Thank you to this month's guest blogger, Rob Gorski, for sharing his family's story.
My name is Rob Gorski, father to three with autism, husband to my best friend and creator of the multiple award-winning blog, The Autism Dad. I have been an Autism Dad for over fifteen years and learned a great deal along the way.
If you feel like you know me after reading what I have shared, it is because you get me. I am imperfect, flawed and an expert mistake-maker. I am one person, one human being, trying to do a job that sometimes requires superhuman abilities. I am as far from perfect as someone can be but I never give up, I am tenacious, and I will move mountains for my loved ones, especially my children.
I share this story from the perspective of a Dad, in a very honest and transparent way, even if it does not paint me in a good light. My wife and I have been together for the better part of sixteen years, married for almost fourteen. We have survived a great many things, including a roughly two-year separation as the result of caretaker burnout.
"Our kids face many challenges but are amazing human beings, and I could not be any prouder."
Our oldest, Gavin, is seventeen and has a host of challenges in his life that go way beyond autism.
He has bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, primary immunodeficiency, epilepsy, childhood disintegrative disorder, and a very rare autonomic condition.
Elliott is ten years old and diagnosed with autism, ADHD, asthma, sensory processing disorder, and severe anxiety.
Our youngest is Emmett, and he has autism, as well as ADHD, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, and a very rare fever disorder.
About eight years ago, I discovered that I enjoyed writing and was good at it. I soon realized that writing was a great outlet for me. I think it was beneficial because I could vent my frustrations and walk away feeling a little less burdened by the stress of my life. Writing made me a better husband, father, and all-around person. My new-found passion for writing eventually led me to found The Autism Dad Blog as a means of sharing our story and reaching out to others within the special needs community, particularly those families touched by autism.
The Autism Dad
My main goal with The Autism Dad blog is to educate people and help them better understand what life can be like for families with a special needs child. I want to dispel the misconceptions surrounding autism and show how my life and the lives of my kids are affected by it each day. Unbelievably, it is not always bad. In fact, it can be pretty amazing at times.
It’s very much like riding an emotional roller-coaster. As with any roller-coaster, there are lots of ups and downs. On any given day, I can experience a plethora of emotions. I’m almost always exhausted and overwhelmed. I sometimes experience frustration, worry, sadness, depression, heartache, anger, resentment, hopelessness, helplessness and just about every other disparaging emotion possible. On the other side of the coin, I also experience joy, pride, amazement, awe, hope, happiness, and unconditional love.
To be completely honest, nothing about raising a child on the autism spectrum is easy. Between the sensory issues, generalization and meltdowns, challenging doesn’t really do it justice. At the same time, it’s also the most amazing journey I can imagine. My life isn’t what I had planned, but there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t feel blessed.
Follow our journey at The Autism Dad.
Interested in learning more about autism spectrum disorders? Join our upcoming broadcast.