Having a child with a birth injury or a disability can make the parenting process fraught with questions, confusion and uncertainty as parents navigate physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, surgery, medications, dietary concerns, educational planning, and goal-setting.
There are many highly-visible blogs on parenting special needs children from the perspective of mothers. These blogs (such as those listed here) provide numerous valuable perspectives into being a parent to a child with special needs. There are, however, far fewer ‘dad blogs’ out there that share the father’s perspective of parenting children with disabilities.
To this end, we’d like to highlight a few blogs, websites and individual articles aimed at or created by fathers of children with disabilities. While these blogs may not be specific to birth injuries, many of the disability-related content on these sites is still applicable to dads of kids with birth injuries:
- The Telegraph houses a short video memoir by one of its staff cartoonists detailing his experiences during the birth of his child, who was diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
- Dads of Disability is a book project started by Gary Dietz, a parent of a child with an interstitial deletion of the lower arm of chromosome 13. The book focuses on the dearth of information available specifically for dads of kids with disabilities, and includes 41 essays and poems about being a dad to a child with disabilities.
- DisabilityTechDad details one dad’s efforts to improve his child’s life using technology.
- AutismDaddy shares his experiences parenting a non-verbal child with epilepsy.
- This post details the book a dad wrote regarding his experiences helping his daughter communicate using a Speech-Generating Device; his website contains interviews and author’s notes.
- The SupportforSpecialNeeds website is not necessarily father-specific, but prominently includes articles from Robert Rummel-Hudson, a father of an adult daughter with disabilities.
- This disabilities resource page provides resources for parenting, special education, and assistive technology.
- This interview details a new book focused on a father’s journey in caring for a child with severe intellectual disabilities.
There are a variety of forums (both online and in-person) dads can use to reach out to other parents and talk about their experience and concerns:
- WhatToExpect provides a Dad’s Corner where dads can post about their concerns and questions relating to the early stages of their child’s life.
- MyDaddyCool and GreatDads provide dads with discussion forums; much of the discussion is general in nature.
- The At-Home Dad Network gives stay-at-home dads an opportunity to meet and gather in person.
- Fathering Forum helps dads share advice via in-person team meetups. Dads can meet up with local groups to exchange advice, stories and ideas. These meetings provide structured workshops on specific rotating topics.
- The Parents of Special Needs Children and Single Moms and Dads of Special Needs Children pages on Facebook, as well as the sites housed on this Facebook special needs resource page provide numerous options for communicating about special needs topics.
The amount of parenting information on the Internet can be overwhelming for parents with children who have special needs, disabilities or birth injuries like hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Dads can sometimes feel slighted by the much smaller quantity of dad-focused media out there. We hope that this short listing will help dads navigate the parenting blogosphere more easily. We encourage you to leave a comment if there are some resources we haven’t included that you feel are worthwhile!