By Julie Coulter
I recently watched a public television documentary about the life of President Harry Truman. What struck me the most was his persistence. As a teenager, he had to work to help support his mother and sister after his father’s economic failures. In his twenties, he failed as an investor in a mine and an oil well, and then returned home to toil for years on his father’s farm. In spite of setback after setback, he kept working and studying on his own, because college was out of the question. Harry waited for years for Bess, his childhood sweetheart, to accept him as a suitor and then to finally marry him. All his life, Harry Truman kept searching for solutions, kept trying and kept hoping. These were the secrets to success that enabled Harry Truman to become President of the United States.
As the mother of a son who has Asperger Syndrome, I really appreciate seeing that same persistence in fathers of children who struggle daily to overcome the challenges of living with Autism Spectrum Disorders and similar conditions. I admire those fathers who also keep searching, trying, and hoping. Mothers appreciate the fathers who work hard to understand their children’s special needs and keep looking for ways to help their children learn. Many times, these fathers have to learn new ways to relate to their children who, in turn, show their fathers new ways to see the world. Like Harry Truman, these fathers may see their efforts fail, and they have to pick themselves up and try a new approach.
These fathers understand that working today to help their children may not bring results today. But they keep trying to help their children learn new skills which will result in growth months and years down the road.
To all persistent and hopeful fathers, thank you, and Happy Father’s Day!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Julie Coulter and her husband, Dan, produce videos that support people with Asperger Syndrome and autism. You can find more articles on their website at: coultervideo.com.
Copyright 2008 Julie Coulter Used by Permission. All Rights Reserved.