INTERVIEW WITH “TEEZDAD” – (2 of 2)
- Q: What advice would you give a “newbie” Dad whose child may have just received a diagnosis or label?
A: Process this as fast as you can! Deal with it by accepting your child for who he/she is. Go have it out with God, if you need to. Come to grips that this is not going to be the child you dreamed of having.
Stop using the labels and terms like “autism”, “CP”, or others alike. The kid just has a brain injury. Injuries can heal when given the right environment, input, and time. You need to see it that way. Inside, your kid is most likely intelligent. I know that is the case with our son.
So suck it up, be a man, saddle up with your wife and start to explore possible solutions to help your kid. This will take endless hours of time and even suck the life out of both of you. You may have to get a second job to pay for medical expenses or help therapies. Do research, talk to other parents and get ideas. Try new therapies and keep the ones that are providing benefit for your child. You must do this while your child is at a young age while their brain is growing at a rapid rate. Continue to do this as they get older. This is why my wife created this blog HelpingHurtKids.com. My wife’s goal is to share information of what we have learned on our journey, suggest therapies that are worth trying, and to help parents avoid pitfalls, and come into a better place.
One more tip: Be in agreement and unity with your wife on all fronts. Be a team.
Find common ground with your child, too. Find activities you like to do together. My son and I love hanging out, feeding the ducks and fish. We do this just about every day. We play piano and sing songs. We run errands together. When it is hot outside, we go to Home Depot and walk the aisles to get exercise. He loves that! He likes reading product labels and signs. I like looking at new technology and tools. We go grocery shopping together. He’s a really cool kid to spend time with.
- Q: How do you manage your wife’s intuition?
A: When it comes to the health of our son, I trust my wife’s intuition. Guys, your wife and baby are connected in a very real way. So much so, it’s creepy at times. She knows what is going on with your kid. Even when I am skeptical about her thinking, I still trust her and support her thoughts and intuition. If we totally disagree, we talk it out and weigh the pros and cons.
- Q: How do you manage to keep going?
A: I see my wife fighting for my son every day. It’s an endless struggle to get him what he needs. Without help, she barely has the time to take care of herself. As the husband and father, I join in the fight and do whatever I can to make their lives better. God continues to have our back. He provides for us and continuous to give us the juice to get through each day. The results we see in our son keep us going, as well. He is a rock star.