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Why I Help

Around 12 years ago, when the wonderful news that I was going to be a dad started to sink in, I began thinking about all those things a dad would do with their kids.  I would teach them how to throw and catch a ball, I would try to help coach baseball, football, and maybe even soccer.  I would show them how to spit, shake hands, and tell jokes.  You know all the things dads are supposed to do with their kids.  But a few years after my kids were born, I have twins, my wife and I noticed some things about our son that didn’t seem right, so we had him evaluated and we found out that he had Autism.  What did that mean?  The news was hard to take and we really needed to learn more about Autism and how we could help our son.

I really had to learn how to be a dad quick and this required me to be more then just one of those dads who shows their kids how to play sports.  I knew that I needed to get involved in school, so I became a PTO board member at my kids school.  I was fortunate enough to have a job schedule that allowed me to come in and volunteer in my kids classes and other classes twice a week, so I helped start a Watch DOGS program at their school and I came in to help as much as possible.  I also realized that I could help run a special needs baseball program and help out a friend with his special needs soccer program.  Although a lot of this helping was driven by me wanting to help my son, I realized that I could do the same for my daughter who was typical.  So I coached and managed her softball team and helped in her class.  And the truly amazing thing was that by doing all of this I was actually helping other kids.  This felt really good and I knew that I could do so much more.

So when I was asked to be a board member for Special Haven, I knew I had to do it.  I knew that my son would love the multi-sensory room and I also knew that I would be helping so many other kids as well.  I also knew that I would be helping an amazing person in our community, Jude Byrne, who has been so much for so many special needs kids in East County already.  I like to think that my sons Autism made me a good dad.  In fact, I know that my sons Autism made me a good dad!  And so I ask myself, why do I help?  And the answer is simple, my son taught me!

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