This week’s for the Dads Doing It Right series I am highlighting dads who are raising awareness on Autism. These dads are sharing their fatherhood journey and knowledge. Make sure you check out their websites and podcasts. They are great resources for parents with kids who are on the Autism spectrum. If there are any other dads that you think we should check out leave their name and info in the comment section below.
Joel Manzer – Autisable
In 2008, Autisable was launched as part of the Xanga.com, LLC. It is a network of blogging community sites. They launched it in an effort to provide an avenue for people to share their journey with Autism. The Xanga Team asked Joel Manzer to head up the site. Joel’s son was diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Then in 2014, Xanga shelved its proprietary platform and old business model, which left Autisable on life support. In August of 2016, Joel Manzer created Autisable, LLC – based in Virginia Beach, VA. This is a company that eventually took ownership of Autisable.com. After that with its redesign, Autisable is now able to continue its efforts to connect the autism community.
Rob Gorski – The Autism Dad
Rob Gorski’s has a website The Autism Dad. He is a full-time single Dad to three amazing kids, Gavin, Elliott, and Emmett. His kids live with him full-time. For Rob while that’s truly a blessing, it’s also very challenging raising three autistic boys alone. In some ways, they are like every other family in the world, and in many different ways, they are not. Rob’s posts document their journey in a very open, honest, and transparent way. He has intentionally left everything intact after he became a single parent. He did this because he feels those experiences are still relevant, even if their family dynamic has since changed. Check out his site at theautismdad.com.
Paul Cimins – Autism Radio
Autism Radio started in 2007, by Paul Cimins, father of an Autistic child. They have made it their goal to impact the lives of children permanently affected by Autism. Autism Radio looks to raise public awareness about Autism. They help individuals, families, and society cope with struggles of this disorder. In addition, their mission is to raise funds and distribute them to families in need who are dealing with the Autism Spectrum Disorder. Above all they are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals. Learn more here.
Danny Combs – Teaching the Autism Community Trades
TACT was founded in 2016 by parents very much like many of you reading this. Parents inspired by both the strengths and challenges unique to their child. In 2009, Claire Johnson and Danny Combs were blessed with a beautiful son. The first few years his life seemed “on track.” Around the age of three they began noticing his speech was behind. In addition, he was toe walking and few other “differences.” After that, they visited a few doctors and he started speech and occupational therapy. This was to work on his sensory developments.
Fast forward to 2015: Their son is in the first grade and growing into a remarkable young man. Their son is an extremely creative and innovative thinker. Still, there are clearly some continued difficulties. After years of working with doctors and teachers he is placed on the Autism Spectrum. He’s not alone. A 2020 report by the CDC found that 1 in 54 children are diagnosed each year on the Autism Spectrum. Learn more about TACT here.