A Dad’s Perspective – Guest Post by Bacon and Juice Boxes
I was asked to write a post about raising a child with Autism from a Dad’s perspective. Seems simple enough… it’s the only perspective I have.
How do I put this diplomatically?
Men are boneheads.
It’s just a fact, don’t even bother feigning outrage, guys. And shut up about stereotypes… I’m speaking in general terms here.
Men have this natural need to fix things… even if we suck at it. We measure our value by our ability to tinker, fiddle and fuss with something broken until it works better… or is rendered completely useless by our tinkering, fiddling or fussing… at which time we toss it in the garbage and curse the foreign company that designed such low-quality crap.
Once you understand this universal truth, you can begin to understand the trouble new Dads have in dealing with their child’s diagnosis. We are supposed to fix things. We are supposed to be the rock… the boss… the one with all the answers (why are you laughing, ladies?). Then we are smacked in the mouth by this beautiful, wonderful new creature who turns out to have special needs. And we realize there is not a damned thing we can do to fix it (so we think).
So we bury our fear… our sadness… our humiliation and we begin to boneheaddedly try to fix him anyway by trying to shoe-horn our Autistic child into this preconceived image of growing up.
And we fail. Miserably.
We force him to play games he has no interest in. We cram toys in his hands he couldn’t care less about. We hide and throw away his most treasured possessions because they don’t fit our stupid vision of age and gender propriety.
Then we get angry… and lash out at the ones we love… and cast blame.
Then we come to a crossroads. We arrive at a junction where we can turn left towards introspection, brutal honesty with ourselves, humility and change. Or we can turn right towards destruction of our marriage, isolation and inflicting pain on our loved ones.
The best of us struggle daily with that intersection, but we make a conscious decision to plow through the left path and commit to becoming better for our family.
The others… don’t. And resentment builds. And that’s tragic.
But here’s the bright side: The paths are crammed with exits and U-turns. It’s never too late to stop and ask for directions and make the decision to turn around and go the other way.
So here is my advice for the Dads out there barreling down the wrong path: Look ahead of you… that’s a cliff. Cut the crap and go hug your wife. Stop trying to fix your child and spend some time trying to understand him.
Hell, let him drive for a while. I think you might find it exhilarating. You bonehead.
For more from this writer,
visit his blog at
Bacon and Juice Boxes
For more from the blog event
Autism: The Bigger Picture
please visit here. Thanks for reading! : )