Autism Fathers

June 11, 2013


by Andrew Zimmerman about his Dad

What did your Dad think when he heard about TACA?
There’s a couple possible outcomes to that question. Some fathers are fully on board with the plan to save their children. Some fathers are confused as to what this strange group might have in store for their child who was branded hopeless. Some fathers reject medical interventions, allow their kid to cheat on the diet, and accept that “He’s not going to be anything, anyway.”

And make no mistake. All of those responses are very possible.

It’s not uncommon to hear of marriages destroyed by children with special needs. Raising a neurotypical child is like driving for the first time, but raising an autistic child for the first time is like removing the steering wheel. It brutally smacks unexpecting parents with new responsibilities and seemingly impossible, unwritten circumstances.

Fathers are often the unsung heroes of autistic children. There’s a stigma that mothers are the homemakers and caretakers of their children. However, this stereotype doesn’t apply to everyone. I personally know plenty of fathers who take a huge amount of responsibility for the well-being of their children, and who couldn’t possibly love them more. They’re completely loyal to TACA’s cause.
But here’s the catch. Fathers don’t have to be loyal to TACA. My dad wasn’t. They don’t even have to be loyal to biomed. I’m not sure my dad ever believed it worked for me. But what they have to be is be loyal to their children, and that’s just what my dad did. He paid for the gluten-free food. He bought all those pills. He even kept us on the diet when mom wasn’t home. In short, he supported my mom and me even though he questioned our sanity.

Fathers are great heroes to the community of children with special needs. Their actions can make or break a recovery. And if they don’t give up, no matter how dark the child’s future looks, they can leave a shining glimmer of hope that a child so desperately needs.

Want to read more from Andrew?  He recaps his entire journey with biomed in his own book "What is My Mother Doing to Me?" which you can buy at