Thursday, May 16


For years I've wondered if it's even worth trying. And felt, often, like it wasn't.

Friendship, I mean. Trying to get close to people. Being there when they need me and opening myself somehow to them. It didn't feel worth it because I cause so much damage... feel so awful... and I don't know that it will ever go away. I have so many problems that inevitably some of the main factors of my relationships are miscommunication and pain. Somewhere in my head I thought that all I needed to do was find the right girl who could see through everything on the outside and understand and love me - someone I could love back - and then I wouldn't have to worry as much.

I thought I understood.

And then, twice this week, people told me about experiences in their lives. Where a parent has an autism spectrum disorder and struggles to communicate and understand love... first from the perspective of a child, then from a parent.

Both ripped me apart.

Will this never end?

It never hit me that my difficulty developing relationships would extend to my kids someday. That the things I face in the outside world could become obstacles to being there for them... in the walls of my home. That having autism/aspergers could make me less of a father and push them away from me... be a barrier to enabling them to feel loved.

It makes sense. This probably isn't going to go away suddenly... and it already influences my ability to communicate with my siblings, parents, and others. Why not my kids someday? I guess I always hoped it wouldn't... and yet listening to others makes me wonder, for a moment, about having a family at all. I've wanted nothing but to be a dad for all my life - that and a missionary. But if I can't be there... if I can't help them feel loved... if I can't be the kind of dad I want them to have... can I even want a family?

I don't know. Maybe it's still worth it, because the things I'm learning make me into a better person. Maybe I can learn enough to overcome the worst of it, someday. Maybe I will be a good father somehow. But right now I find myself wondering, even about the desire to have a family here. My dream to have a dozen kids and raise them in the gospel... Yeah. I don't know what to want anymore.

I still want it though... because I believe it'll be worthwhile. I just... knowing what I know, what girl would ever want a guy like me? And what kid would want me for a dad? I don't know the answer to that. Just that the journey will always be hard.


  1. I know parents that have Autism/Aspergers. One family has 8 kids, 6 with differing degrees of Autism/Aspbergers. Everyone (really everyone) has to learn how to parent, we all mess up. You may have different challenges than others, but we all have things to overcome. The best thing you can do for your kids is to want them, and you already do. Everyone's journey is hard, but that doesn't mean we we don't start the trip!

  2. GMG - My heart goes out to you as I read about your heartache and worries. I have also been struggling with worries lately and feeling like I will never measure up (to the 'me' I feel I was sent here to be). I realize we all have our trials, sadness, and pain - but your last sentence has really touched me ("the journey will always be hard"). That's how I've been feeling lately, but my minds answer to you has brought some immediate peace to my own soul as well.

    Although it is much easier said then done, we both know that we can literally turn our burdens over to our Savior. He WILL comfort us, He WILL lift us, He WILL make the difference up....if we just replace our fears with faith.

    Satan wants us to believe that the journey will always be hard.....but God teaches us how to find Joy in the Journey if we just put our trust in Him.

    Ironically - I have a plaque on my sofa table that says "Find Joy in the Journey". I guess I should dust that thing off and place it on my computer desk where I will see it more everyday. :)

    May we each find the strength to replace our fears with faith and find the Joy in the Journey through our Savior Jesus Christ.

    Hang in there Bud - Love, Mrs. IDM

  3. Having the righteous desire and motivation to be that kind of good father will really help you overcome a lot of obstacles you may see. I've seen this in friends of mine, and from I see, they would make terrific parents! It's letting go of that crippling fear that makes it hard. The potential and ability is there, and trusting in the Lord will pull you through if you will let Him.

  4. I have Aspergers/Autism. I have been an Elementary school teacher, a Preschool teacher, and an Infant/Toddler caregiver. And I had close relationships to the children I cared for. It became clear, not only that they felt loved by me, but that, in most of the places I worked, they showed more feelings of being loved by, and of loving me than with the other people who cared for them.

    Yes, I have many difficulties with adults. I have no social life. But with children I care for, it is different.
    As an Aspie/autistic person, one can believe that one's lack of a social life is all one's own fault. "It's my fault because I can't show love." Sometimes it's not because of anything wrong with you, but just because of something different with you. And, because of your quirks, not because of your worth, not everyone can accept you.
    Children are different. They are different.
    The children you care for just need you to be there, to pay attention to them, to listen, to spend time with them.

  5. David, I seriously believe that if you have a family with children and are aware of your weaknesses AND your strengths, you will have a loving relationship with your children. Even if you communicate via many written notes, texts and all this blogging! I feel so deeply when I read your writing. You have a real gift in communicating through the written word. I have a few daughters with lower cognitive abilities (memory & comprehension problems with borderline IQs). I often feel like a failure in my abilities to show them love and build their self-esteem. I get very discouraged about it and already deall with depression and mood swings. But I have had success when I write them notes,texts and Facebook posts. Simply spending one on one time with them seems to fill their needs. So I am grateful for those moments even though they are interrupted by frustrations from their and my own limitations. This has all helped me to continually to rely on my Savior's Atonement and example. I always wanted love and a family and I have them but I will always be reminded that I am still mortal and need the grace and tender mercies of a loving Father in Heaven. Another big hug to you :-).

  6. David,
    I have no doubt you will make a wonderful father. You have a very large heart and you aren't afraid to let others know how you feel. Quite honestly, we all have certain weaknesses/strengths and Heavenly Father knows that. If there are weaknesses in certain areas as we parent, we must trust it is all part of the plan. My children missed out on a lot because of my anxiety and depression, yet I did my best to remain faithful and love them to the best of my ability. Frequently I must remind myself of that.
    You're great. Never forget it.

  7. David,

    As a YSA girl who grew up and still lives in home with strong Asperger's traits, this post hit me hard. As I thought about it, I realized the real question for me is, knowing what I know about Asperger's, would I be willing to marry a man with an autism spectrum disorder? And the answer is yes. Yes! If the Spirit said yes, then I would.

    I talked to my mom about it, and she said that if you both put the Lord first, everything you need will be provided. You can't be everything, but you can be the dad your kids need, and the husband your wife needs.

    Please keep wanting! I can't imagine that my life would be any better with a different dad--my dad is my hero, my daddy as well as my father.


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