Autism: A Dad’s Perspective

A Dad’s Perspective

Michael Swindell stands at the edge of the pool, cheering on 6-year-old son Jack as he swims to the finish line in his first swim meet. The proud dad offers a warm towel and a high-five as Jack shimmies up the ladder and out of the pool.

These small moments, insignificant on the surface, are the puzzle pieces to a much bigger, more complex picture. Jack has Autism and social settings and new experiences can be challenging.

Jack was diagnosed by the team at Children’s Village when he was 2-years-old. Michael and wife Jennifer, jumped in feet first to not only get the services their son needed but also into the family support programs through Parent to Parent.

“We were incredibly impressed by the people at Children’s Village,” Michael said. “And we’ve received such great support for Jack and our entire family that we want to give back.”

Michael currently serves as the co-chair for the Parent to Parent Board and is involved with the Father’s Network, a support system for father’s with children with special needs.

Whether it’s a basketball program through SlugBugs, a fun event with Sib Shops for their older daughter or serving on the committees and organizing activities with fellow Parent to Parent families, the Swindell’s feel like they receive so much more than they give.

“Children’s Village does so much more than provide physical or speech therapy,” Michael said. “They reach out to the entire family structure and provide opportunities that go beyond basic services. For our son, the social opportunities are the best kind of therapy and he gets to do it in a safe, fun, accepting environment.”

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