Tag Archives: daddy blogger

Celebrating Autism: Waiting in Line

Happy New Year everyone…let’s get to work

I’m sitting here watching some NCAA football, the fire is on, the dog is asleep at my feet, nice glass of vino within arms distance…perfect scenario to blog!

I was going through the family computer and cleaning out files and documents that we don’t need.  My wife has a “William” folder with all sorts of documentation and notes and all that fun stuff.

In the file are notes from our 18-month legal battle with our insurance company, notes about what William was doing at certain ages, much of the stuff she used to write our book “Look At My Eyes”

I opened one document that described William at 2 years and 7 months of age–just before he was officially diagnosed with autism and our lives continued to change.

One entry said “has serious issues with patience.  Won’t stand in line, refuses to wait–flips out if he can’t have it now!”

So today as my wife was sick in bed with flu-like symptoms and the kids were getting cabin fever, I took them to the Children’s Museum (a HUGE staple in our weekend routine all year ’round)

They have amazing exhibits and the kids love to go there.  As with many families on the spectrum, we have our routine.  We get our tickets, we go to the gift shop, we say “hello” to Ms. Lisa, we take off our shoes and go down the Dyno-slide, then we go and do other things…but it always happens like that.

As William and his sister were going up-and-down on the slide I realized that William was very patiently waiting in line for his turn.

Kinda made me chuckle.

Another exhibit they love is some spinning mechanism–I don’t know what it is, you step on it, hold on and it spins you and you get all dizzy–kids love that stuff you know.

As usual, there was a line.  Immediately William said (in his broken-but getting better-communication skills)…”not your turn, wait in line…not your turn, wait in line…not your turn, wait in line”

And that’s what he did.  Over and over and over, he waited in line, was patient and  calm, took his turn, flapped a bit, got back in line

“Wait in line…it’s not your turn.”

So ironic that I found the report of almost 4+ years ago where my son was not willing or able to stand in line, be patient, wait for it…and here we are…not saying he’s destined for greatness–but HAVE HOPE PEOPLE…every year that passes we notice successes (sometimes big, sometimes small) and hurdles that he clears.

Way to go my son!  I am proud of you for learning to stand in line, wait your turn, be patient…

now you just need to teach your old man that patience thing…Happy New Years

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

Making Sense of Scratching, Clawing and Biting

It’s December 27th…probably the worst possible day to write a blog and expect that someone will read it…much less respond to it.  But who cares…I have time to write and I just had a good conversation with a buddy of mine who is also a daddy with a son with autism and so it motivated me to write a blog.  So…to the tens of people out there today on December 27th who are blogging or searching…this is for you!

My friend and I talked about how at times our sons (his 5 and mine 7-years-old) can have immediate fits where they scratch and bite and claw and do all that fun stuff that comes with autism.

I don’t know why his does it, but I think my wife and I have somewhat made sense of William’s fits…and it all is about communication.  UGH!

Lately we’ve noticed that he’ll claw/bite/scratch/pinch whatever when he just can’t communicate his needs and wants.  Yeah, yeah, yeah this sounds pretty simple but as he gets older, it’s more and more complex.

William recently reverted back to scratching/clawing/biting not just when he doesn’t get his way, but when he can’t express what he wants and he is embarrassed.

Yep…he’s embarrassed that he can’t explain what he wants.

Wow…it hit me like a ton of bricks when we finally realized this.  It wasn’t that he didn’t get a toy or treat, it’s when he knows that he did something that he shouldn’t have done or that he did something that brings him negative attention.

The mind of the autistic child is so fascinating.  I wish I could just plug into my son’s brain and see how he sees–someone will develop that and will become a Gillionaire!

Yes he still gets upset when he gets in trouble or doesn’t get his way, but the older my son gets the more i see that his frustration is not only in his lack of communication, but that he understands that he’s not “typical” and that he sees how at times it brings him attention that isn’t the right kind of attention.

Anyone else have similar experiences? Thoughts?  Words of advice or in addition to?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

Autism & Presents Don’t Always Mix

Don’t you just hate it when people ask you, “so what do you want for birthday or Christmas?” and you have absolutely no idea what to tell them?

Huh? That’s never happened to you?  That’s a foreign concept to you because you always have an itemized Wish List ready for birthdays and holidays?

