Thursday 30 June 2016

Why my autistic son would be a great father

Future autistic father and son

Anthony, our eldest son with autism, used to say that when he grew up, he'd like to be a..  dad.   Possibly also combined with a part time job as a either a dentist or super villain.

Relationships with friends or more is one of the things hanging around in the back of your mind when you have an autistic child. Will they, won't they.. can they?  Every person with autism is different and what they want out of their life and how they interact with people and the world is different too.

And the thoughts about him being in a relationship, becoming a father and the difficulties he may face with this came to my mind again when a few days ago he declared he didn't want to be a dad anymore. I wondered why?  Why doesn't he want to a dad anymore?

"What if they (the child) makes me angry, I'm worried I might hurt them. And I'm not good at homework and I have to be able to help them.. what if I can't?"

What more can I say?  My son continues to astound me.  Anthony is only eight years old, he has autism, ADHD, anxiety and a few other bits and pieces.  He knows this.  Sometimes he's happy with it, sometimes it frustrates him and sometimes he shows an extraordinary amount of empathy and care that melts my heart or brings a tear to my eyes. And he had many qualities that I think would be great in a father.

But son, with this single comment showing these concerns and this attitude, you couldn't be a better father.  Here is the truth:

Every parent gets angry at some point
Every parent wonders if they are good enough

And this is when we are old enough to be parents.  At eight years old my son, you have years to work on these.  But more than that.. your doubts make me think you would be a great father.  Your sister Jane may walk around with a doll but that doesn't mean she'd make a better parent. To parent is to take care of  or bring up and what you are concerned about could not make you more parent-like. 

Anthony may have struggles ahead with his own feelings, his friendships, his affections. As his parents, we will be here to help him through these times and hope to help him achieve whatever it is he really wants to do. As always, I'm ever so proud of you son.

Our blog - Autism and the misunderstandings of empathy
Our blog - My joy at his acceptance
Our blog - Should I tell off another mum


  1. Lovely post - I certainly think he would be a good father too. He has already shown how much he cares from what he said to you for his reasons to not be a parent - These are all completely natural feelings and I can confess to having all these concerns too when I was pregnant and when I first brought my son home and I am sure he will face them again when he one day becomes a father :-)

    1. If and when.. in some ways he breaks things down into simple terms, and what could be more simple than an understanding that you need to care for your kids. Thanks so much for commenting.

  2. Oh that's so true x I often think that my son would make a great Dad too, he's old enough to be Dad to three of his siblings and he's great with them. But we can't leave them alone with them for long because he forgets about them and goes back to whatever he was doing (gaming, computer, tv) If he had a partner though, I'm sure they'd work through this together. There is always hope (And I'd love to be a grandma!)

  3. So true - no-one can say what the future holds, but at least he cares, that's a great start!

  4. Lovely post. My brother had severe autism and sadly I don't think he ever would've been able to become a Father but your boy sounds like he'd make a fantastic one, despite his struggles. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  5. Lovely words, who knows what the future holds for any of our children. None of us are perfect parents are we, we just try our best #SSAA

  6. Oh Anne, you got me. Such a beautiful post. I see many similarities between Anthony and My son and I think that is also why this post touched me so deeply. I think you are spot on here... Far from failing to feel many times I think the problem is my boy feels too much. Currently my boys have decided that they are going to love together when they are older and take care of each other.

  7. I think sometimes we look past the fact that we as adult have worries as parents but that is what makes us good parents! Your little lad is spot on! xxx

  8. Fantastic post. Very thoughtful and honest. I enjoyed reading it. #marvmondays

  9. Great post! We all have concerns as parents so I think your Son is ahead of his years if he is already thinking them through! Thanks for sharing :) #MarvMondays

  10. Lovely post and I think a super villain is a great job tbh :)
    I think he will be an amazing dad.
    Worries are part of parenting but you little guy sounds older than his years! he sounds pretty amazing And any girl will be luck to have him!!

  11. Lovely post and such insight from your son. It is a worry what the future holds for our autistic children and will there be relationships, but he's showing maturity and empathy already.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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  13. A lovely post, what a great little boy you have there. The fact that he is thinking about his future is amazing. No one knows what the future holds for our children, we can only hope that they will be happy x

  14. Aaah, this is so touching and beautiful. If he has these concerns already, then it sounds like he'd be an absolutely awesome father. I hope that his future can find him where he wants to be, and he clearly has an amazing mum to guide him through his challenges.

  15. Wow! You're lucky to have such a perceptive son in your hands at such a young age. This is a beautiful sentiment to him, and I have to agree: from the sound of it, your son (if he ever chose to become one) will become a fantastic parent. Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop this week!

  16. I'm fairly confident I'm autistic. It can - sometimes - make me a worse parent than I would perhaps be if I was NT. I struggle massively with the noise the boys make, I get anxious and don't take them out to groups etc., I get frustrated. BUT my autism means I also obsess over their well-being and spend hours researching the best equipment to get them, I am always looking out for their own anxieties and understand their autism all the better, I indulge their obsessions and always analyse my own behavious as a parent so I can try to do better. It sounds like he could be an amazing dad one day. He might struggle more for being on the spectrum but I bet he'll also bring some unique qualities to the job.


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