My experience as a dad

Óscar Julián: You called me dad and I have never heard your voice again Sergio Andrés: You walked waving your hands and moving your head from left to right

I will never forget the previous two scenes that made me realize that something was wrong with my children.

In the following paragraphs I will write, very briefly, what it is like to be a Dad of two beautiful people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) for thirteen years.
years: It has not been an easy task, but it has not been impossible either, I have encountered thousands of obstacles, but also many achievements and satisfactions. He was a married person and in less
After a year and a half, three episodes occurred that in one way or another destabilized my emotional state.

I lost my job, then my separation and then I found out that my children had Autism. Many questions came to my head, doubts and uncertainty. I had feeling of
guilt, I lived through the grieving process with professional and family accompaniment. After this stage I decided to turn to the Colombian Autism League (Lica), I felt very good
because I found someone related to my needs and requirements; it was quite a familiar welcome given to me by its director and at the end I received some recommendations and
suggestions. From here, with a lot of Resilience and Empowerment, I decided to fight for people with Autism and their families.

I see my children regularly every 20 days or every month, since we live in two different cities; Of course, now due to the Covid-19 emergency, I make video calls.
I have always known that for my children the father figure is very important and for this reason, when I see them I give them quality and quantity time, the cell phone is left aside and only
I answer calls of a family nature.

I focus on their tastes and over the years I have very gradually exposed them to natural environments such as Malls, Parks and lately our religious center.

I have tried to have a very harmonious and bearable relationship with the mother of my children, because after all, they are between the two of them. Every time I see them I drive my part
emotionally very positively because I know that they will also perceive it, I treat them with a lot of love, affection and a lot of dedication, the kind that only a true Dad offers.
To achieve that balance in the emotional - mental part, he read some authors such as Ps Walter Riso, Paulo Coelho, Jaime Jaramillo; some autobiographies like those of Temple Grandin (The Autistic Brain), Naoki Higashida (The Reason I Jump) and lately I read one by Daniel Tammet (Born on a Blue Day); also some books on Autism and a lot of reading on the internet, especially from the Spanish portal Autismo Diario.

Another ally in me is athletics, since apart from the fact that it has helped my state of health, it has been a good channel of my energies in recent years, apart from the fact that I have generated new and very enriching friendships. I have done races from 5 kilometers to 42 kilometers (Medellín Marathon, Colombia), my
Competition always is and will be allusive to people with Autism and it is one of my flags when raising awareness in Colombia.

I am part of a group of parents in social networks at an international, national and regional level, I have gotten very good contributions from them that in one way or another enrich the
complex path of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). I have been very aware of the legislature in our country and thus carry out political advocacy for the benefit of our population for true inclusion in the sectors of health, education, culture, sports, information and communication technologies, among others.
Finally, and for reflection, we believe in our son, since by doing the proper stimulation with a lot of love and empowerment we will achieve very important advances.
in them. At first it will not be easy, but with professional help and with our instinct as parents, many things can be achieved.

A phrase that has always caught my attention and is very true: "A diagnosis is NEVER a prognosis", due to the fact that our child is diagnosed with
Autism is not that it makes it impossible for them to get ahead of many processes, they must be included in many spaces without suffering discrimination. They see the world in a different way from ours and our task is to provide them with tools with which we can understand and understand them, a task that finally and well achieved we could contribute in part to improve their Quality of Life.

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