I would imagine that many of us have a Wish List or could put one together at a moment’s notice.

I know my 4-year-old daughter has one…that’s for sure.  She wants matching doll and girl clothes, some toy horse, a harmonica, some running shoes…and just about anything else she can think of.  My wife has absolutely no difficulty when relatives or friends inquire about gift ideas for Margaret.

Our son, William, is another story.  William just turned seven in November and here comes Christmas…and he has autism.

It really stresses my wife out during this season when people ask, “what can we get William for a present?”

Why is that so hard?

Because William pretty much doesn’t like presents.  How crazy is that to say about a 7-year-old boy?  But it’s true.  He has his favorites…mini-trampoline (we’ve discussed that previously), he got a po-go stick recently and seems to enjoy that, he loves to climb on the monkey bars (you should see how torn up his hands are), and that’s pretty much it.

We have a closet full of cars, Legos, puzzles, games, animals…all that he will take a look at and maybe will tap-tap-tap on from time-to-time…but he just doesn’t get into presents!

And that’s OKAY.  Parents out there who are in this situation…it’s okay.  Celebrate the items your child likes to play with.  Celebrate if they like odd and strange things more than they like cars and video games.  Celebrate when your child actually finds an object to carry around (William used to carry this car around, didn’t really play with it but just carried it around and pushed the noise button…drove me CRAZY!)  

No…it’s not typical and parents, grandparents, relatives won’t understand.  But who cares.  It’s not about them, it’s not about YOU, it’s about your child.  If your child is happy playing with a paper towel tube, then let them play with a paper towel tube.

We have started getting board games and memory games and things that William likes (enough) but that we can do as a family.  He’ll play for a little while then lose interest and go back to the mini-trampoline…and that’s okay.

So don’t stress…when someone asks, “What can I get your child with autism for a present?” don’t worry about it.  If they need clothes, get them clothes, if they need basic items, have them get the basic items.

Most of all, make sure your child is happy, knows they’re loved, and knows that they are special.


To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com

The Church and Autism

This is blog post #2 in my series: “The _______ and Autism”

First was “The Government and Autism” and I have thoughts of writing about Public Schools, Insurance Companies, the Private Sector…if you have any ideas or topics you want me to spew about…just let me know.  Always looking for good topics where I can pretend I’m an “expert.” 🙂

Remember…my thoughts, my opinions, my blog…goal is to share, provoke, start discussion…enjoy.

The church my family attends is literally a God-send.  For those of you who don’t attend a church or don’t have a church family…get one.  Of course variety of reasons but when it comes to having a special needs child, you need a group that will support you…and for us, our church is such a group.

I’ve heard horror stories of people being asked to leave a church service or the church entirely because they have a child on the spectrum…and that makes me sick.

For us, informing our church about our son, who has autism, was such a blessing and relief.  It wasn’t always like that.  We tried to “hide” our son thinking it was a learning delay or just the way 2-year-old children act…but when we finally let people know, many people came and walked alongside us and supported us and for that we are eternally grateful.

As a whole…from what I’ve seen/experienced/heard…the church is failing the autism community.

Hard pill to swallow isn’t it?  Again…the church is FAILING the autism community.

Now I know there are programs and churches out there that have a “Special Needs Ministry”…not sure how I feel about that…why does a group that is already stigmatized need to be further stigmatized and segregated from typical members in the church?  But I do applaud those churches out there that at least attempt to meet those special needs members where they are.

I realized my frustration when we started promoting our book, “Look At My Eyes.”  My wife and I are open and vocal about our faith in Christ and how our faith and dependence on Him through the early stages of learning about our son’s diagnosis allowed us to deal with it as best we could.  We discuss what our relationship with Christ means to us in our lives, our marriage and our raising our children…and it’s all in the book.

I was surprised to receive such a “mehhh” response from churches across the DFW-Metroplex when we approached them about having us visit and speak and sell books.  I researched all the large churches and wrote them letters (not emails!) and sent them books.

Our goal has never been to make money off the book.  We’re so in the hole it’s not even funny–and that’s okay because we wrote the book to bless others going through similar situations.  We wrote the book to help as many people as possible…not make a buck.

