It was about that time that I was an event with a friend of mine who shared with me that his youngest daughter had Down’s syndrome. He asked if I was angry, and I said that I was. He then asked whom I was angry at, and I didn’t have an answer. He made the comment that clearly I wasn’t angry at Connor, I must be angry at something else. I thought for a moment, and then he offered, “Are you mad because your plans have changed”. WOW what a “light’s on”/AHA moment. Of course I wasn’t angry with Connor, I was mad because autism wasn’t part of my internal plan. His next bit of advice was the kicker. He said, “ Everything will be fine, you just need to get a new plan”.
Connor is now an 8 ½ year old boy who loves to play golf, swim, and do all the things 8 year old boys like to, sometimes he just does them differently than anyone else, and that’s cool too.
Autism affected our family in ways I never would have imagined. Our eldest son Dylan is a caring young man, who recognizes his brother is different, but that is OK. Our youngest child, Audrey, doesn’t know what Autism is, and frankly doesn’t care. She just wants to be in the same room at all times of her big brother Connor. The effects of autism have made me a better man, with more patience, and understanding than I ever would have had if it weren’t for Connor. Autism has also had an effect on my wife as well, her patience, her caring, and her unyielding in her desire and drive to get Connor the help he needs, when he needs it.
So we try and give back, we have just started the “Tiffany Autism Foundation” and our goal for the foundation is to hold events that raise money for organizations like Autism Speaks.