On Sunday it is Fathers Day. A day which will be celebrated by some, mourned by others, a day of mixed emotions for more. As the Additional Needs Blogfather, Dads of children and young people with additional needs and disabilities have always been close to my heart, whether they are in the family home, apart but connected, or distanced.
Over the years I’ve created content that, while hopefully helpful and interesting to anyone who is involved with children and young people with additional needs, has been specifically crafted with Dads in mind. In preperation for Fathers Day this year, I’ve brought it all together into one place… videos, articles, links, everything;
The Dads Collection.
Dad.info video: Intro to Additional Needs Parenting (3:33)
What is it like to be a parent of a child with additional needs? Especially being a Dad?
Dad.info video: Additional Needs Parenting – Autism (3:39)
What is Autism? And how as a Dad of an Autistic child can we help?
Dad.info video: Additional Needs Parenting – FAQ’s (10:43)
What are the questions that Dad’s of children with additional/special needs have?
Dad.info video: Back to School (4:00)
How do we prepare our children for the return to school at the end of a long holiday?
Dad.info video: Making The Most Of School Holidays (4:15)
How do we make sure every second counts and build strong positive memories for our children when we are on holiday with them?
Take 5 And Chat video: FAQ’s from Dads (part 1) (15.48)
Answering three questions from Dads of children with additional needs for ‘Take 5 and Chat’:
1. “Where do we fit in… as guys, as Dads… what is our role?”
2. “What about our other kids… how do we meet their needs for some time with Dad?”
3. “And how does this work within the wider context of the whole family, getting it right for everyone?”
Take 5 And Chat video: FAQ’s fro Dads (part 2) (15.57)
Answering three more questions from Dads of children with additional needs for ‘Take 5 and Chat’:
4. “How do we get the balance right with care and boundary setting for a child who tries to ‘rule the roost’?”
5. “How about the importance of doing normal family ‘stuff’ and not being focussed only on one child’s needs?”
6. “How do we learn to compliment and support our partners, not compete with them?”
Three Things Dads Of Special Needs Children Need To Know
Dads of children with special needs; I’ve met loads of them in the work that I do, nowhere near as many as the Mums that I’ve met, but whenever I’ve met special needs Dads, whether in a group or on their own, if I talk with them for long enough at least one of these three themes will emerge.
Where Are All The Dads Of Children With Special Needs
One thing I’ve noticed over the years is that the parents I meet are almost always Mum’s, not Dad’s. There are exceptions, of course, but it’s fair to say that the overwhelming percentage of parents that I see are female. So where are all the Dad’s?
Are Additional Needs Families More Likely To Break Apart?
Additional or special needs parenting is tough, with so much more to cope with than many other families have to deal with. The stresses and strains of parenting a child with additional needs are 24/7 all year every year and added to the anxiety and even guilt that many parents will experience it can all add up. But does this make it more likely that families where there is a child with additional/special needs or disabilities will fall apart under the pressure?
Links to further info and support:
Dad.info is Europe’s largest advice and support website for fathers. It was established in 2008 as a new generation men’s lifestyle channel and the leading voice for Dads. At Dad.info we want to celebrate the changing role of Dads with engaging, helpful, practical, entertaining resources and content for every stage of their journey. It is home to the largest connected community of active, involved Dads through its interactive forum, providing great peer to peer support and advice for what can be one of the most challenging and rewarding life experiences.
Take 5 And Chat (http://www.take5andchat.org.uk)
When you have a child who needs a little extra care, or presents more of a challenge, you can easily feel isolated and different. Many other parents can’t understand the anxieties and concerns that you live with. This web site is a place where you can find out more about our Café Drop-in model, read articles from other parents, see a little about the parent-led courses we run and, if you wish, get in touch with us. (Includes Dads Take 5 And Chat, specifically for Dads. See the Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/211419789363788/)
Who Let The Dads Out? (https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/faith-in-the-family/wltdo)
Who Let The Dads Out? is a growing movement that resources churches to reach out to dads, father figures and their children. We believe that to ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers’ (Malachi 4:6, NIV 1984) is a powerful way ‘to make ready a people prepared for the Lord’ (Luke 1:17). We want to see churches creating spaces where dads, father figures and their children can have fun together, and is founded on the Christian principle of wanting to demonstrate God’s love to communities.
The Additional Needs Alliance (https://www.facebook.com/groups/additionalneedsalliance/)
A community of like-minded people journeying together to learn, share, equip and encourage. Among our Members are many individuals and organisations that offer a range of excellent services and resources to assist churches and other groups working in this area to make a real difference for their community.
I hope these resources are helpful to all Dads, whatever their family circumstances. If I can be of any help to any Dads out there, please do get in touch by clicking on the ‘Contact The Additional Needs Blogfather’ tab of this site, or via the Twitter link below. I’d love to hear from you.