That damned letter from Ontario, Canada from that sicko abusing a family with a child with autism. Enough said about it. (If you haven’t heard of it yet, here’s an introduction to it.)
I believe that there are good people in the world. And that they outweigh the evil. Here’s my example from Wednesday.
We were at the Squam Lake Science Center in New Hampshire. The whole blended family. It was almost the only day all summer that we were able to do something together.
A. was doing great when I picked him up from school – but he had a very severe 45 minute meltdown in the late morning. (He was a delight before and after though.) During the meltdown, despite my best attempts to keep him and others safe by removing us from the situation, he ended up grabbing a woman on the arm very hard and pinching and leaving a mark. Had this woman and her family been anything other than the angels that they were, there could have been big trouble. She was actually hurt a little bit on her arm, but we separated and I helped A. get to a safe place.
Later on, we saw the woman again and I profusely apologized to her and her husband. I asked her if she would be willing to have A. apologize to her with her standing a few feet away. The tantrum was long over and he was in control, and the lady allowed A. to apologize for hurting her.
It was this lady’s understanding and compassion — her acceptance of an unacceptable event in public — that makes me think that the “Ontario Letter” crap is the ultra minority of opinion. An opinion we must make note of and combat. But of such utter insignificance in comparison to the good in most folks.
The Kickstarter for the Dads of Disability book project is live! Click on the image below to check it out. If you do nothing else, enjoy the animation! The Kickstarter page tells you a lot about the project, but you can also click on the menus above on this page to learn more.
I’m asking for three things. Each of which has a benefit to you or your family or clients.
One: Back the Dads of Disability Kickstarter!
How does this benefit you? Backing starts at just $9.00 and at this level the reward is an electronic version of the book when it is released. $19 gets you the paper copy AND the electronic copy. This isn’t charity, rewards come with backing! Higher value rewards include original framed art from the animation and a 60 second animation of your family!
Two: Write for this collection, get paid
Yes, I will pay you. I am paying small stipends for authors whose work (or interviewees whose story) makes it into the collection. Learn more about that in the submission guidelines.
Three: Please share this project far and wide!
For suggestions and materials if you feel like sharing on social networks, please see the open letter from me. Tweet with hashtag #dadsofdis I am @garymdietz on Twitter.
Thanks for all of your support!!!
My article is on the front page of the Good Men Project website today! Please share and tweet if you please.
I am writing a book because I am a dad whose legacy to his son isn’t going to be anything like it I thought it would be before he was born.
Because I’ve learned so much from other fathers and I don’t want their sage advice to dissipate.
Because my son is a whole person. A young man with humor and likes and desires. Who deserves to have other folks see the world through his eyes even though he may not be able to always express what he sees.
Because society, for too long, has valued different as less instead of looking at it as just different. Or even more.
From day one, advice to folks like me has been write about what you know. And my experiences these almost 14 years is a lense through which I want to help other fathers, other mothers, other members of society focus through–even if they can see a father’s perspective only for a moment.
A moment of empathy and understanding is my goal. A moment of teaching and learning. A door to a discussion that may not have otherwise taken place.
I’m writing a book about father’s and men’s perspectives because the best legacy I can leave for my son is a way to help others understand and learn how to help him illustrate his value to the world. A small contribution so that when I am gone, someone else can look him in the eye and see them twinkle and love and respect him as a whole person. And ask him how his day went and really listen. Just like his Dad.
Please poke around my site. And let me know if you want to contribute an essay.
Today, my son now age 13, has been at a residential school for exactly 1 year. Here is a video of his end-of-year academic award. Check out that proud smile at 0:33 !!!
Click image to launch MP4 video of the ceremony (0m 45s long)
Two great things for those not familiar (1) He was able to handle the noise and clapping of the ceremony for a good 1/2 hour and (2) He went up to accept his award by himself (with some coaching). I have a ton of reflections both challenging and joyous. I just ask for your continued support of him and me.
P.S. Although I appreciate the good intentions, when people tell me “just think about it like he went to college early,” I want to… well, let’s just say its an unhelpful analogy.
P.P.S The Kickstarter should be live around July 8. I hope you check it out, if only for the cool animated video.
In the past few weeks, my son has been able to use the playground slide (with a ‘spot’) for the first time. He is 13 1/2 years old. Also, his residential school placement through their outdoor and gym program has been able to get him harnessed up and starting to use the climbing wall. That is extremely impressive and I am so proud of him and for him. And thankful to the school staff!
For parents of typically developing kids, let me just clarify. This is a big freakin’ deal!
Best to all,