So here we are…giving churches our book, telling them we’d love to come and speak FOR FREE, to help minister as much as possible to families, to help train Sunday School teachers, nursery workers, administrators, members…anyone in the church who might need or just want to know how to help the autism community in their congregation.

Do you know how many churches took us up on that?  Two.  I probably sent out 20 books.  Two.  And one of those was our church.  The other bought 4 books and  that was about it.

Bitter?  Heck yeah I’m bitter!  The autism community is not being served or paid attention by the church and that’s a shame.

When our son was younger and we’d visit a friend’s or family’s church we were horrified to take William to the nursery.  He didn’t have the ability to sit with us in the church service, but it was such an ordeal trying to explain to these nursery workers how to handle him if he has an episode or whatever.

Finally we just stopped going to churches where we didn’t know the nursery staff.

And that’s a shame.

The church needs to do a better job at educating their ministers, teachers, workers how to handle the simplest of situations.  The church needs to offer training and support to parents of families with special needs children.

The church needs to encourage “typical” members to engage with those other members who might be a bit different.

What if a young family moved to a new town and had a child on the spectrum and was looking for a church family to call home…so they start looking around and one Sunday they try one and when they drop off their child for Sunday School or Children’s Church they either have to explain how to handle their child or are so embarrassed they just get up and leave?

That’s not what the church is all about.  That’s not making all comers feel safe and secure.

Shame on you church for not doing everything possible to make people feel at home.  Shame on you church for not taking the time to teach your child workers the basics of how to relate and handle a child with autism.  Shame on you church for not taking advantage of free resources to teach your congregation how to love and cherish those on the spectrum.

Melanie and I don’t have all the answers.  We are definitely not experts on all things autism.  BUT I think we have something to say and I think it could help those dealing with life with a child on the spectrum.

We’d love to share our story, our book, our ideas and mostly our faith with your church.  Together we can discuss how to make the church a safe and attractive place for families thirsty to hear the good new of Jesus Christ and to know their autistic child will be loved.

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book inSPANISH as well…buy it now!

Celebrating Autism Mischief

No, no, no…we don’t condone mischief…BUT…I  had to share these stories.

Those of you who know our story understand our major struggles when our son was ages 3 – 5 and having potty issues.  Needless to say it was not fun, pretty or anything that I would ever wish upon any parent.

Thankfully in the past year and-a-half, our son has made tremendous strides when it comes to using the potty, staying dry during the night and all that fun stuff.  Talk about a MAJOR sigh of relief.  I think we probably set a world record for washing sheets, cleaning poop off the walls and carpet.

HOWEVER…last week our, now almost 7-year-old son, wet the bed.  We certainly weren’t thrilled about this and he knows there are consequences to his behaviors when he understands what he’s doing (and believe me, he understood what he was doing), but this time it actually gave us hope and made us smile.

Typically our children will wake up between 6 – 6:30 AM and will come down and get in bed with me and my wife.  We will lay there for 10-15 minutes and talk, tell stories and get ready for the day to begin…it’s a lot of fun.

On this particular day I noticed that my son’s shirt was on backwards.  Hmmmmm…I didn’t remember putting it on backwards but I didn’t think too much of it.  Until I went upstairs and noticed that he had wet the bed.

When my wife asked him if he had wet the bed, he told us, “NO!”

“William…did you wet the bed?”


“William did you wet the bed?”


“William did you wet the bed?”


What was so great was that he knew he wet the bed, but when he woke up with a wet bed, instead of running down and getting in bed with us with soaking clothes…he first took off his wet clothes…STUFFED THEM IN A DRAWER…and proceeded to put on dry clothes–thinking we wouldn’t notice.

What are we celebrating here?  What’s the point of this blog?


He knew he did something he wasn’t supposed to and, just like any “typical” 7-year-old, he tried to be sneaky and cover it up.  He specifically put on dry clothes and hid the wet ones because he thought we wouldn’t find out.

I wasn’t happy about a wet bed…but that he was doing age appropriate activities…and that is a HUGE step for him!

We’ve noticed that he has been more sneaky in recent months as well.  He will think we are not looking and will try to climb a fence…and he’ll look back and keep making sure we’re not looking…then when he sees that we ARE looking, he’ll smile and pretend that he’s not doing any mischief.

He has started to tease us or his sister–not in a mean way but a playful way.

