The following story was recently submitted by one of the father’s attending our MyTime Dad’s group – it provides a wonderful reflection on how this group has helped so many fathers during their Autism journey.
Please note that names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.
I, the father to 5 years old Luke would like to forward a brief outline of how MyTime has directly affected each of our lives.
Luke was diagnosed with Stage 3 Autism around his second birthday, and his Mother Susan and I were trying for another addition to what seemed our perfect family.
The following period was the most testing, confronting and frightening period of our lives. Unfortunately, the relationship faltered and eventually ended in separation. All the while this came at the detriment to our health and more importantly Luke’s immediate future and development.
Forward on to January 2020 and our lives have been impacted tremendously by the love, guidance and support of a select few people in our immediate lives. None of whom you would suggest could include a group of eclectic men, each with their own very personal issues and each with their own delightful kids, who happened to meet every Saturday.
I am writing to you as a direct result of these short comings.
For nearly 20 years I have been involved in the construction industry. As you may be aware, this is dominated by a male workforce, with a varied level of knowledge, age and education. It was entirely due to circumstance that I had become hardened to listening to my peers, associating with my peers and accepting their shortcomings.
So, being told of Luke’s condition was always going to make for a tough situation. However, being told of our child’s condition, from a predominantly female workforce, was for me exceptionally confronting.
The once organised, confident professional that I am had been replaced with a nervous, vulnerable figure. I was existing only to hang on to reality first and being a relative excuse for a father second. I was crying out for something, someone to understand. To help but without interfering.
The first day of MyTime was the hardest yet most influential day of my life to date. It showed me that it was ok to be feeling as I did; I needn’t be embarrassed. Other fathers were going through the exact same thing and had been doing so for a lot longer than I. They were still able to function as adults and parents. Very, very good parents.
More importantly I was exposed to a level of family cohesion that a few months prior I had convinced myself was not possible.
A change that to date has increased beyond recognition.
I am not able to express enough gratitude to MyTime and specifically Ben, in such a short medium; However, I am able to offer my sincere thanks.
Click here for more information about our Fathers’ Group.