As the ball for Special Needs Ohio gets rolling, I thought I would take a few minutes and introduce you to my family. You can read our entire story at theautismdad.com, but here are the cliff notes.
I’m a full-time, work-from-home, single Dad to these three amazing humans. Gavin is my oldest at 23. Elliott just turned 17, and Emmett’s not too far behind at 14. All three of my boys are on the autism spectrum. Gavin also has fragile health but is doing quite well.
I want to share a little bit about each of them because I’m so proud of the young men they’re becoming.
Gavin is easily among the kindest, most selfless people I’ve ever met. He’s been through more in his short 23 years than most of us will go through in a lifetime, and he never complains. He’s currently preparing for his adult life. We’re working with the Board of DD, as well as OOD (Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities) to help him gain employment and ensure he has whatever supports in place that he needs. He’s excited but also very nervous about moving into this part of his life, but mostly excited.
Elliott is very tech-savvy, sweet, very laid-back, kind, empathetic, and helpful. He’s an old soul. Elliott is finishing up high school this year. He loves photography and creating custom mods for Minecraft. He wants to work in the video game industry or do something with his photography on a professional level. Elliott’s had several of his pictures go viral on social media.
Emmett is a freshman this year and very invested in his education. Emmett is full of energy, and life. He’s sensitive, sweet, and always worried about how everyone around him is feeling. Emmett’s passionate about baking, especially cakes. Several of his baked creations have gone viral on social media. His goal is to open up his own bakery.
Life has been and can still be quite challenging at times, but we come such a long way. Being a single parent isn’t easy and this is especially true when special needs children are involved. Our lives are far from perfect and honestly, it can feel like a hot mess sometimes. Here’s the thing, I do my best to do right by my kids. Often times it’s not enough but not for a lack of trying. At the end of the day, we do the best we can under extraordinary circumstances. It’s never going to be perfect and neither are we and you know what? That’s okay.
The truth is that this life is hard and unless you live it, understanding it, and I mean truly understanding it, is very difficult, if not possible.
One of the missions of The Autism Dad and now with Special Needs Ohio is to remind you that you’re doing a fantastic job and you’re not alone, and there are people out there who truly understand.
I look forward to continuing that mission as we go forward and getting to know you along the way.