Those are major steps–he is learning social skills and playful ways of being a 7-year-old.

Of course we don’t want him to lie, cheat, steal or do anything harmful to himself or others…but being mischievous is part of being a kid.

We rejoice in those brief moments of “typical-ness” and yearn for more…maybe not more wet sheets, but we’ll take whatever we can get!

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book inSPANISH as well…buy it now!

The benefits of Secondary Therapies & Autism

Yesterday I was fortunate to speak to a college class about communication and networking and business.  I love speaking in front of groups, so it was a lot of fun.  Thanks Professor A’isha Malone and Tarrant County College for letting me go on and on and on…

Of course the topic of autism, “Look At My Eyes” and my son who has autism came up.  I got about as many questions regarding that topic as I did communication and networking and business.

One lady came up to me and started asking about various therapies and treatments for autism.  My wife and I like to call them “secondary therapies.”

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA Therapy) is the only scientifically proven therapy (not a cure) to help with children on the spectrum, but there are a number of secondary outlets or therapies that really help children on the spectrum.

There is horse therapy, music therapy, art therapy, various exercises, sports, and probably many that I am not even thinking about.  These are great IN ADDITION to your traditional speech therapy, ABA therapy, occupational therapy and the likes.

I would highly encourage all parents of children with autism to look into a secondary therapy for their child.  They are not going to “cure” your child.  They are an outlet for your child to gain self-confidence, self-control, respect for authority, independence…just a wonderful opportunity to express themselves.

Not all secondary therapies are right for all children.  Just like the children themselves, every one is different.

We started our son (now almost 7 years old) in horse therapy.  We bought him boots and found a place that would teach him and let him ride.  It lasted about 3-6 months and then we stopped.  William liked it but he didn’t LOVE it.  He was pretty indifferent much of the time so we decided to find something else.

We found Kung-Fu.  He LOVES Kung-Fu.  He has a wonderful teacher who has worked with special needs children in the past, is very patient and kind but yet a stern authority figure.

William knows that if he does not pay attention or focus the lesson will be over.  At times the lessons have lasted 5 minutes.  Other times they can go on for 30 minutes.

The progress he has made is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!  He has improved on his focus, concentration, ability to pay attention as well as his memorization of techniques and drills, jumping, rolling, kicking.

So I encourage you to find a secondary therapy opportunity that will help your child.  We are thrilled with our secondary therapy and who knows…maybe our son will become the first autistic Bruce Lee…that would be cool.

What secondary therapies do you find helpful?  Feel free to share

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

Does Autism Hurt?

It’s almost as if my son doesn’t feel pain.  He doesn’t cry much if he falls down or the dog bites him or he skins his elbow.

Last year we were at a function for his school and there were bounce houses and all that fun stuff.  William L-O-V-E-S bounce houses and so he was off and jumping when he saw those.  A few hours later one of his therapists asked if he had hurt his foot.

“Why?” We asked…

Well apparently he was limping around.  So we got closer to him and he HAD A SAFETY PIN STUCK IN THE BOTTOM OF HIS FOOT!

Uhh yeah, that’s right…a safety pin!  He was just going along, not crying, still bouncing…YIKES!

William also loves the monkey bars.  He is amazing at them…it’s so cool to see how he’s progressed…first I had to hold him, then he would only do a few bars, now he goes back-and-forth, back-and-forth.

Last night I noticed he was looking at his hand…I went to him, asked if he were in pain and he said “Yes” and I looked at his hand.  It had two huge  blisters and was pretty raw…he didn’t cry, didn’t tell us and more importantly–he was continuing on the monkey bars.

So it got me thinking…does having autism hurt?  I know there are sensory issues with children so that pain doesn’t register with them like a “typical” child…but it’s pretty amazing.

It got me thinking about what other Super Human feats of strength those on the spectrum might have that us mere mortals don’t.  I know he can jump on the mini-trampoline longer than any other 6-year-old in the history of the world!

We have friends whose children will cry at the drop of a hat…William will fall down, say “uh-oh…it’s a boo-boo” and then keep on going.

Does anyone else have this experience?

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

Government and Autism

So I’m sitting here listening to the first presidential debat between Romney and Obama and  all I can think about is  “These two men with their different views and philosophies don’t care in the least bit about my son and the lives of special needs children and their families!”

