Autism Dads: The Men Behind the Scenes

I have talked a lot about how lonely this life is. About how isolated I feel. About how no one I know, gets it. I’m not sure when it happened, but one day recently, I told that selfish voice to shut up. I lay down at night next to the one person in this world who gets it. Why does he get it? Because he is going through the exact same thing.

When I met my husband, it wasn’t love at first sight. But once he finally convinced me to go out with him, it didn’t take long for me to know that he was the one. We were in a hurry. A hurry to settle down and start our life. We made plans for our future and quickly began making those plans a reality. We got married, got the house, had our first child and shortly after that, the second.

Everything was perfect.

As our first child (Carter) got older, things got harder. And as things got harder, I began to shut down. All I could think about was how I was feeling. How this was breaking MY heart. All I could see were the things that I was missing out on. I was so wrapped up in my own grief, that I never stopped to think that the strong man next to me, was hurting just as much as I was.

It didn’t occur to me that he had to go to work everyday and listen to people tell stories about their sons. Stories of them sharing interests and doing things together. Funny stories about things that their children had said. I didn’t realize that it was killing him to hear all of that and then come home to a boy who had no interest in the things he did. A boy, who had never spoken a word to him.

You want to know why I think I missed all of that, for so long?

Because the car ride on the way home from the doctor (the day that Carter got his autism diagnosis) is the only time my husband has ever really “lost it.” (That I have seen.)

For six years now, he has been our rock. He has been the one telling me that it will be okay.

He has been the one dressing up like a pirate, just to get to play with his son. He has been the one telling me all along, that Carter CAN do anything. He is the one who has been trying to find things that they can do together. (Like, hiking. Carter loves it!) He is the one who comes home every night (after working all day) and works on reading and math, with our boy. It’s him. It’s always been him. On the days that I couldn’t get myself together, he was there. Being everything that our son needed.

Things are changing around here. I’m happier and more positive. Through all the struggles and hard work, I’m starting to see the light. I am starting to feel like I can do this. I know my husband has something to do with this change in me. Because he is there telling me that I’m not alone. He is telling me that WE ARE going to do this. We ARE going to make this the best life for Carter. And our family.

I want to share something else with you. It’s about patience. (Something I have never had.) I mentioned before that my husband (Josh is his name, by the way) has always made every effort to be a part of Carter’s world. He has played the games that Carter is interested in.

I have heard him talking to our sweet boy about pirate ships and treasure. Getting no responses, just talking to him about the things that he likes. He has done these things in order to have a relationship with his son. And I think that Carter knows this. I think he appreciates his dad for doing this. Why? Because Carter is changing, too.

The things they do together now, aren’t just the things that Carter is interested in. They work on things together. (With loud power tools.) They play with Nerf guns. (Yes, this is an interest of my husbands. He’s a big kid at heart. Ha!) And most recently, they have been cooking together.

In these moments, Josh has given me that quiet celebratory glance. The one that says, don’t make any sudden movements, but look what we are doing.

Together. I watch these moments and I have yet another thing I will never take for granted. My husband. The guy behind scenes. The person that will make sure our son succeeds and the reason that I will never be alone.

Happy Father’s Day to all of the Autism dads out there!

Written by, Samantha Fawns

Her son Carter Rue, thinks he is a pirate. He also, happens to have autism. Everyday is an adventure, when you are a part of “Carter’s Crew.” Sam shares their journey at The Au-Some Pirate.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter.

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  • lynnesy catron

    June 17, 2018 at 3:23 pm
    Reply

    Beautiful Sam! You are such an incredible momma. Thank you for your heart, you are encouraging other moms is similar and not so similar situations!

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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