A Father’s Journey: A Father’s Unconditional Love and strength for His Son with ASD

Parenthood is a journey filled with unexpected twists and turns, challenges, and moments of profound joy.

For Adam’s father, the discovery that his son, Adam, was on the autism spectrum marked the beginning of a unique chapter in their lives. This is the story of a father’s realization, acceptance, and the unconditional love and strength that blossomed as they navigated the world of autism together.
When Adam came into the world, his parents and family were filled with boundless joy.

However, as Adam grew older, his father noticed that Adam was different from other children early on; and that his development was slower compared to his peers.

At the age of 2, Adam was non-verbal, had difficulty understanding others, and could not walk steadily. He had limited interests, highly obsessed with Peppa Pig cartoons, but lack of interest in Peppa Pig toys.

Adam’s father then researched online and learned that Adam might have autism (ASD). After consulting with pediatricians and child development specialists, the diagnosis came: Adam was on the autism spectrum.
This revelation initially brought a mix of emotions for Adam’s dad — confusion, worry, and even a sense of grief for the dreams he had envisioned for his son. However, the diagnosis also brought clarity and a roadmap for understanding Adam’s unique needs.

Determined to find the best treatment for Adam, his father embarked on a journey, visiting hospitals and treatment centers across the country. Eventually, they found Autism Partnership in Hong Kong, where Adam received early intensive ABA treatment, 5 days a week, 6 hours each day.

When Adam first started his treatment, his development was slower compared to his peer. He had difficulty with pronunciation and comprehension.

Additionally, he lacked observation and imitation skills. He had limited play abilities and demonstrated a lack of social awareness. Limited interests are the most concerning for his parents, since a lack of motivation for learning will hinder Adam’s ability to improve in other various aspects.

During the early stages of treatment, the clinical team focused on increasing Adam’s learning-how-to-learn skills, expanding his vocabulary, and improving his comprehension skills. They taught him instruction following, verbal and non-verbal expression and commenting.

In one and a half years of treatment, Adam’s dad was delighted to see Adam making significant progress. Adam has gained adequate foundational learning skills, including language skills and learning motivation.

He also developed social awareness and the ability to communicate with teachers and classmates.
And with the recommendation from Adam’s behavioral consultant, Adam was transitioned to half-day one-on-one training, and for the remaining half of the day, he attended school with a shadow teacher to further strengthen his social skills with classmates, including comprehending non-verbal social cues.

Eventually, Adam learned to recognize and understand different social communication signals, be considerate of the feelings of others, and establish social interaction skills. His dad was excited to see Adam making a lot of friends at school.

Over the four years of treatment, 6-year-old Adam successfully caught up with his peers’ learning progress and transited to a mainstream school in September 2023.

Looking back at the milestones Adam achieved in the past few years, his father felt joy and gladness. One of the crucial steps in Adam’s father’s journey was accepting Adam for who he was. His dad realized that Adam’s differences were not limitations but unique qualities that made him special. This acceptance paved the way for a profound connection between father and son, built on understanding and unconditional love.

When your child was diagnosed with autism, it is natural to feel despair. But as parents, we must find strength and rise above it. The early years are crucial for a child with autism. We were racing against time. Adam only had a few years, and we did everything we could. Now, people can't tell that Adam has autism. That's the best outcome for us.

Adam’s dad felt very fortunate to be able to find quality early intervention for Adam, and through sharing his journey and experiences, he hopes other families facing the same challenges able to walk this journey bravely and find a treatment that can make a difference for their children.

If parents are interested to learn more about the journey of Adam and his dad, leave us a comment.
Disclosure Statement of Adam’s dad
Adam’s father was invited to present his perspective as an educational opportunity for addressing the awareness of ASD and importance of early-intervention. Adam is a past client of Autism Partnership Hong Kong.

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