To the Dads Who Raise a Loved One on the Autism Spectrum


To the dads who raise a loved on the autism spectrum,

Jim Valvano once said, “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” And that’s where my story begins with this letter to you today.

When I was 4 I was diagnosed with autism. Through all the uncertainties the diagnosis would bring my family, the one thing my dad always remembered to do was believe in my abilities. The unconditional love he provided me has made a lasting impact in my life.

When my dad recently retired, I was asked to say a few words. I said he had become my hero for the supports and services he provided me when the schools wouldn’t give them to me. When we had to fight for an out-of-district placement, he led that charge as well. My dad cared, and through that care he also became one of my best friends.

Now I work to share the lessons my dad taught me with other dads in our community. When I speak to parent groups, a common message we discuss is how any man can be a father but it takes someone special to be a dad.

So for all the dads who raise a loved on the spectrum, thank you.

Thank you for going above and beyond for your children.

This Father’s Day please know we appreciate everything you do. Your impact will move mountains for your child. We can’t thank you enough for that.

And to my dad, I love you with all my heart and always will. Thank you for bringing me in this world and giving me the opportunities to shine. I hope to follow by example when I’m a dad one day.

This post first appeared on KerryMagro.com.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing you want to make sure the special needs dad in your life knows? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

roller coaster

To the Boy at the Amusement Park Who Pretended to Be Autistic

You don’t know me, and I don’t know you. I was at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, on June 7. My three friends and I stood in line the new ride, The Valravn. A nice teacher from Columbus and her boyfriend stood in front of me, and you and your two friends waited behind me. The line for [...]
crowded mall

My Reaction to That Sensory Overload Virtual Reality Video as Someone on the Autism Spectrum

The Mighty recently reported on a virtual reality experience, produced by the National Autistic Society, depicting sensory overload through the eyes of a boy on the autism spectrum. We asked our contributors, if they felt comfortable, what they thought of the video. As someone on the autism spectrum, I have had my share of meltdowns and [...]
mom and son smiling

When 'Hope' Became a 3-Letter Word for My Son on the Autism Spectrum

We have a routine, you and me. It’s just how we do. Because putting emotions into words doesn’t come easy for you.  So we practiced a few times saying these three words. And after a few minor hitches, you got the hang of it. What can I say, you’re a fast learner. That’s just how [...]
An image from the "Too Much Information" virtual-reality video.

The Virtual Reality Video That Helped Me Understand My Children's Sensory Overload

Have you ever seen something that truly changes the way you treat others? This week I watched a video that has changed everything about how I treat and support my two children on the autism spectrum. For a few minutes I had the privilege of seeing the world as they see it. I can never forget [...]