To Mike Boll: Super Dad
Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for being the most patient, loving, and loyal father one can be.
In the time since we started our Autism journey, you have:
- Dropped your career to work one-on-one with our son.
- Started an autism podcast (www.autismpodcast.org) which has opened up a new world for us in the autism community.
- Given up speaking engagements and professional conferences because you knew it wouldn’t be a good time to leave Braden at home with just one parent.
- Talked to countless professionals for advice.
- Advocated for Braden with his teachers, with doctors, with rude flight attendants, in other cities, in other countries…everywhere.
At the heart of every decision you make, you think about your family.
I remember when we first got to Colorado after leaving our lives behind in Indonesia. I was so stressed. Taking care of Braden was just so hard. You’d come home from work and I had have bruises covering my legs from Braden’s biting. “Take a break,” you’d say. “I’ve got him.”
And then I went to back to work putting my new Special Education Masters into action. Which means that you gave up working…you took care of Braden. And I have to be honest. You were much better at it than I ever was! You worked closely with Nicole, our speech therapist to create a home program. You filmed his sessions, asked for feedback, improved your technique, and because of you, Braden made progress.
Your autism podcast opened up a door to us to the autism community. We were able to glean so much information and knowledge from your many interviews. I’m so glad you’re starting it back up again as there is so much more awareness and so much more to learn.
I love watching you with Braden. But mostly, I love watching Braden with you. Every single time he looks at you, he gets the biggest smile on his face. You two have an unbreakable bond.
350 words dedicated to how incredible you are as a father to Braden doesn’t even begin to do it justice. And if I were to add in your parenting of Madi, well, it would take up many more pages. So I will stop here.
To those who have been with us anywhere along our journey, I know you’ve seen this dedication Mike has to his family…his absolute adoration of his kids. Thank you for joining me in thanking him.
On this Father’s Day, I would like to recognize all the dads out there who are raising children on the spectrum. I know a heck of a lot of you, and from what I see, you are dedicated, loving, and have that extra fire in your belly to make things happen for your son or daughter.
On this Father’s Day, if you know a dad of a child on the spectrum, give them a hug..and then… give them one more…they just may need it.