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Happy Father's Day to the Special needs dads.

Happy Father's Day to those dads that go above and beyond. 

I want you to know that,

You are patient.
You are kind.
You are playful.
You are strong.
You are brave.

You are the best Father!

Everyday you wake up feeling overwhelmed by the amount of therapies, and appointments you are missing out on.
You are trying to juggle the stress of work, your wife, your typical kids, and your special needs child all at the same time.
You are an important part of our family.
You worry about them and you want nothing but the best for them.
You overcome those feelings and go to work every single day.
You work hard.
Always putting your families needs before your own.
You are the provider of our family.
Without you we will not be able to do any of the things we do.
You make it possible for our special needs child to receive all the services he needs, medication, and special bonding time even though you are tired at the end of each day.
You make time for every single member of our family.
Today on Fathers day and everyday  I want to thank you for every  little and big thing you do for our family.
I want you to know that,
Nothing goes unnoticed.
Although sometimes you mention you would like to do more for our family I want you to know you are doing enough.
Actually I want you to know
Your doing an incredible job!
You are definitely rocking this special needs dad thing.

Happy Father's Day Juan! Today and every day.

Siblings discovering Autism

 I remember siting down with our  two older children and telling them that their baby brother would be different.

Emmett has Autism.  

A year later we sat down again we told them he not only has Autism but he also has Fragile X Syndrome, Epilepsy, Sensory Processing Disorder and Intellectual disability. 
They seem to understand and did not have any questions at that specific moment.
 We made it very clear that we would be honest and answer any questions they had in the future.
The questions slowly started to come in.

Why doesn't my brother talk?

Will he ever talk?

Will he ever  have a conversation with me?

Why doesn't he play?

Why doesn't he like to be hugged?

Why doesn't he give us a kiss back?

Why does he have so many appointments?
Why does he take medicine everyday?
Why does he go out of town for his appointments?
Will he ever go to the same school as me?
Why doesn't he turn when I call his name?
Will he ever ride a bike?
When I was Emmett's age did I do that to?
 Etc.  Ect. 

So many questions and no specific answers.
Every time I get one of these questions I get a knot in my throat my eyes fill with tears as I search for the right thing to say.
Their is no manual for this stuff.
I answer their question with a "maybe he will one day" or
"your brother is different than anyone else therefore he does things at his own pace".

As Emmett gets older it gets more difficult for them to understand why our life is the way it is.
Why Emmett is so different?
Why our life is so full of the unknown.
We all don't know what the future looks like for Emmett, and it's difficult to digest.

They see kids in the playground half the age of Emmett doing so many things that they learn naturally. Sometimes they see other kids on the Autism Spectrum more high functioning than Emmett and wonder why their brother is not like them.

It's difficult for them to see their brother working months and years to accomplish the same things other children are doing.
 I see their little eyes looking at them and filling up with tears, and then looking away pretending not to see them.
Then as we get in the car I get those comments "wow did you see the kid he was talking to other kids?" or "wow did you see the kid playing with the toy so nicely how did he learn that?".
It's painful to see them discovering the special needs world, but it's also amazing to see them appreciate all the little things in life.
They don't take anything for granted, they acknowledge every little thing Emmett learns with such happiness.
They know how hard his brother works everyday and they thank him for it.
The love for their brother is unconditional, they want the same thing for their brother as everyone one else.
They want him to be included in society, and for him to be happy.