Thoughts of an Autism Dad

 

Today starts Autism awareness month. As all of you know, that is 24/7 365 with my family. I know everyone has their own challenges but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a second to acknowledge the day. I still remember like it was yesterday walking out of the dr's office in a complete fog. I left before the appt was over so I could go to my car and cry alone.

“The sick feeling in my stomach didn't subside for years. Words don’t do justice with the prior sentence.”

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I had physical pain for years. That started in 1999 and information wasn't as readily available. No internet! Had to go to the library! I was obsessed with "curing" Nicky. My type A personality had to “fix” my son. I don’t think like that anymore. I see parents taking the time to teach their children on how they can treat people that are "different." This goes for all children and adults with disabilities.

Autism has changed me. It's challenged me mentally and emotionally, personally and professionally. I've had many dark moments alone. Many.
I have guilt. I've been in a 19 year argument with "God". I strive to be a better man for my kids, but my boys have made me better and all those that take the time to get to know them do too. I judge those that don’t and always will(family &friends). I look at things differently through my son's eyes. I'd give my right arm for Nicky to ask me how my day was just once in my life. Take that one in for a minute. I am very protective and empathetic when I see children and adults with disabilities.

Everyone worries about their kids. Parents that have children with autism will plan their entire life out and stress with extreme anxiety what we will do when we can't take care of them anymore. Who will love them? How can I be in the best shape of my life so I can live as long as I can for them? This year there has been a new challenge.

Nicky aged out of school and so far I’m unimpressed with day programs for him. It’s a horrible gap and dynamic happening in society. We are still adjusting. Services stop for our adult kids as we get older and need them most. For today and everyday remember our kids are the real heroes. We are simply along for the ride.

— Bobby G