As Father’s day approaches I am reminded of a father and son that attended the last Davis Live Concepts for Autism workshop presented here at Dr. Angie’s Place. The son is 25-ish, over 6 feet tall and presents himself with a slight “prove it to me” attitude. The dad is 45-ish, with long hair, a big smile and a warm personality. This dad came to the workshop to support his son. To understand his son. From my vantage point at the front of the room looking out over the faces as light bulb and ‘aha’ moments were taking place, the view was priceless. As dad began to understand that his son had not been being obstinate, disobedient or rebellious for the sake of controversy, but that he had been reacting to this life in the best way he knew how, I saw dad lift his glasses to wipe the tears from his eyes. These were tears of relief, tears of guilt, tears of understanding but mostly tears of love.
I know because I have been there. I have been on the other side of this when someone said to me “this is why your son does this…this is what is going on inside of him. As we navigated the five days of the workshop, I got to be bear witness to this father and son relationship growing and strengthening as they began to understand one another. Growing and strengthening with a shared hope and new tools for success…whatever that may be. They now share a vocabulary and an understanding that has brought them closer…just as it did for my husband, myself and my son.
Knowledge is power.
Love is power.
Happy Father’s day to all those dads who are willing to better themselves by taking the time to understand and embrace their children for who they are here to be…unconditionally.