Skip to main content

I Just Finished Reading: Dads of Disability




Dads of Disability is a collection of essays, poems and stories by and about Dads and how they cope with being a father to a disabled child. These stories were collected and edited by Gary Dietz, also a father to a disabled child.

Author's Synopsis-

This is not a 'how-to' book or a book of '5-ways to do this' or '10-ways to do that.' Rather, this collection uses a storytelling approach to illuminate the emotional lives of these fathers. Dads of Disability will begin or extend the conversation between and amongst fathers, mothers, extended families, care circles, and individuals with disabilities themselves. This book is for fathers and mothers. For friends and support circles. For care professionals. For teachers. For friends trying to understand their neighbor's challenges. For anyone interested in the variety of the emotional lives of fathers whose children experience a disability. "

Each essay or poem gives an in depth look inside the mind and heart of a dad at various crucial and defining moments in his parenthood journey. These are not just feel good Hallmark stories.  These aren't stories of saints in suits swooping in like Superman saving the day without breaking a sweat. No, these are real dads dealing with real life struggles of parenting a disabled child. And while they do sometimes save the day, the men in these stories don't want to be seen as heroes. They just want to be seen as dads.

Every story is brutally honest, such as the story of the man who admits that he considered running away in a time of weakness and despair, but after contemplating the benefits of own childhood with a present, dependable and steadfast father in his life, has no choice but to reconsider.

One father talks about how reluctant he was to consider his wife's observations that "something was wrong". His struggle to overcome denial and walk into acceptance is a journey any parent of a child with disability can appreciate.

Another dad talks about learning, accepting and respecting his son's limits. He learns the hard way that there's a thin line between encouraging and pushing too hard.

Still another dad talks about the anticipation he felt when learning he was of having a son. He reminisces on how he planned to bond and to share father and son activities with his child. His child's severe disabilities changed all of those well-laid plans. This dad had to learn to adjust, accept and appreciate the kind of relationship he can have with son.

The are also stories by women about the dads of these children. One of my personal favorites was by a wife writing with such admiration for the fix-it dad armed only with his tool kit who manages to make all kinds of adaptations for his physically disabled son so that he can enjoy the same experience as other kids his age, even when it may scare his mom to death!

As the father of a severely disabled teenager, Gary Dietz didn't just collect and edit these essays, he has added his own voice to the stories in this book. His passion about the changing roles of fathers, especially of disabled children inspired this crowd sourced and crowd funded labor of love. Visit Gary's blog here.

There are many sites, blogs, support groups for mothers of special needs children. As a mom of one of those children, I can assure you these are definitely needed. Before reading "Dads of Disability" I never realized that Dad's have their own unique feelings and experiences about parenting special needs children. Their voice also deserves to be heard. Reading these stories prompted me to have conversations in my own house about how our journeys and experiences can differ greatly while parenting the same child. The desire for a deeper dialogue is the greatest gift a book like this can give.

https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwatermarked.cutcaster.com%2Fcutcaster-photo-100821256-American-generals-four-stars.jpg&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*


Want to Read "Dads of Disability"? Go here.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Before Autism.....

Before Autism touched my life, I considered myself the kind of mother who pretty much had it together. Before Autism, I worked a full-time executive position, where my obsessive and control freak tendencies served me well. My three children were used to the daily routine of full-time school or daycare. Weaning, potty-training, bedtime issues, discipline, those were things OTHER mothers struggled with, for me it never seemed like a huge deal. I managed to sail through the first 9 years of motherhood without wrinkling my designer clothes, mussing my perfectly relaxed hair, or chipping a french manicured nail. I could never understand what other parents complained about. I was so smug and arrogant. I could not imagine what must go on in the houses of the lady behind me in the check out line with the screaming, rebelling children. I would think to my myself "home girl needs to get it together".

I thought I was done having kids, so my fourth pregnancy was a huge surprise in the m…

The Giving Tree.... Gives Me A Much Needed Lesson

"The Giving Tree" is one of my favorite children's books. I must have read it a million times to my three older kids over the years, but Spike is just getting into story time so we never read it.

I had mixed feelings when Spike's school announced that the school would be putting on a production of The Giving Tree as a musical. Happy because I love that story and I would get to share it with another one of my children and surprised and worried because his school hasn't had anything like this before and I wondered what it would be like. Let me explain.

While Spike is very verbal and pretty high functioning, at least half of his school's student body is not. He attends a PK-3 all the way through 12th grade special education school. The student's disabilities range from mild learning disorders to kids on the spectrum to blind or deaf and severely physically and mentally disabled children. Please don't get me wrong, the school has been AMAZING for Spike. H…

My Soapy Past...Ode to Soaps

Tonight's premiere of the new Dallas has me nostalgic for my soaps, All My Children, One Life To Live, Dynasty, Knots Landing. Televisions line up is chock full of talk shows and reality shows. They can be entertaining, but it can get tiresome. I miss the days of scripted dramas, with twists and turns and ball gowns with shoulder pads. In honor of tonight's Dallas comeback. I am re-blogging a post I wrote a while ago about my soap love.


   An Ode to Classic Television Soaps and 41 Years of “All My Children”
So, in addition to my many varied entertainment addictions, is my sometimes secret shame.... Daytime Soaps. Yes that's right, I said it. Most people who know me, would call me a TV snob. I'd like to say I'm a connoisseur of sorts. I respect the art of good storytelling and cannot be convinced to watch a show because it's popular, if it's just not there.
This is why I've always found it hard to defend my 30 year love affair with Pine Valley. I mean I…