I was so pleased when Big Daddy Autism said he’d do an interview and book giveaway on our site…it’s timely since it’s the end of Autism Awareness Month. One thing is for sure, Big Daddy (seems strange for me to call him that but yet, it feels comfortable too!) is funny, entertaining and doing more than his part to change the perception that living with children with special needs is all gloom and doom. We’re giving away a book to a lucky person who wants to laugh.
So, tell me about you and your family and specifically, about the star of your blog, Griffin.
What can I say about Griffin? Actually, I can say a lot about him. I just wrote a book about life with him and I’ve been blogging about his antics for about eight months now. But, to sum it up in a few words, he is thirteen, adorable, autistic, and the most unique individual I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. And I’ve spent time with a ton of unique individuals!
What can I say about me? Um, how big is the internet and how much time do you have? Let just say Griffin comes by some of his quirkiness honestly. Since retiring from my life as a complete lunatic a few years ago, I now spend my days enjoying my kids, doing crossword puzzles, yelling at the TV, and thinking about what to eat for lunch. I occasionally blog and never miss an opportunity for a long nap.
My lovely wife, Mrs. Big Daddy is the glue that holds the Big Daddy clan together. Stunning with a great sense of humor.
Finally there is Lil Sis, Griffin’s ten year old sister. Awesome. No further description required.
Does your book speak to the special needs community at large? The reader doesn’t have to have a child with autism to “get it,” right?
The reader does not have to have a child with autism to “get” my book. In fact, two of the twelve bloggers who contributed essays in the book don’t even have children on the spectrum.
My book is about acceptance more than anything else. Sure there are a ton of poop, fart, and booger stories in there. But mainly I share how my family uses creativity, humor, and acceptance to overcome adversity. When Griffin was first diagnosed in 1998/1999, we felt as though our lives collapsed. While there were many resources focused on coping with tragedy and practical advice for dealing with a disabled child, we found few references describing how having a child with a disability was not all about sorrow, lost hopes, making do, and heartache but rather could be a lot of fun. To fill this void, we began a crusade, of sorts, to make the public aware that life doesn’t end with a diagnosis of a disability.
Any disability, not just Autism.
Please share a link to a favorite blog post (or two) that really illustrates how your family handles autism.
Here are two I really like:
Nobody and Pencil Me In (just two of his many funny posts! Go ahead and read, we’ll wait!)
Any words of wisdom to parents who are just getting a diagnosis of a special need?
Just two – Acceptance and Humor.
By finding and recognizing the humor and unorthodox beauty in our lives, we were better able to survive it. Laughter allows us to move through tragic circumstances. Similarly, Our lives changed for the better when we acknowledged our situation and then decided what we’re going to do about it. We feel as though acceptance is being able to embrace what is rather than constantly wishing for what is not and what can never be. Just because we accept Griffin’s condition does not mean we are thrilled about it or that we wouldn’t prefer it to be different. By accepting it, we take the first step towards making the best of the situation. We can then get on with the business of changing what we can and learning how to live with that which we cannot. If we never took that initial step of acceptance, we would have been stuck, and if we never accepted our circumstances, we never would have known if any part of it could be made better.
Tell us about your book! How long has it been in the works? What was the best part about working on it and the hardest?
Technically, it’s been in the works for thirteen years. That’s how long Griffin has been giving me worthy and awesome material. But really, I started putting it together a few months ago when I saw how well my anecdotes and blog posts were resonating with other parents. I decided, I need to share Griffin with the world.
The book is basically a bunch of essays. I think the subtitle says it all (and then some); Never before published hilarity, favorite posts from the blog, marginally helpful tips, poorly drawn cartoons galore, and oodles of original stories from some of Big Daddy’s favorite bloggers.
The best part of the process was definitely reliving all the funny stories. The hardest part – grammeer and spelinge! Just kidding. I know there is only one “e” in grammeer!
Want his book?
To win a signed book from F. Lewis Stark (aka Big Daddy Autism) leave a comment, Tweet (use @supportSN in the tweet so we know!) or Facebook share this post (and like and link our Facebook page by Monday (May 2nd) 12 midnight! We’ll pick a random winner (we like to use Random.org) and have the book shipped directly to you from Big Daddy himself!
About Big Daddy Autism: Big Daddy brings his unique view of fatherhood, and the world at large, to life on this frequently updated and hilarious blog. His tales and cartoons from the lighter side of raising a child with autism always spark laughter and plenty of comments. By telling funny and off-beat stories from his life, Big Daddy shows that raising a kid with special needs is not all doom and gloom. To the contrary, it can be quite humorous and inspirational.
About the book: Big Daddy’s Tales From the Lighter Side of Raising a Kid With Autism. Never before published hilarity, favorite posts from the blog, marginally helpful tips, poorly drawn cartoons galore, and oodles of original stories from some of Big Daddy’s favorite bloggers.
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