Autism Society records most keynote and concurrent sessions at their annual conferences. You can see and hear those recordings by purchasing full online access, or individual recordings.
What are men expected to do confronted by the realities of autism? The typical male response is to keep a lid on emotions, take charge of practical details, and support others because they think they are expected "to be strong." The greatest frustration for men is that they cannot fix the situation and make it better for their wives or their children. The pain that accompanies this realization creates a need to connect with others experiencing the same thing. It takes time to acknowledge feelings and let them be heard.
It helps to think about what feelings may be underneath being angry, grumpy, or irritable. It could be something more tender—like worry or sadness that is harder for a man to own up to. In addition, it is important to realize that when a woman wants to talk about a problem, she doesn’t always want a man to fix it--she may just want you to listen or tell what is on your mind.
In this presentation, the panel chair will give a brief overview of the passions that fathers bring to raising a child on the spectrum and of some essential male-female differences as well as systemic obstacles that fathers experience. Panelists will be asked to share pivotal experiences as a father, self-advocate, or service provider relating to the overall purpose of developing relationships with fathers and male role models. Each panelist will share a few photos of family life via a power point presentation. Participants will be invited to react to what they have heard, share experiences, and make suggestions to help develop the voices of fathers in the autism community. Panel chair will summarize and conclude the session.
Most of the panelists also presented this material in the 2010 Autism Society Convention. If this proposal is accepted 3 additional panelists will be added to those already mentioned.
Learning objectives are as follows:
Bringing together the expertise and experiences of fathers, self advocates, and service providers, attendees will learn about the special contributions and needs of fathers and bring home ideas as well as effective strategies to increase the involvement of fathers and male role models in homes, communities, schools, and ASA chapters.
Content Area: Life with Autism
Robert A. Naseef, Ph.D.
Stephen M. Shore, Ed.D.
Professor at Adelphi University
Self-Advocate, Founder of Wrong Planet
Special Needs Planning Center of Dallas
Ven Sequenzia Jr.
President, Autism Society of Florida
Autism Society of Florida
Diane Adreon, Ed.D.
UM-NSU Center for Autism & Related Disabilities