Happy Father's Day! 5 inspiring messages from autism dads like you
June 12, 2019
Happy Father's Day from Autism Speaks! Through the years, we have heard inspiring stories and words of wisdom from autism dads all around the world. Below is just a sample of some of their heartfelt messages. Click the link at the end of each quote to read more.
"I wouldn’t change his autism. It’s a part of what makes him who he is, my best little buddy in the entire world. It’s made me change the way I look at the world and how I treat people. My Son has made me a better person. I’m so fortunate and proud that he calls me “Daddy”. I don’t know where this journey will take us in the future, but I love that he’s the one leading the way!"
- Chris Clinch, What I learned as a dad the day my son was diagnosed with autism
"Own your story. There’s that point early in the journey as an autism parent where you have to decide how open you’re going to be about your family’s struggles and joys. The point is this, dad: this is your story now too. Your life is different and, frankly, you just have to own it. If you need to sit with that for a while, I get it. At some point, soon, you’re going to have to start telling your story. And if my years as an educator have taught me anything it’s that the point at which you come to grips with and tell your own story is the point at which the magic starts to happen."
- Mathew Oakes, 5 things I want to share with my fellow autism dads
"He is growing up before my eyes, yet I am struggling with growing with him. If I grow with him it means I have to release some control over his daily life. It means he could fail, or get hurt, or be ridiculed or misunderstood. While I have been with him on his journey every step of the way, he has helped shape my journey since he was born. As a father, I have to have faith in what we’ve accomplished together over the years. I have to have faith that the routines and the schedules that are slowly slipping away served their purpose. A new chapter in his life is a new safari in mine. Uncharted territory where my understanding of being a father is challenged, but our family remains strong."
- Nick Wright, What my son's routines have helped me understand about being an autism dad
"On this Father’s Day, I would like to salute the dads who every day fight the good fight to make the lives of their children and other children, on the spectrum, the best they could possibly be. And I can tell you, I have met some amazing dads over the years. Some with autistic children have started charities to raise awareness, provide social opportunities, Santa visits, respite relief, and housing. Others are not as much in the spotlight but are grinding away every day in their daily lives to ensure that their families have the resources to pay for all of the services and everyday necessities required to keep them healthy and safe. Many are directly and actively engaged in their children’s daily activities, and it is a wonderful thing to behold."
- Jeff McCafferty, How I reacted after the doctor said, 'fathers don't take it well'
"Since I can remember, I always wanted to be a dad. And while our family dynamic isn’t exactly what I had envisioned… it is perfect to me. Bianca’s diagnosis had a tremendous impact on me. I went through a grieving process and depression only to come out of the other side a better person. I credit her influence with my maturation, becoming more empathetic, teaching me unconditional love, acceptance and a deep appreciation for life. She also inspired me to become an advocate for her and other individuals and families touched by autism."
- Lou Melgarejo, Things people say when they find out my daughter has autism