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In the midst of the sweeping protests of police brutality across the nation in the middle of 2020, I watched the news as incident after the incident was brought to light in awe of the brave response from so many Americans. I also felt dismayed as I watched the protests met with hostility from the other side and wondered if we would ever see progress in the way police treat the public they are supposed to serve and protect.

In the days following George Floyd’s death, an autistic Palestinian man named Eyad Hallaq was killed by authorities walking down the…


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As my wife and anxiously awaited the results of the second of our son’s autism diagnosis evaluations after being unsatisfied with being told our son just has a speech delay in the first, many thoughts raced through my mind. If they affirm our fear, what will his life look like? What level diagnosis will he receive? Will he have friends? Will people treat him poorly? Will he make friends? These are some big and scary questions that face parents of kids on the spectrum, and just as we suspected, our son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. …


“Person Sitting on Couch” Photo by Pixabay at Pexels

Kids are naturally curious. I would be worried if my kids weren’t curious about things, but my middle child takes curiosity to a different level. He is a master eavesdropper. He hears everything, except when we ask him to do his chores. It’s amazing and incredibly frustrating all at the same time. We have to be very careful about what we talk about because he can hear it all!

For example, my wife took a little break from work for a moment the other day, so I looked around to see if any kids roamed about the house. The coast…


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Recently, my kids got into a little trouble for not following the rules. We’re not the strictest parents in the world, but punishment felt necessary. The problem was that my middle child wanted no part in that. When we tried to talk to him to explain how his behavior was unacceptable, all we got back was some attitude. We chalked it up to him entering his pre-teens and having that teenage attitude. When we realized we weren’t going to get through to him because his attitude was awful, we walked away to let him cool down. Then, he said it…


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In the late 1980s, I received my first video game console — the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). My parents bought it for me for Christmas, and it wasn’t long before I had my own gaming spot in the corner of my room on an ancient TV with a turn dial. I loved playing Super Mario Bros., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Battletoads, and many other games, and it was always a treat to be able to rent a game from Blockbuster. (On a side note, how sad is it that our children will never have that experience?) …


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When I was growing up, I was given certain freedoms to make decisions for myself, but more times than not, I was told to do what my parents wanted me to do. My parents loved me, but looking back, it sometimes feels like when things didn’t align with what they wanted, I wound up doing what they wanted me to do. It’s how I wound up playing the trombone in middle school instead of drums. It’s how I wound up playing baseball longer than I wanted to. …


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Many people enjoy the company of their neighbors and participating in neighborhood events. They enjoy going to neighborhood cookouts or watching a football game at a friend’s house. They enjoy decorating their houses for Halloween or Christmas. They may enjoy shooting fireworks on the 4th of July or New Year’s Eve. This year it finally sunk in that I couldn’t care less about doing any of those things.

I don’t know how I got here. I’m a fairly outgoing person and I seem to be able to attract people to give me their life stories as soon as I meet…


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I have struggled with ADHD, and to a lesser degree, anxiety for a long time. I was diagnosed with Adult ADHD in my early 20’s as a college student, but it was too little too late as I could not figure out what I wanted to do with my life, dropping out periodically to work and figure things out. With that, I decided to stop taking my medication.

For the next 17 years of my life, I continued my life, leaving my mental health untreated. During that span, I worked, got married, had three kids, got a Bachelor’s degree, and…


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My wife and I have known each other since we were teenagers, and the one constant that I’ve always maintained with her was that I wanted to be a husband and a dad. I’ve always had this romanticized notion of life where I could marry my soulmate with whom I’d raise three children. We would spend time outdoors, playing board games, watching movies, going on vacations, and everything would be easy.

There’s just one dirty little secret that was never mentioned to me growing up. Parenting isn’t like an episode of Full House or Family Matters. Jill Smokler wrote, “Being…


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Parenting is no walk in the park. There is no guidebook for being a good parent, and many parents will seek advice from other parents or (auditory gasp) their own parents! Sometimes you encounter a situation where you have nowhere to turn, and the only thing you can do is rely on your own instincts to navigate a situation.

That’s the predicament my wife and I found ourselves in the fall of 2014 with our youngest son. Growing up, parenting was romanticized. The movies and tv shows I rarely watched, if ever, navigated families with children who have special needs…

Sanders Early

Dependable husband, father to 3 human children and 4 fur-children, sports enthusiast, music connoisseur (my wife would disagree) and lastly, watcher of the TV.

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