This week for the These Dads Are Doing It Right series I am showcasing dads that are creating opportunities for their kids and others. These dads are teaching their kids life skills so that they can thrive in all parts of their lives. In addition, if there are any other dads that you think we should check out leave their name and info in the comment section below.
John D’Eri – Creating Opportunities For His Son & Others
John D’Eri watched his son, Andrew, grow up with autism and struggling to find his place in the world. As a parent, there is nothing worse than seeing your children struggle. Therefore John decided to buy a car wash and start employing people with autism. This idea is now an acknowledged social enterprise and one of the largest employers of people with autism. John D’Eri has inspired people across the globe to do better and find ways to involve everyone. John is an experienced entrepreneur and has founded several businesses. However, John’s true passion lies in opening opportunities for people with autism. He aims to inspire people to make a step towards a more inclusive world and demystify autism.
Jonathan Crone – Working On Their Craft
Jonathan Crone and his son, Kieran are working together for their business, Distinctive Woodworking. He has worked alongside his son Kieran, who has autism. It’s been a passion project for himself and a way for his son to learn life skills. The father and son team create some fantastic items. Jonathan feels that it is all about spending the time with your kids. He feels dads should help their child develop skills and then giving them the opportunity to use those skills. Over at Distinctive Woodworking a portion of their proceeds from online sales and local markets help Autism organizations.
Shawn Bockey – Running With His Son
Shawn and his wife, Julie, both love exercising and racing triathlons. When they started bringing their sons to fun runs, hoping to share with them the passion for sport, it was a nightmare. His oldest son, Christian, is nonverbal. His other son, Jake speaks only a few words. The social and sensory aspects of the races overwhelmed them. Jake would throw hellacious tantrums. They’d scream, bite their fingers, kick stuff, break things. People stared; it was tough. Shawn started running with them and things started to change. They all bonded over training for different races and looks to keep running to make sure they are healthy and enjoy time together.
Jason Eichenholz – Jonathan’s Landing
“My dream is that Jonathan’s Landing will answer the question of, ‘What will happen to my child after I am gone,’ for countless families across the globe by creating a community of belonging, dignity, and purpose for adults with autism.” That was Jason Eichenholz’s thoughts on why he started up Jonathan’s Landing. Recognizing the stark reality that there is a “services cliff” once an adult with autism reaches 21, leaving them without access to the critical services they’ve had just when they need them most, Jason set out to change the paradigm. Everyone deserves a life of dignity, opportunity, and purpose, and Jonathan’s Landing will be a lifeline to managed care, meaningful work, and independent living for all adults living with autism.