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My Son Has Autism: A Dad’s Perspective

My Son Has Autism: A Dad’s Perspective

I really used to think that I might have done something bad or wrong to cause Angel’s autism. However, I realize that I am not alone. I also realize that I am somewhat fortunate because there are others in far worse situations than me.

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to go to the NYC “Dads to Dads Father’s Forum” for dad’s with children on the autism spectrum. The forum was held by Parent to Parent of NYS.  I looked at the opportunity with an open mind and gladly accepted. I must say it was a touching experience. I never knew that there were such a large number of children growing up with autism.

As a dad, I never hear, see, or notice a large male presence in the matter…until that day.  I was one of 15 men sharing and listening to stories about how they found out that their child was on the autism spectrum. Little did I know that many other dads, like me, feel somewhat awkward about being a dad of a child with autism.

One story that really touched me was about a guy who I will refer to as “Jeremy.” Jeremy has two kids. The older child has autism and the younger child is “typical.”  Jeremy told us about a trip he and his older child took to the barbershop for his son to get a haircut.  The child was having temper tantrums and Jeremy was having a difficult time trying to calm him down. It was so bad that all the barbers turned their backs on him and refused (in silence) to offer to cut his son’s hair.

Jeremy swallowed his pride and asked the barbers if anyone would please give his child a haircut. He was told that the boy had to keep still and stop making noise or they won’t do his hair. The barber spoke with such callousness and apathy that Jeremy literally felt broken.

That day he told his boy, “Son, no one will ever say NO to you again. I will continue to fight for you for as long as I live. Everyone deserves to have an opportunity to have something as simple as a haircut!”

This story and my experience at the forum really moved me. I was congratulated for showing up that day and it wiped away the tears that would have come down my face.

Honestly, there is so much more to say about how I feel about my son’s diagnosis but I am truly speechless and full of words at the same time. I will never see a child the same way again.

Thanks for listening.

Angel’s Dad

Miz Kp
Written by Miz Kp

12 Comment responses

  1. Avatar
    May 30, 2012

    Thank you, Angel’s Dad, for your input. Hope this will encourage other fathers to speak up as difficult as it is to do so. All resources are needed in the interest of our children.
    When we share experiences, it makes the journey easier.

    Reply

  2. Avatar
    May 30, 2012

    It is really nice to hear from dads of kids with autism spectrum disorders. We hear a lot about mama bears standing up for their kids, but we don’t hear as much from the dads.

    Reply

  3. Avatar
    May 30, 2012

    Angel is a very blessed little boy to have a dad like you.

    Reply

  4. Avatar
    May 31, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your story Angel’s Dad. Alot of men tend to shy away from giving their input and sharing their stories as a result of society. So I commend you for sharing your story and remind you that you are not alone.

    Reply

  5. Avatar
    June 04, 2012

    Wow what a touching story. It helps when the father is involved.

    Reply

  6. Avatar
    June 16, 2012

    From one autism father to another, that was truly inspiring and touching. Thanks for sharing.
    Two of my three kids are on the spectrum, my son is 10 and hates the barber too. You know what? he looks pretty cool with long hair :)
    I am very blessed to have my 3 kids and would not change it for anything. I feel I was chosen to be their father, mentor, hero.
    I’m not an expert on Autism, I AM an expert at being a proud dad. I will be sharing your words with others, again thank you for sharing.
    I hope you have a happy and blessed father’s day tomorrow.

    Reply

  7. Avatar
    June 16, 2012

    Actually, i preferred having my son with long hair, but it became a nuisance at times. Autism and long hair have one thing in common: they both require lots of attention. when ignored, it can get even more difficult to deal with. all dads should feel empowered as we all are true experts in raising our kids the best way we know how: with our hearts! each day is a learning experience and I credit each and every person for acknowledging that we do our best to be great dads. you all deserve medals for your will to be there for our kids.

    Reply

  8. Avatar
    June 16, 2012

    As a father WITH autism and the father of a child with autism, I can sympathise. It’s a hard process sometimes, although I normally have trouble with my non-autistic daughter. ‘Dad, Kyle, stop being so wierd!’
    Although, both me and my son can’t stand having hair that requires any work, so we keep it very short (thank god for small miracles)

    Reply

  9. Avatar
    June 17, 2012

    It’s so great to see so many fathers respond. I am a woman. I feel the same way Mike feels about his kids. I wouldn’t change my precious boy for anything. I am very interested in hearing about James’s experiences growing up and how he became aware of certain things.

    Reply

  10. Avatar
    July 06, 2012

    My heart smiles with love, pride and admiration for you:)

    Reply

  11. Avatar
    July 07, 2012

    Thanks for sharing! I am a proud father of an autistic son and have had my issues with hair cuts lol. After his first visit at the age of 1 1/2 I decided his hair would be cut at home. Surprisingly last year at the age of 8 Kaegen decided it was time to go have his hair cut. Imagine my surprise! He told the lady how he wanted his hair (a mohawk! the lady giving me a side look as if looking for approval, me telling her it’s his hair!) talked with the lady while she cut his hair asking a thousand questions (again, me smiling ear to ear) and even paid her when it was all over. Kaegen had his mohawk and I had a renewed feeling of overwhelming love in my heart for my awesome guy. I think we tend to sell our autistic children short, something I’ll never do again.

    Reply

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