Thursday, December 8, 2011

‘Mother Warriors’ Scare the Heck Outta Me (And Other Tales of an Autism Dad)

Autism Society - ‘Mother Warriors’ Scare the Heck Outta Me (And Other Tales of an Autism Dad)

The first time I ever heard the expression “Mother Warriors,” I half expected to see a pink tank rolling down the street or perhaps a platoon of women in designer fatigues with daisies sticking out of their gun barrels. But then, after I let my out-of-control imagination subside, I was able to see the true strength and power of these ferociously focused females.

Over the past few years since my son Mikey’s autism diagnosis, I’ve experienced the phenomenon of the mother warriorautism mom and the oftentimes ignored autism dad. Being an autism dad is one of the most challenging things a man can experience and requires a life-altering transformation.

The mother warriors I’ve come across transcend the traditional nurturing role of a mommy to seize the warrior spirit that lets them become relentless in the drive to get whatever their child needs to thrive. The ironic thing is that the autism dad needs to go beyond the traditional male trait of being warrior-minded. No, the autism dad requires much more patience, tenderness, and love than typical of a warrior. Our fight needs to be against our natural inclinations. Moms forming groups, battling school boards, etc. shows the natural female ability to be organized and come together as a group. Men don't organize. When men organize it usually turns into a political party...and we all know how successful they are. No, men just want to fix things. How can we fix autism? Is there a tool for it? How about a little WD-40 or some duct tape?

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