19. October 2015 · Comments Off on The top 10 hateful things people have said about my special needs parenting skills · Categories: advocacy, author queries, book status, lists, parent education


This is a completely disingenuous post – my first ever (either here or on my marketing blog).

truth-257158_640Frankly, I am frustrated by the click through rates some bloggers, many “major” publishers, and a lot of minor ones receive with their negative articles and listicles. So, there you go.  A really negative headline. And probably a worthy article, though I would probably recast the title as “The top 10 ways I have overcome negative attitudes about my special needs parenting skills.”

I have actually been actively encouraged by editors to make the headlines controversial and negative to get clicks. And I have heard that essentially the same articles, one cast with a negative headline, and a second one cast with a positive headline, perform differently. Even when the article itself contains essentially the same points.

But, my blog, and my book (at least 99% of it) are positive, or at least built upon a positive attitude after not-so-positive things happen. I invite you to visit my project’s main page at http://blog.dadsofdisability.com/ to read extended free excerpts and reviews.

I hope you can get over my mistruth to get you to my page.  It really isn’t right, and I am sorry if you feel offended.

Instead, support articles, essays, and books with a positive spin.  Positive doesn’t mean rose-colored glasses, happy-assed, no bad news.  But don’t choose manufactured controversy either.


Gary gdietz@garydietz.com


The DaDads of Disability book coverds of Disability™ book project addresses the relative scarcity of stories from and about the perspective of fathers whose children experience a disability. The book is for dads, moms, grandparents, specialists (speech, OT, PT, teachers) and more.

You can learn more about how to buy it by CLICKING HERE.

There is nothing negative in it, at least as I intended it.

28. July 2015 · Comments Off on 7 tips on how to plan the perfect beach trip for families with special needs! · Categories: advocacy, parent education, published elsewhere, sites to visit

No money exchanged hands for this guest post for Dads of Disability.

Make your family beach trips fun and relaxing this summer by using these beach hacks for a fun day out with your child with special needs!

1. Call ahead to reserve a beach wheelchair.

Beach wheelchairs are a fun way for your child who uses a mobility-aid to walk along the shore. Most of the time, beaches will be stocked with only one or two beach wheelchairs, so make sure to reserve yours ahead of time!


Via accessible San Diego

2. Accessible entry points.

Do your research beforehand to make sure you’re headed to the accessible entry way to the beach. Most beaches will have parking spots designated for families with special needs right next to one of the ramp entrances to get to the sand. The closer you are to the ramp, the less stress!

3. Mobi-Mats.

Some beaches on the coasts have hard-surfaced mats for wheelchair users to cruise smoothly on the sand. The mats make for a great way for you and your child to explore more of the beach without feeling limited to the space around you.

4. Big beach umbrellas to save your skin.

Renting a big umbrella from beaches is a well worth investment. You won’t have to worry about melting in the sun all day. It’s a great way to keep cool and protect your precious skin.

5. Keep your energy going.

Snacks and water are a must-have for beach trips, so be sure to pack healthy snacks to keep the little ones happy. You can set up at accessible picnic grounds to enjoy your meal, but if you want to pack light, choose a beach with food vendors or restaurants nearby that are wheelchair accessible.

6. Lifeguards on duty.

To ensure your family’s safety, it’s a good precaution to check if your beach has lifeguards on duty to keep an eye out for you and your family. Lifeguards can guide you to accessible restrooms and ramps, and will know the best places for your family with special needs to dine in after a great day at the beach.

7. Accessible restrooms and changing rooms.

Thanks to the ADA, the most common accessible areas in public spaces are the restrooms. However, you can never be too certain all beaches will be accommodating. Be sure to double check the beach you want to go to has wheelchair-friendly facilities if you’re planning a day out with a person using a mobility aid.

This year is the Americans with Disabilities Act’s 25th Anniversary, so please consider supporting full inclusion of people with disabilities by donating to The Arc, or any other disability advocacy non-profit. A great way to give back is by donating through Goodshop, where you can shop at online stores like Old Navy, Expedia, or Vista Print and they will donate a percentage of your purchase to the ADA non-profit, at no cost to you.


Janessa Dayan
Cause Outreach Associate, Goodshop
02. April 2015 · Comments Off on The ‘R’ word on my favorite podcasts · Categories: advocacy, parent education

I love Adam Carolla and Marc Maron for their insight, intelligence, and business acumen.

But they really jar me with their use of the word ‘retarded.’

They would say (have said?) that it would be “PC” (whatever that is) to stop using it.  So, if that is the case, why don’t they use the words “niggardly” and “faggot” just as often?

The argument that words change meaning all the time and if we stop using “retarded” then the next word that comes along will then become a ‘bad word’ is a tired argument.  Perhaps that is the case.  But so what?  Language changes fast.

But as Carolla and Maron both know, being fairly good writers themselves, words change all the time.  And for now, ‘retarded’ should be off the table.

If I am wrong, I dare them both to start using ‘niggardly’ again.  It’s in the dictionary after all.  And wouldn’t they just be victims of the ‘PC’ police if they were to be stopped from using that term?  So guys, I dare you.  If you stand by the fact that you are not PC then don’t just stand on ‘retarded’ as your right to say what you want.  Use those other words too.

