Something For Fathers of Autistic Children
The days after we were told that our son had Autism we cried continually. Our early emotions were of loss. More specifically I was mourning the loss of the dreams that I had for my first born – my son.
My dreams of the professional footballer, the eminent scientist or successful business man had been taken away from me. Mostly I was mourning the dream of having someone say he loved me as I went to work and running to the door as I came home. These were things that I had done for my dad and every dad should experience. However at 2.5 years of age he was doing neither and we had just been told he never would.
The funny things about dreams is that when they are about other peoples lives they will regularly let you down as they pursue their own direction. All children I am sure provide equal lows to highs for their parents as they fail to live up to expectations. Resetting your expectations to zero can be very liberating. (Please Note: Not your hopes or dreams – your expectations).
Every day since we have worked hard to make sure that he achieves his potential. Every day he has exceeded our expectations.
Tom has largely moved out of his fog and is capable of determining his own goals and expectations. Tom is currently keen on learning how to play football and the piano – it’s not easy for him but we are keen to help him achieve his dreams.
My advice to Dads is:
- Acknowledge the hand you have been dealt, and accept that your original dreams may never be met.
- Give yourself the time to mourn and be angry with the world.
- Work hard to make your child the best they can be.
- Enjoy every minute of who they are.
- Celebrate every milestone achieved.