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Happy Father's Day Joe!

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Being a Autism parent is really, really hard. I mean it’s completely and totally exhausting, physically and emotionally. And just when you think there’s not another thing you can handle, a new challenge pops up and you handle it.

It takes just about everything I have to be a mom. Staying knowledgeable about early childhood development, all the paperwork, and appointments can be daunting. Plus there's always a puddle of laundry and long list of chores and activities to accomplish daily.

You know who else works just as hard as me? My husband. After he gets home from work, considering what a crazy day I probably had (because I always have them) he comes to my rescue. Regardless of how crappy his day might have been, he walks in with smiles and hugs for both of us, and energy to keep my son entertained and help me with chores. The first thing he says to me everyday when he gets home is "Hi honey, what can I do to help?" Basically what I’m saying is, my husband is the greatest Dad!

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This man has so much patience for the craziness of our life. He’s ready to change gears at a moments notice and does so effortlessly. And he’s incredible with our son. I mean, he’s super imaginative and creative when it comes to my son’s needs. During times when my son just can’t seem to grasp a new concept, my husband brilliantly makes up a game and then Simon gets it! He’s so intuitive too. I swear it’s like he can almost see where certain links are missing and he has a pocket full of the matching pieces at the ready.

He’s also incredible loving and accepting. It’s heartbreaking to think there might be something not quite right with your first and only baby. Reading about signs of developmental disabilities is so frightening for first time parents. But he just took it all in stride. He loved this baby from the moment we found out he existed. Through every doctor visit, diagnosis, challenge, and new program, my husband just sees our cute little boy and loves everything about him.

And he always puts us first. Little things like staying up all night playing Simon’s video game to beat all the bosses again because Simon accidentally deleted his save game. And big things like taking time off work, knowing there will be repercussions, because after I took care of Simon for three straight days with a stomach bug, I got sick and couldn’t even get out of bed.

And not to make anyone jealous or anything, but he goes grocery shopping (sometimes multiple times in a day because I always forget things), does the dishes, vacuums, and can do anything I can do when it comes to Simon. I mean, really, it’s ridiculous.

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When we’re hysterically laughing and jumping around the room together or if we’re silently communicating during a meltdown to make sure we have everything we need, this is the only man I would ever want by my side.

Joe, you are the greatest Dad and we are both so very lucky to be your family.

Happy Father’s Day <3

Rielly is a part-time writer and full-time mama to an adorable autistic toddler. Her favorite hobbies include naptime, drinking coffee, and trips to Target. Follow her online @riellygrey.

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