Autism 3! Coming March 27!


Autism Dad 3: Life Skills & Life Lessons: Preparing Our Special-Needs Child For Adulthood

My new book, Autism Dad 3: Life Skills & Life Lessons: Preparing Our Special-Needs Child For Adulthood,  comes out March 27.

Order it here!

Teenagers with autism need life skills and job training. Life Skills & Life Lessons: Autism Dad 3 is a personal memoir told with humor and grace that looks at the unique challenges facing special-needs children transitioning into young adulthood. This collection of essays not only details a father’s take on raising a special-needs child, but tells the story of a family shaped by the everyday challenges and rewards of raising a child with autism.
Essays include…
* What Causes Autism And Can It Be Prevented?
* Teething Pain Is Only The Beginning
* Autism And The Art Of Toilet Seats
* Help Wanted: Employers With Open Hearts And Minds
* Celebrity Autism Insults Real People Struggling With ASD
* Precocious Pre-Teen And Racy TV Ads Yield Parental Torment

Autism Dad 3: Life Skills and Life Lessons
ISBN-13: 978-1983499593
ISBN-10: 1983499595
$10.99 print/$3.99 digital

Our Musical Mission—It’s Your Guitar!

This summer, Rocco and I—with the help of his sister and the uneasy support of his mother—embarked on a new venture: Starting our own guitar business! Below is the Mission Statement of our company, Surf on over to our site and check out what Rocco and I are up to. Join our mailing list for a chance to WIN A FREE GUITAR!

I’m the father of a 15-year-old son with severe autism.

Buddy Club—our two-man band!

At this age, educational goals are focused around “life skills.” Educators asked my wife and I, “What did we want our son to ‘be’ when he grew up?” There aren’t many jobs for people with special needs—un-employment rates for autistic adults are close to 90%
I wish I had a craftsman’s skill to pass on to my son—carpentry or cabinet-making. But the best I can offer him is my knowledge of guitars and basses. I’ve been taking guitars apart and putting them back together since I was a teenager, and I’ve made several instruments for friends and family. It may/will take years, but I think I can teach my son to do the same.
Guitar-building (I wouldn’t call us luthiers yet!) is about precise adjustments, something my son, and other individuals with autism, excel at. It also requires hours of repetitive work—sanding, buffing, polishing—tasks that you or I might find tedious, yet can be calming to special needs individuals. Music. Patience. Mindfulness. Purpose. These are things I want to foster in both myself and my children.
TK drying

Watching paint dry…and stain penetrate

It may take a while, but, with luck, my son will not only learn a viable skill, but our business will grow to a point where we can hire additional special needs employees to craft instruments along with us. I think of the young men and women my son plays hockey and baseball with—what kind of jobs will be available to them once they finish school? What about the kids in my son’s class? What about all the special needs kids he doesn’t go to school with? That’s a lot of young people who need a place to work. I want them to come make guitars and basses with my son and I, and fill the world with art and music!

That’s what It’s Your Guitar is all about—unique, one-of-a-kind instruments, hand-crafted by unique, one-of-kind individuals! Maybe my son will land a job in a music shop some day, the quiet guy in the back who does expert set-ups and repairs. Or maybe he’ll run a vast, guitar-making empire! Either way, we’re creating beautiful musical instruments—ain’t nothin’ wrong with that!