Now flash forward to today, Kian has grown into a great young man with many talents and quirky personality, but his road has certainly not been an easy one. With his diagnosis of autism, we’ve had to adjust as a family, as his father I’ve had to readjust the way I parent almost on a daily basis. Having a child with autism has redefined fatherhood in many ways and has allowed me to take a step back and recognize just how fortunate I have been to have him in my life. Through Kian, I have found a voice and a purpose that I may not have ever had. His challenges have become my challenge, a challenge to not only help him but give back to a community. His diagnosis introduced me to a new world, one that is often a struggle, but also one that is as close nit as you could ever find. His diagnosis has given me a strength to reach out as an advocate, speak with passion and aide my fellow autism moms and dads and even those who just need to better understand what autism is. At the end of the day, Kian didn’t just make me a father, but he made me a better man; to my wife, and to himself and our little girl as well.
On today, Father’s Day, I hope that all the dads out there can take a step back and recognize the gifts that made them a dad. I hope that we can take stock in the blessings we have, even though for many of us our roads have had a bunch of twists and turns, roadblocks and pot holes. I also hope that even though we celebrate Father’s Day only once a year, we take time throughout our days to be grateful for our kids, recognize the responsibility we have to our children and the passion we must have to be their greatest advocate.