For years, I walked a lonely road as an “autism dad.” Convinced no one would understand the issues I was struggling with, I avoided most social settings. I stayed in my own space and rarely discussed my thoughts, feelings or emotions. After all, I’m a dad, and dads are supposed to be strong, right? This mentality only served to make these feelings stronger and make me feel more alone.
A couple years ago, I finally started opening up. I wrote a few pieces about being an autism dad. I started to hear from other dads, and it turns out, I am not as alone as I thought. There are people out there who actually understand and feel the same way.
I started to think that there should be some type of group to bring dads together, so we don’t feel alone in this journey. Shortly after, Generation Rescue asked me to help them create such a community. Needless to say, I was eager to be a part of this new way for Warrior Dads to connect.
Our group, Warrior Dads United, launched at the 2017 Autism Education Summit, which I had the pleasure to attend and think other every autism dad should too. Since then, many dads have joined and we are fostering an amazing community. When my son broke his fourth TV in four months, I had a place to go and vent. Other dads have found support on rough days, encouragement before an important IEP, and words of wisdom in times of need.
The group is also a great place to ask questions and learn from an autism dad just like you. Saul Del Angel said he enjoys the group because it, “allows me a platform to share my successes and my failures with other dads, so they don’t have to suffer like my son and I have done in this journey.” We are a diverse community and many of us love to share our knowledge and experience to help our comrades.
Erik Wilson said that he gets value from the group in a lot of ways. “I get to learn about upcoming conferences, and cutting edge medical therapies and theories that I can later reference in medical journals. Additionally, the group helps me feel less lonely in my own situation.”
Warrior Dads United is not just a place to vent or ask questions. We enjoy hearing about and sharing our kids’ victories no matter how big or small. We also like to celebrate our other half. This past Mother’s Day, several dads helped create a Mother’s Day tribute video to recognize and celebrate Autism Moms.
To all the Incredible Autism Moms out there, we Dads wanted to let you know just how much we appreciate you. You are the glue that keeps the family together. We are in awe of all you do and how much love you have to share with the world. Several guys from our Dad's group Warrior Dads United contributed to this video. We think the world of you, and we wish you a fantastic Mother's Day!
Posted by I'm Simply a Dad on Saturday, May 12, 2018
Our group can be found on Facebook, and it’s really developing into an awesome community. It has definitely helped me feel less alone, and I know other dads feel the same. Warrior Dads United is allowing us to build that sense of camaraderie that many of us have been missing for quite some time.
If you are a dad looking to connect and talk about your experiences, then please join our growing community. Whether you want a place to vent, ask questions, or you just want to help others dads, we have a place for you here. Join us today.