Lesson #7: Dads need a little help, a little space, and a little support too!
As mothers we are traditional caretakers for the private processes of society. We are expected to nurture, support, guide, and care for the physical and emotional needs of our family. Our husbands traditionally take care of the public processes – providing financial support and protecting the home and family. Those lines are blurred in today’s society, but more often than not, Dads of kids with ASDs are often privately worrying about their children, their future, their finances, and their wife.
Dads may need a little help forging a bond with their child with ASDs, and they may need support to help them deal with the stresses they silently endure. Caring for a child with ASDs is not an easy thing to do. The costs can be overwhelming, and those costs can continue into the child’s adult years. Often a myriad of therapies are needed. That list is as individual as each child. As I look at our journey, we’ve spent a great portion of our income to provide our son with therapists and consultants skilled in Applied Behavior Analysis, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy, Oral/Motor Feeding Therapy, and others. Our son has many needs, and we don’t regret spending the funds because he has made progress. Even though we have done our best, I know my husband worries about our son’s education and his ability to develop skills that allow him to become a self-supporting member of society.
My husband has been a wonderful dad, and through it all, he’s been the glue that has kept our family together. Don’t forget about Dads. They need our appreciation, and they need opportunities to express their worries and concerns. Help them by giving them time alone and time with their friends. Allow them to engage in hobbies and enjoy spectator and contact sports. Help them take care of their physical and mental health, and show them how to interact with their child and forge a strong bond. Give them time to learn and practice their parenting skills. Do these things and you'll be pleasantly surprised and wondrously rewarded!
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