To all the men in the world who call themselves “Daddy” to a child with autism: Thank you.
For being there during the hard times – the diagnosis, the denial, the anger, the acceptance, the fear, the sadness, the confusion: Thank you.
For the long nights of sleeplessness, for the constant vigil, for tag-teaming it so that the rest of the family can go on outings: Thank you.
For trying so hard to communicate with your child, for playing and wrestling, for your silliness and goofiness, for your willingness to do whatever it takes to make a connection: Thank you.
For cleaning up messes without complaint, for changing an 8-year-old’s diaper, for tolerating the constant noise and chaos at the expense of an afternoon nap: Thank you.
For getting down on your knees in public to wrap your arms around your screaming child, for calming him during a meltdown, for protecting him from dangers: Thank you.
For your willingness to take your child out in public despite the difficulties, for showing him as much of the world as he can tolerate, for explaining to strangers why he makes “those noises:” Thank you.
For keeping a sense of humor throughout all the disasters, for being a stalwart advocate for your child, for working hard to ensure a secure future for your family: Thank you.
For being there always and forever.
For being you.