Superman's Cape

December 7, my birthday, is the nineteenth anniversary of Ben’s diagnosis. His pediatric neurologist said, “Autism is a lifelong, irreversible condition. It is genetic. There is no medical treatment. Save your money for his institutionalization when he turns twenty-one.” As I walked out of the doctor’s office, Ben’s little hand wrapped around my finger, I had three options: ignore Ben’s autism, accept it, or fight it. I chose to fight it.

As I was writing my book, "Saving Ben: A Father's Story of Autism," I asked myself, "Can anything good come out of this disaster?" The answer, surprisingly, is yes. Raising a child with autism can be an opportunity for self discovery, empowerment and self-growth.

I didn’t want to be Superman. I just wanted to be Clark Kent, reporter, teacher. And a good father. But the tigers come at night, and they tear your hope apart. If you’re like me you turn to the tigers and stretch your claws and you say, “Not my kid. You can’t have him.” And the scales fall away, you see the world as it is, not a happy sit-com but a disaster movie, and you find yourself in a battle against ignorance, prejudice, clueless doctors, a zombied education system, helping professionals who don’t help, caregivers who don’t care, and a medical system driven by pharmaceutical profits and more concerned with protecting egos and incomes than recovering your child. So you go to the bathroom weeping in fear and anger and frustration. You throw up. Then you take off your Clark Kent glasses and you put on your Superman cape. And you know what? You can fly.

Dad's too

It is so great to see so many more Dad's involved in the recovery of their kids