Please think about it.



(P.S. In case you didn’t get it, I am intensely offended by the word ‘niggardly’ but used it here to make a point.)

09. March 2015 · Comments Off on An open letter to the New Hampshire House Finance Committee · Categories: advocacy, money and finance, parent education, video

Here is a letter I provided to the NH House Finance Committee today.  It could have been written in 2013, 2011, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001…  You get the idea.  I have tremendous respect for advocates who have been at this for far longer than I.

The video that the letter refers to appears at the bottom of this post.

From:              Gary M. Dietz
Subject:          Wait List / Transition Funding / Developmental Services
Date:               March 9, 2015 (although it could be any year from past decades)

Dear New Hampshire House Finance Committee Members,

I am writing in support of level or even increased funding of the wait list (now called transition funding). My rhetorical outreach is similar to many of the folks you will hear in person today. But my outreach also has political overtones.

Back in the late 1980’s, our state made bipartisan commitments to fund community-based supports for those with developmental disabilities. Not only are community based supports more effective, more humane, and family and community centered, they are less expensive than other supports.

Yet every two years we must come to these “begathons” to remind our elected leaders of past promises, economic sacrifices made by families, and to discuss what government – even a small government – should be doing as a safety net for individuals and families.

I encourage you to watch a short video I put together that describes the political and economic reasons funding the wait list and developmental services makes sense. You’ll note that the date on this video is March 2011, almost 4 years ago to the day. Some of the facts may be slightly out of date, but it just as well could have been March of any of the two year periods before it for the past 30 years. You see, these are our realities. And your vote every two years impacts real families. Families who also understand what family values are.

You can find the video here. (I assure you it is not a slideshow filled with emotional photos of children, although those too are important to watch.) Rather, it contains opinions that I hope will inform your policy making.

Thanks for your time and support. Feel free to reach me at the number above at any time.

Gary Dietz




18. February 2015 · Comments Off on Doctoral Student Seeks Dads Opinions · Categories: advocacy, parent education, published elsewhere, sites to visit

This is a guest post from Claudia Sellmaier, Adjunct Faculty and Graduate Research Assistant, Portland State University,csellmaier@pdx.edu


Survey aDucksbout working fathers who raise a child with special health care needs

48,000 households in the United States include a child or children with special health care needs. Caring for a child with physical, developmental, emotional or behavioral difficulties is expensive and in 2009/2010 22% of families reported financial difficulties because of these care responsibilities. 15% were even forced to give up employment. In addition to these financial difficulties, caregivers often experience physical and emotional problems. Unfortunately, parents don’t receive the support in the workplace and/or in their communities to better integrate the demands of employment and the needs related to family care. The voices of fathers caring for children with special health care needs have been underrepresented in the past and we need to learn more about dads’ challenges and successes to improve workplace conditions and community services. What is your experience? What resources do you have in your workplace, your family, and your community to maintain employment and take care of your family?

I am a doctoral student at the School of Social Work at Portland State University and I am asking for your support. Please follow this link and fill out the 10-minute online survey. https://portlandstate.qualtrics.com//SE/?SID=SV_eP7Qzeu0bZkpmhT

Please share this information with your friends and your social networks to help me spread the word! Thank you for supporting this project to improve working and living conditions for all our families.

This is a guest post from Claudia Sellmaier, Adjunct Faculty and Graduate Research Assistant, Portland State University,csellmaier@pdx.edu

11. February 2015 · Comments Off on Welcome ‘The Mighty’ Readers · Categories: advocacy, parent education, published elsewhere


Hello ‘The Mighty‘ readers!  A quick greeting. All the links you need to know about Dads of Disability™: Stories for, by, and about fathers of children who experience disability (and the women who love them!) are right here:

PurchaseFree SamplesOn Facebook ReviewsTwitter

Remember, you can buy the eBook on major ebook stores. The paperback is also available on Amazon or by special order at your local bookstore. If you have any questions at all, please contact me.

From Shavon Brown-Robinson’s blog I Just Want to Be Superwoman

“There are many sites, blogs, support groups for mothers of special needs children. As a mom of one of those children, I can assure you these are definitely needed. Before reading “Dads of Disability” I never realized that Dads have their own unique feelings and experiences about parenting special needs children. Their voice also deserves to be heard. Reading these stories prompted me to have conversations in my own house about how our journeys and experiences can differ greatly while parenting the same child. The desire for a deeper dialogue is the greatest gift a book like this can give.”

18. January 2015 · Comments Off on Not just a meme… · Categories: advocacy, parent education, published elsewhere


An essay of mine (originally titled “Roles they are a changin’ “) has been published on the Good Men Project at:



Please read and if you enjoy, like it or share it!  Thanks,




09. October 2014 · Comments Off on Helicopter Parent · Categories: advocacy, Gary's Son, parent education, published elsewhere, sites to visit, video


I am happy that the essay I wrote for my book has had so much positive reaction in so many places.  For example, it had a follow-up essay for the Cool Cat Teacher, was reprinted in Parents.com, has been discussed in Nora Colvin’s blog, and now is reprinted at the Good Men Project.

For the first time, here is the 2008 video that is referenced in this essay.