Ten signs I dread as an autism parent

I have two children with autism. Some days are wonderful, calm and peaceful but some days my children become so distressed over something and there is very little I can do to calm them down.

This week for example I took my son to the local store with me only to discover his favourite lift was ‘out of order’. It took hours for him to get over that sadly. Then today I had to take him for an appointment at hospital but on our way back to school one of the roads was closed and I had to take a diversion. This change caused so much upset it took three members of staff to support him back into school.

thise are just two examples of how a sign can cause so much upset to my children, even though one of them still can’t read. I try and avoid the following ones as much as possible.


After today I will be checking websites before trips as this simple red road sign caused so much upset and confusion. Rigid thinking means my son expects to go the same way every time and this is just not allowed!



Sticking with road signs this one particularly makes my daughter cry! Her sound sensitivity means that even with ear defenders on the noise of people digging up a road is more than she can bear.



My final road related one is this.

Stopping or waiting is not something either of my children find easy at all. This little light has caused so much screaming, yelling and biting in my family. They may have to learn but the less of these I have in any journey the better off we all are!



So we did the social story, the now and next board and then navigated the journey only to get there are find this! This one has to be one of the worst signs any parent sees when they have excited, prepared children. Sometimes, just sometimes, Google is wrong and opening hours are NOT as advertised. The fall out from this one is BAD!



They want one thing for their birthday, just one thing. And all you see is this! Or in my daughter’s case they have a very limitted diet and only eat a certain brand of a certain spread. But the shop shelf has this. This one sends me into as much of a meltdown as my kids!



Sticking with the food theme. So you stocked up on the few things they will eat but finally you realise you need to restock…and you see this small but terrifying label on the top corner! Run for your life…this is as major as a packet changing in my house! Don’t kid yourself…they will notice!



Please be quiet? Are you serious? Have you tried to keep any child quiet anywhere, let alone a non verbal child with autism. My children make their presence known and find it pretty much impossible to keep either of them silent.



This sign is so hard to explain. Unfortunately my children live in the age of instant wifi and can not yet work out why anywhere would not have free instant access to the Internet. Neither of them can understand why apps don’t work in certain places or why they can’t keep watching you tube in the car. We have had lots of outrage over this one!



Sticking with technology this little red face has in turn made my little darling’s faces turn a similar shade. I have nightmares about this little icon! For those who don’t know this one means you tube has stopped working…in other words the world has ended in my house!



And finally, you may wish to look away from this one as the sight of it has brought many an autism parent to tears. The meltdowns this has caused can not be counted. Apparently technology should have endless power and energy…rather like they expect me to as an autism parent too.

Looking at these signs has driven my power to less than ten percent too, so I will leave you with my favourite sign ever as an autism parent:

Race you there!




15 thoughts on “Ten signs I dread as an autism parent

  1. Haha, where is that free coffee sign? I neeeeed to know (and I don;t even drink coffee 😉 ). Love all of this – particularly the ‘improved recipe’. NO! If people are eating it as it is, do not feel you need to improve the recipe! Gah! Yes all of these have challenged us over the years, though I’ll cheer you up by saying it does get easier with some over the years as they begin to understand. Not too proud to admit I have to choose my holidays where there is wifi and YouTube though… x

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes to all of the above!!! 🙂 Designated routes and road signs are becoming less problematic than they once were – just as a result of increasing age and awareness of ‘stuff you can’t control’. But I am nostalgically taken back to a time when the nightly bed time ‘story’ consisted of being quizzed on the Highway Code… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Bless your heart 💙. And your precious kids ‘ as well. Thank you for aharing. We take so much for granted and its good to know sometimes.


  4. Well, I must say, I have not experienced any of the experiences on your list. However, leaving the house was a big thing in our house, with non- verbal twin. Change was not a problem for them because it was purposely done at a young age for them to adjust to life’s constant movement.


  5. Love this. With you on the improved recipe/packaging. Many years ago I once sank to the floor in tears in Tesco because they changed their orange juice packaging – the only way I was getting vitamin C into my boy was this and I knew he’d refuse it. Now, about 12 years later I can say to him different brand, same stuff and he just shrugs and says ok. Some compensation for the teenage hormones!

    Liked by 1 person

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