Autism Advocacy

Laughing in the face of adversity

Originally published March 26, 2016, on


My next topic is a challenging one, but I am ready to tackle it. My favorite thing in the world is hanging out with my dad. Monday last week, it was my birthday. My birthday present was a new mountain bike. All I wanted to do on my birthday was to go on a ride with my dad and he agreed. He came and picked me up from school and we drove up to the mountains. We got on our bikes and began to ride. Because it was a new bike, it took a little to get used to it but I soon felt pretty comfortable on it and really started enjoying the time outside with my dad. After the ride, we all went out for dinner and had a good time. In contrast, yesterday my dad and I went skiing at Winter Park. My dad was so good to me all day and helped me learn how to ski better. After the day was over, we stopped on the way home at a restaurant to eat dinner. And what happened next was really embarrassing. I have a major problem with compulsive behaviors and at times, I can’t really control myself very well. Last night was one of those times. My dad tried to get me out of the restaurant, but I wouldn’t let him, and I was making a big scene, and everyone was just staring at us. And all my dad could do was to tackle me outside and hold me down until I calmed down a little bit, at least enough for me to get in the truck and make it home. It was like the scene in my dad’s book with Gabe in the grocery store, except this was real. All the way home, we were quiet and just thinking about what had happened. He made such a big effort to get me on the ground that it hurt his chest. I realized after that that my parents are human and can get hurt by trying to stop me from being out of control. My dad is my favorite person, and I am so sorry that I hurt him that I will always remember that incident. Now I know how my behavior can affect others and that I have to be careful how I behave. My dad is my hero, and I don’t ever want to hurt him again. Fathers are not impervious to injury and all of us autistic men need to realize that. I am a bad example of that today but am going to be a good example forever after. I am about as big as he is, and now, I am almost as strong. When I am worked up and adrenaline is kicked in and angry and about to explode, there isn’t much my parents can do to stop me. I am sad that my dad got hurt and I am sad that it was because of me. But, always and forever, I’ll remember this day. My dad and mom immediately forgave me for my anger, and I am so thankful for that. It reminds me of how my Heavenly Father is so quick to forgive and I am more thankful to Him and my Savior Jesus Christ for his atonement and taking on all of my sins and weaknesses and frailties. My Savior is now my biggest advocate, and I can laugh at adversity because I know that he has been there and will always be there for me. Thanks, Dad, for helping me understand that lesson. Kind of a hard way to apply it but a big step for me anyway.

Aaron. And available for wresting meets. I am 0-1 but getting better and stronger.

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