Let me first say….these are my views.  These are my thoughts and opinions and I’m not trying to be political or whatever s0…my blog, my thoughts, my opinions…but I would like to hear you thoughts as well.

I’d like to think that I am fairly up-to-date when it comes to politics.  I support local and state politicians on both sides of the isle.  When it comes to some issues I have stronger leanings to one side or another…but when it comes to my son, the autism community and their best interests…makes no difference Red or Blue as long as they are DOING SOMETHING!

And herein lies the problem.

At the end of the day…very little if anything is being done to help the 1 in 88 children born today on the autism spectrum by the government.

Yeah, yeah…they say they have programs and this healthcare plan is really going to help and Medicaid will be there for the children if they qualify and blaaa blaaa blaa.

Do you realize that autism is one of the least funded disabilities out there?  I’m not saying we don’t continue to research and attempt to find cures for cancer, AIDS, diabetes, Downs, CP and so many other issues that afflict our children….but 1 in 88 children?  I didn’t stay in a Holiday Inn last night and I’m no scientist, but I have to think that there isn’t another ailment out there that affects 1 in 88 children born in each and every day that gets so little funding.

And so what do we do about this?  I’m not talking about throwing money at a cure for autism…my child has autism now, he needs education, training, assistance and will need a J-O-B in the next 10-15 years.

What’s the government doing about that?  What about the education system?  What about Obamacare and Medicaid?  What about the long term affect that 1 in 88 (and rapidly increasing) will have on our society?  Our productivity as a nation?  Our tax burden?

We don’t need another debate.  We don’t need another Congress locked in stalemate over the Pork they are trying to sneak into each and every bill presented so that various members of Congress can go to their constituency and tell them what a great job they are doing for their people…while siphoning money from others.

It’s a helpless feeling as a father, a tax payer, an active member of my community in local government commissions and committees…to see the need, the real need of so many children…and to see they are getting very little attention, training, education, help.

Another debate?  Another 4 years of whatever…please make it stop!

So what are the solutions?

We’ve got to get active.  Parents out there with children with autism…you have to get off your duff and get involved in local and state government.  The Internet is a powerful tool…use it for more than status updates and funny photos.

Find your representatives…find their emails, phone numbers, mailing addresses.


Tell them about your situation.  NO, they’re not going to read it. Are you kidding…but someone might and if you write a letter a week…52 letters might at least make someone in their office go…”hmm, maybe we should pay attention.”

I doubt it but if everyone started writing a letter a week…now that would be something.

Tell your representatives your displeasure (or satisfaction) with the services your child is getting.  Maybe your state has a great educational programing and training for children on the spectrum…maybe there are things you’re happy about.

I know my state representative, Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) and I know how she is trying to pay attention to the needs of the autism community.  She has been active and engaging and I can’t tell you how appreciative we are as a family that she has taken the time to listen to our story, to pay attention to us, to ask us how she can help.

Can she do it on her own?  Of course not.  She is one of many in the Texas Legislature.  But it only takes a spark.

I’m not holding my breath that much will be done.  In the end, once again it comes  down to party lines and all that fun stuff…and the losers are the children we’re trying to help.

But parents…get active.  Get involved.  Learn your city council members, know the school board, learn about the programs in your city for special needs children.  Learn what the school system in your city provides.

Unfortunately there is never going to be enough money.  There are never going to be enough teachers.  1 in 88 might be diagnosed but I guarantee you that 1 in 88 ARE NOT getting the attention they so desperately need.

Tell your elected official what you want…no they can’t do everything, but it’s better than not saying anything isn’t it?  Talk about vouchers…ohhhhh that icky word to many on one side of the isle.


Think that bothers me?  Darn right it bothers me.  The public school system in our city isn’t going to meet his needs.  There could be schools but why am I paying a portion of my annual property taxes (unfortunately no state income tax in Texas)…to go to the public school system…for which I get ABSOLUTELY ZERO BENEFIT!

Wouldn’t you like to see a voucher (call it whatever you want) program in place that will allow you to send your child to a learning environment that is going to directly meet their needs?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a school or center that actually taught children on the spectrum to use their skills?  I don’t know if my son will attend college or not…and that’s okay.  If he is going to be something and have a job, I want him to do it to the best of his ability and to the glory of God.  BUT he has to learn that skill…where’s he going to learn it?

