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The Story Of How I Became An Autism Dad
My two kids are autistic, and while I love my job as a Dad, being a Dad of an autistic child is far from easy. Autism has opened my eyes to the world in ways I could never have imagined. I have always loved nature and science, but after we found out what gifts my boy and girl had been given, I was inspired to do more to help them – more for them and for their future generations. With the help of my wife and both our parents, we formed a team of highly motivated explorers. We set out on a journey to unlock the mysteries that lay ahead.
As my son’s “autism dad,” I am on a mission to spread awareness and acceptance. It is my hope that by sharing our story, I can help other parents who are going through the same thing I went through.
My son was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 1/2, and we started seeing signs of autism in his sister shortly after. My wife and I knew something was wrong with them, but we didn’t have a word for it. We were told by the school that they both had language delays, which is common among autistic children. We thought it would go away in time.
When you’re told your child has autism, it’s not just a diagnosis — it’s also an identity. I had no idea what this meant for my son or for me as his father.
Autism is a spectrum disorder with no two people being affected in the same way. However, there are some traits that most autistic people share: They aren’t good at making eye contact; they struggle to understand social cues like facial expressions; they don’t understand how to read others’ emotions; and they tend to repeat themselves often.
My advice to anyone who is on the autism spectrum, or raising kids who are, is to take each day as it comes. Face the day and give it your best shot. Give yourself and your family time to find a place where you are comfortable, preferably somewhere that you can thrive. You can be the best parent in the world and never live up to perfection. You will make mistakes along the way, but learn from them and move on. Raising two autistic children is not easy. It has however been one of the greatest experiences of my life thus far, an opportunity that I am truly blessed with. I’m hoping that my story will help people who are not on the spectrum, or parents of non-autistic kids gain some insight into what life is like for those who are.