Celebrating Father's Day

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June 18, 2015, ACES

Siblings on Father's DayBefore you had a child with autism you envisioned what it was going to be like to be someone's father. A DAD. You thought your job was going to be to provide for the family, coach little league, lead camping expeditions, and be a comforting shoulder to cry on. That all changed when your child was diagnosed with autism.

Reality set in that your child may never play a team sport, be able to manage a camping experience, and crying may be something done alone as opposed to on your shoulder. It's beyond tough to make adjustments to our expectations of parenting but we figure it out one day at a time. You not just a dad…you are an awesome Autism Dad doing the best you can.

You know your spouse has a full plate raising a child with autism; however, there are a few things she can and will want to do to make Father's Day extra special for you. Here are five simple ideas for you to share with her:

How Mothers Can Help on Father's Day

  1. Help the child with autism make something for you. It doesn't matter what it is and it may be the best (or only) way for him to express his love for you. Bonus: This is a quality time activity for them to do together.
  2. If your autistic child is verbal, help him practice saying “I love you, Dad”. Maybe you'll hear those words as the card is presented to you.
  3. Carve out a few deliberate minutes to make a big deal out of presenting Father's Day gifts to you. It's more fun for everyone.
  4. Set the stage for you to have extended time doing something you enjoy whether it's TV watching in the man cave, tinkering in the garage, or reading in the backyard.
  5. Kick back and snuggle with you to your favorite movie once everyone else is asleep.

On Father's Day you should be celebrated for all that you contribute to keep the family bonds strong. Communicate your wishes to her and she will listen. Remember, you are an awesome Autism Dad that gets things done. Go make this happen!