The government is not the only answer.  We don’t need bigger and bigger government.  We DO NEED legitimate programs that are sponsored by government funds to establish avenues for our children to learn, grow and become contributing members (tax paying) of society.

IF NOT…do we want to go there???

It only takes a spark…

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

Genetic Testing for Autism…what do you think?

Recently an individual sent me a Facebook message about my opinion regarding genetic testing and autism in expecting mothers.

Wow…is that a hot topic or what?  Let’s discuss…

First of all, my opinions are my own.  They are not to judge you and your opinions and they are not to say they are the ONLY or RIGHT opinions.  They are the RIGHT opinions for me and my family and my child who has autism.

If I could go back 6-years ago before William was born and have him tested for autism…would my wife and I have done that?


We had the opportunity to have him tested for other disabilities–that seems pretty common these days–and we elected to skip those tests as well.

I can’t imagine my life without my son.  Sure it’s not the way I imagined it before he was born, sure there have been many frustrations and expectations that have had to change…but there’s not a minute that I would change (well okay, maybe a few minutes when he used to poop and spread it all over the place…can I erase those memories from my mind?)

To have someone say, “your child is going to be born with autism” would be amazingly sad and depressing.  Now some people might say, “well if you are told beforehand about the condition of your child then you will have time to digest it and cope with it.”

To that I say…”that’s a bunch of BULL CORN if you ask me”

Why do people want genetic testing for unborn babies to know if they’re going to be “different”…let’s be honest here people, they want to do it so they can then decide to keep the child or not.  Plain and simple.

William is a precious child of God.  He is a gift to my wife and me and an integral part of our family structure.  He has autism.  He has language delays, he has fine motor skill delays, he seems fairly smart but I’m sure he has some cognitive delays as well.  I don’t know if he’ll live on his own, hold down a job, go to a four-year college or university, go on a date, kiss a girl, have children, dance with his daughter on her wedding day…give the eulogy at my funeral.  I do not know.

I know his testing, therapy, medicines, treatments, research, schooling…has cost us a lot of money.  I know that I would rather have spent that on “fun stuff” like trips or goodies…or just as savings to build up our nest egg.


It’s about loving this precious child that we have been blessed with.  It’s about honoring God and serving him to the best of our abilities.  It’s about using our God-given abilities and talents and combining them with our passion to help our son and to help our community understand more and more about autism and other Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

I know, I know, I know…those in favor of this will say, “it helps diagnose a child on the spectrum so early…”

And yes it might…and then what?  Until the age of 3 what can you really do for a child on the spectrum?  I’m sure there’s something but from what I’ve seen/heard/learned/been told…age 3 is really when they can get a proper diagnosis and the child is “capable” of benefiting from scientifically-based and scientifically-proven therapies such as Applied Behavioral Analysis.

Still…it comes down to this…WHAT’S THE POINT?

Is the point of life about you and your happiness?  Is the point about using your gifts, talents, strengths and abilities to make the world a better place?  Is the point about putting your selfish desires and ambitions aside to serve those who can’t help themselves?

Remember…your child didn’t ask to have autism.

I can pretty much guarantee you that 100% of those on the spectrum would ask NOT to have it again if they could make that decision.

But to not be born at all?

Maybe I’m wrong here.  Please tell me that I am.  Maybe these genetic tests are really going to be used as a positive test and tool to come up with a “cure” for autism or to  help diagnose children….but I just can’t believe that.

We have seen too many “good” things in this world be used for evil even if that’s not the intended purpose.

Where will it end?  Already 90% of children that have been tested in the womb to have Downs Syndrome are aborted.  What would happen if all of a sudden the autism gene is detected?  When does it stop?  Not the right hair color?  Not going to be tall enough?  Smart enough?  Right handed?  Left handed?

You know it’s just a matter of time before those genetic tests are released to the public…and so what happens then?

You can believe in a higher power.  You can not believe in a higher power.  You have your thoughts on issues…fine.

