Mike and Dad

Dad never gave up.


One would think that after so many years, he would. But he must have thought there was hope of some kind. The particulars escape me, but I remember that he always played with Michael and he always wanted to visit him at Willowbrook. When he was placed in a group home, Dad took encouragement from the speech therapist, who told us that Michael had all the physical equipment to speak. Mike never did talk.

autism parent

I can count on one hand, the number of times I witnessed any kind of connection between the two of them.

4 thoughts on “Mike and Dad

    • Thanks for your comment, LMTF. I read your post with interest. I’m sure your younger son will spend a lot of time trying to understand and find a way to come to terms with his older brother’s issues. I wish all of you the best. It can be enriching, as the video you posted attests to. Thank you for that. Best of luck!

  1. Yes, it seems that it would be especially hard on fathers with autistic sons. I’m sure your father’s attentiveness had an impact on the staff there at Willowbrook, and on Michael too, even though he couldn’t express it.

    • Hi Jill,

      I think that the only impact on the Willowbrook staff and management was the expose done in the 1970s, but that’s another story.

      When my brother was moved to a smaller, more humane system of care, my Dad, Mom and I all had a great impact. I can’t stress enough the importance of family involvement in long term care of a loved one (and perhaps more importantly, but not relevant in this forum, acute hospital care).

      I’m not good at knowing what Michael had to express, but he certainly gravitated toward people who satisfied his needs. You may have guessed that I’m not really a ‘glass half full’ person. I’m more like the ‘what glass?’ kind.

      Thank you for being a ‘glass half full’ person.

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