A Dad's Journey

Father of Autistic Twins Speaks Out

Browsing Posts published in June, 2010

I get all sorts of secondary research compendiums regarding autism.  Here are highlights from one called “The Autism Spectrum Disorders Market: Substantial Opportunity and Unique Challenges”.  As usual dear reader, I’m sending this along for your critical eye…

I enclose details of our autism spectrum disorders market report.

An increase in public funding for research and a heightened interest among drug developers suggest that a breakthrough in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) treatment may be imminent. However, drug development has been slow, plagued by a limited understanding of the disease and the difficulties in developing treatments for pediatric populations in general and in ASD in particular. However, substantial opportunity exists for an agent that can safely improve an autistic child’s ability to interact and adapt to his or her surroundings.

Questions Answered in This Report

ASD includes three distinct diagnoses: Asperger’s disorder, classic autism, and pervasive development disorder-not otherwise specified.
– What are the common symptoms in these disorders?
– How do they differ from one another?

– What is known about the cause of the disease?

For more information please click on:

Recent article in the NY Times cites that dad is no better than mom in managing both work and family time.  And it also appears that both sexes tend to devalue the work of the other, not having the same vantage point.  This is one time where “Viva la difference!” ain’t working.

Here’s an excerpt below:

several studies show that fathers are now struggling just as much — and sometimes even more — than mothers in trying to fulfill their responsibilities at home and in the office. Just last week, Boston College released a study called “The New Dad” suggesting that new fathers face a subtle bias in the workplace, which fails to recognize their stepped-up family responsibilities and presumes that they will be largely unaffected by children.

Fathers also seem more unhappy than mothers with the juggling act: In dual-earner couples, 59 percent of fathers report some level of “work-life conflict,” compared with about 45 percent of women, according to a 2008 report from the Families and Work Institute in New York.

Women consistently underestimate how much their husbands do,” said Stephanie Coontz, a marriage historian and author of “A Strange Stirring: The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s,” to be published next year.

“Women don’t necessarily give his contribution the same value as theirs,” she added. “They don’t always recognize that what he does with the kids is a form of care, too.”

Every year I take a golfing vacation with a few old college buddies.  The time is spent women free, and typically revolves around sports, drinking and loud music.

I’m spending this weekend with the boys while their mother is in Bermuda with my daughter and mother-in-law.  Surprisingly enough, the experience has brought back memories of my Mancations.

1st of all, Sean only watches sports or music concerts, preferably rock and roll concerts.  Michael is constantly making strange smorgasbords of meals (e.g. peanut butter, bacon, Mexican cheese and pizza).   Of course, he is listening to his tunes the entire time.  We’ve spent a good part of the weekend visiting our neighbor’s pool.  The boys who are incapable of getting ready for the school bus in under an hour are able to be ready for a visit to the pool within 60 seconds.

While I think of their autism as an excuse, it just comes down to motivation.

As for myself, I’ve allowed myself a few (well maybe more than a few) adult beverages during this Mancation.  All in all, we’ve down well together.  With the exception of bedtime, when they both want me to lie next to them at the same moment.  As for how that went last night, that’s where the adult beverages the next day come in, to just soothe and forget.

Two solo nights in the books and two more to follow.  Not much in the way of other guests and visitors, they usually cause more trouble than help, with the exception of my sister who came with me today for the boys baseball trophy day (last day of Challenger Baseball).

I have learned four things from this Mancation

1) Michael is much smarter than I have given him credit for.

2) Michael cannot, under any circumstance, be trusted alone for more than five minutes.  As for the reason, review learning # 1

3) Sean’s OCD issues need to be dealt with, either via therapy or medication, but they are beginning to consume him.

4) Finally, we need a new sleeping arrangement.  But I need a couple of days to recover from this latest solo sojourn before I”m ready to implement that.

The Best Day Group of New Jersey held a surfing event and overall fun day for kids with disabilities yesterday in Long Branch, NJ.

We signed up Michael and Sean for it.  Michael got as far as his wet suit, took one look at the kids getting pulled into the ocean on a surf board and then settled into his beach chair.  That was as far as he was willing to go.

Sean is the one with the most tactile concerns.  He hates things pressing tightly against him.  But he was so motivated to get out into the ocean that he accepted the wetsuit without a concern.  The only thing he required was having his bathing suit tucked in so it wasn’t bunching up.

We then waited close to an hour for our turn.  Never have I seen Sean wait so long for something and stay happy the entire time.   We killed the time by splashing near the water’s edge and were only warned to move back about three times.

Finally, it was Sean’s turn!  And what happened?  He refused to get on the board in the required way, which was facing down and backwards to the ocean.  He wanted to go out on his knees and facing the ocean.   Finally, we all realized this was the only way this was going to work for him.   The five “surfin dudes” who worked with Sean were nothing short of fantastic.  They obliged him, even if it meant bending the rules.  OK, out into the ocean they go and they catch a pretty good size wave.

What does Sean do?  He stands up on the board, with the biggest grin you ever saw.  Now the guys are still all around him and have him by the feet and knees to keep him steady.  But they all got the biggest kick out of Sean wanting to ride the surfboard like he had seen others do it.

All in all, a great experience and I hope to embed the video once I get it off my camera and download it to YouTube!