But this is your child we’re talking about.  This isn’t life-or-death.  This isn’t danger to the mom or baby or whatever.  This is “ehhh…I’d rather not be inconvenienced with the idea of having a less than perfect child”

Tell me I’m wrong.  Tell me I’m crazy.  Tell me this isn’t what it’s all about.  Because if it is…I want no part of it.

Oh…and buy our book 🙂 and in Spanish too 🙂

To read more blogs from Seth and TheFowler4Group, check out their Website (www.lookatmyeyes.com) and while you’re there, buy a copy of their book, “Look At My Eyes”.  Or find them on YouTube.  To contact TheFowler4 Group email: info@thefowler4group.com…oh and they just released their book in SPANISH as well…buy it now!

Rocks and Rice…Fathers and Sons and Autism

Rocks and Rice…huh?

What’s that got to do with autism?  Please explain.

Okay I will.

Last month I was visiting with a friend of mine who is also a father with a son with autism.  We’ve developed a good friendship over the past few years–my son is now 6-years-old and his son is a little younger–and we like to bounce ideas, stories and other things off one another.


I have a weekly group I meet with–but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about getting to know another father who has a child on the spectrum.  You need to have a go-to person (not a spouse or family member) preferable another male that knows EXACTLY what you’re talking about.

It’s one thing to have a buddy listen to you and say, “gee, that sucks.”  BUT it’s another thing to have a buddy say “man, I know EXACTLY what you’re talking about…my kid did the exact same thing”

Trust me…do it, do it….DO IT

So my friend was telling me a story about his son (and it’s okay bc he said I could share)

His son loves to pick up rocks and put them in a kiddie pool in their back yard.  Over and over and over again this boy will pick ’em up…put ’em in…pick ’em up and put ’em in

I’m assuming that parents return rocks to yard when child isn’t paying attention.

My friend’s son is also big into texture and so they decided to fill their kiddie pool with a 100 lb bag of rice because his son loved the feel of the rice.

Like my friend…I love sports.  I love to throw the ball and Frisbee and be active.  I loved shooting hoops as a kid and do all that fun stuff.  My dad had two left feet.  Not only was he NOT into sports but he had these “coke bottle” glasses and so wasn’t comfortable with balls flying in the air.  I learned at an early age that if I were going to have someone tossing me the ball…it wasn’t going to be my dad.

Growing up I always thought about how much fun it would be to have “a catch” with my son.  You know…stay out until dusk tossing the football or baseball when it gets just dark enough that you’re not sure if you can see the ball–and then getting clunked in the head from time-to-time…fun stuff like that.

So to my friend.  Even though we understand that our sons might not be super athletes, we still think about tossing the ball or kicking the ball in the yard.  His son isn’t into it…and neither is mine.

And that’s okay…we’re not so hung up on ourselves that we can’t find joy in doing other things with our children.

But my friend was perturbed because he didn’t feel as if he was bonding with his son just by picking up rocks or sitting in a kiddie pool of rice.


He’s doing just what he’s supposed to be doing.  No, he’s not tossing the ball or shooting hoops…but he’s doing what he needs to be doing…and that’s spending time with his son.

At times fathers (and mothers I’m sure) feel they’re not doing anything constructive with their children on the spectrum.  I know I feel as if I’m not making a connection or bonding with my son fairly often.

But then I got to thinking about it…IT’S ALL ABOUT ROCKS AND RICE!

It might not seem like a big deal to us fathers…but to our children it MIGHT be a huge deal.  We’re spending time with our children.  It doesn’t have to be the most fun we’ve ever had–but get out there and spend time with your child…you are making a connection.

I started thinking about my relationship with my son…”what are my rocks and rice?”

Then I thought about bath time and the little games I play with my son.  He loved to tap, tap, tap (yes, drives me CRAZY!) on the water bucket when I’m pouring water in the tub.  I know he loves it, he knows it drives me nuts, we’re a very knowledgeable family.

So the little game we play is for me to try and swipe his hand away before he can tap on the water bucket.  Then it becomes fun because he tries to get faster and faster and maybe distract me.  All he wants to do it tap, tap, tap that water bucket.

We have other little things…yeah they might not seem important…BUT THEY ARE.

So fathers (and mothers) just remember…it’s not about what you’re doing with your child on the spectrum, it’s not about YOU and your needs…it’s about Rocks and Rice.

What are your Rocks and Rice?  Share them if you please…