easy but I can't imagine my life without either of them. There are women and men out there willing to do what the bio parent wasn't.

    2. Bruce

      HI Faith, apparently it is not as extremely rare as you think, I two have two children on the spectrum and my ex-wife bailed three years ago. We are doing great 🙂 I too have no time for a relationship, I know what it takes to start a new relationship and it would take one hell of a woman to jump into our world.

      Take Care


    3. It's extremely rare for it to go this way but I've heard of other mothers who left too. Life really is miserable. My husband died but I also won't remarry, I can't afford to take the chance of having an abusive man around my kids.

    4. Sabina

      I hear ya on the not marrying again. I have a daughter with spina bifida and hydrocephalus as well as moderate learning disabilities. It is extremely difficult to meet someone who is willing to put up with the challenges of a disabled child. In fact, I have actually had men block me from contacting them on dating sites when I told them. Also, had one guy cut a date short and say he was "sick". Nice, huh? It's definitely a lot easier to be single than deal with that crap.

    5. you are amazing . Life is hard but , really. I truly think you are one in a million . Never forget that !!!!

    6. Anonymous

      David, & to all of the other single parents that cry themselves to sleep from frustration and exhaustion (I know I do and I am only a "Nanna" to my grandson and it seems that I never get it right, and am in tears all the time and cry myself to sleep out of exhaustion and total frustrastion & that is when I am visiting my daughter and him – he is going to be 5. However for a good while now I hear your frustration. I AM PUTTING TOGETHER A SINGLE'S DATING SITE FOR ALL OF THE SINGLE SPECIAL PARENTS WHO LITTERLY THINK THAT THERE IS NO ONE WHO CAN DEAL WITH THEIR KIDS! WRONG! I however am a single Nanna, and will never marry either. After watching my X torture and murder my rescue horses right in front of my eyes, that did it for me. My rescues were my life and they knew that I loved them without judgment and he hated that I had the bond with them and not him, so he punished me by torturing them by cutting their ears off, burning them with a welding torch, and much worse leaving my mare's 3 week old foal screaming for his momma. So Re-marry? I just don't think so. But I know that everyone needs someone, and thats why I am putting together this dateing site, it is still in the works, Rome wasn't built in a day! so hang in there and 50% of the proceeds will go Autism Speaks. I am not doing this for the money, by any means, I just know how hard it is when a single parent has little to no hair left, nails bit down to nubs, makeup…what makeup you cried it off after a 3 hour hurricane of atempting to achieve a quiet voice and calm body! and totaly frustrated that it's nice to just talk to someone who does understand, who cries also and wants to give up and can relate or who "gets it". I see what my daughter is going through and it breaks my heart. So hang in there and know that I am working on it. God gave you a blessing very few could handle!

    7. Anonymous

      Don't give up guys, the right lady will come along, trust me women are in the same boat, you tell a guy you have a son with Autism they run for the door before ever meeting him, i've lost friends, family, babysitters….and my husband, only because he wasnt wanting to face the fact of Autism. heck maybe someone needs to start a Dating site for single parents of Autistic kids. Alteast everyone will be in the same boat, Good luck David!

    8. Dave Johnson

      I'm a single dad of three great kids. my youngest two are in the spectrum (aspergers and autistic). I had to quit my job working in the emergency department of the local hospital to care for my kids and the wife at the time. she could not cope, accept of want to learn what was needed – so she bailed and left me with it all. it was hard at first, but the more i did the better it got. I had to deal with it all from the first diagnosis, and never looked back – over the last 5 yrs, the kids have grown, adapted and continue to bloom. with the ex's disruptive input and behaviour being so detrimental to the children, i have full custody and she is on permanent supervised visits. I'm in the same boat as the other dad, no time for a relationship and trying to find someone that understands the situation is near impossible. I'ts my choice to put my life on hold for my kids and would not change it for quids. in fact, my relationship is much closer to them .

    9. Anonymous

      David, mine left for other reasons, but the end result is the same. I am dating someone now that has not met my boys yet. He tells me he loves kids, so time will tell. Sending hugs to you!

    10. Anonymous

      @David you will meet someone one day thats what everyone tells me i think we just need to stay true to who we are and let our inner spirit shine :)and i think that one day i will meet someone and i hope he will be as lovely as you and autism daddy you guys give me hope that there are awesome fathers/husbands out there AND at Autism Daddy thank you for being so open and honest Well done on a another Awesome Post:)

    11. Anonymous

      @ David Whitmon.. Don't give up … My fiancé had been a single father with 2 boys in the autistic spectrum (severe), for 5 yrs. the biological mother left them cause she couldn't handle the boys being autistic.. She then had a 3rd child also with autistism, he is now 3 yrs old .. (from a different father).. The woman has no involvement with the boys .. The last time we asked her to watch the boys, she left the 11 yr old soiled in his pants.. She had called us and left a MSG on our voicemail, that her son had an accident, and she had no other clothing for him , and she specified she was gunna leave him as is!! What a B:#*¥!!! We then picked him up.. I spoke to her on phone and asked her why would she do that to her son?? In my opinion she evil!! My fiancé and I are with boys everyday !! My fiancé was workin and haven to be hOme in time for the bus to drop off boys from school .. And when my fiancé needed a baby sitter to watch the boys when boys had no school.. He would go to the biological moms house (she lives with her parents), and they wouldn't answer the door.. He then had to quit his job, and there are no day cares who are specialized on special needs children.. I have 5 children of my own.. 2 are adults, and 3 of them live with us.. We have been learning a lot about the boys, beginning with sign language and routines in our life .. School comes to our house and helps us out.. We are blessed to have the boys with us.. I love my fiancé and his boys sooo much!! Big part of my life .. And yes, we accept the fact te biological mother doesn't want to take part in boys life .. Her lost!!

    12. Anonymous

      I was raised by my father, and for it I am a stronger woman than most. I know it and Im ashamed to say it. I would not be half the woman I am had I been raised by anyone besides my father. My hat is off to you, and I hope one day you find someone who recognizes your greatness. Shawna Tidwell