June always makes me think of my own dad as Father’s Day is sandwiched between the day that he was born and the day that he died- all in June. My dad was a good dad, fun, fearless and loving but he wasn’t a “special” dad. Fathering a child with special needs brings out something significant in that unique breed of dads.
Approximately 20 percent of U.S. children under the age of 18 require extra accommodations or services due to a chronic physical, developmental, behavioral, or cognitive conditions. The dads that help raise those children face many daily obstacles. These challenges include: financial, medical, academic, social, physical and emotional - just to name a few. It can be overwhelming, isolating and stressful to be a father of a child with a disability. Those many “special” fathers (including my own husband) who manage to be positive, supportive and maintain a sense of humor
need to be especially acknowledged and celebrated this month.
Raising a child that is different is hard. It is difficult for for the entire family. Fathers who help shoulder that responsibility are indeed remarkable. They are often looking at caretaking and commitment that spans their entire life. They do this with love. They nurture and support their family, they feel happy and emotionally rewarded by the small and large victories of that exceptional child’s existence. These special dads are warriors, peacemakers, huggers and improvisors. They make the mundane exciting and the crazy calm. They make fatherhood look truly phenomenal!
Happy Father's Day to All Dads but especially the Special Dads!