Celebrating Dads

Father’s Day is always bittersweet for me. Certainly, I have many good memories of my father. Unfortunately, he passed away when I was in college so the time I had to spend with him was short.

My father, Joseph C. Barber

My father, Atty. Joseph C. Barber

When that Sunday in June rolls around, I contemplate the impact my father had on my life. He had high expectations for my siblings and myself; an “A” wasn’t good enough, it needed to be an “A+!” His motto was: “if you set your goals high, you will reach them.”

His talents as a writer were enormous, and I consider my abilities in that area a direct result of his influence. He believed that each and every person had an intrinsic value and all should be treated equally. He encouraged diversity in our friendships to help broaden our perspectives. He, along with my mother, believed that volunteerism was not only a requirement, but a necessary first step in understanding your commitment to your community.

The Barber Family

So when I came across the following story of two fathers, I could hear my father’s voice ringing in my ear. In 2014, NCAA Coaches Pat Skerry and Tom Herrion embarked on a mission to raise awareness of autism. Fueled by the love for their sons, both diagnosed with autism, the two coaches made a simple request to fellow coaches to don the Autism Speaks logo pin during a February 2014 NCAA basketball game. After an overwhelming response, the Coaches Powering Forward for Autism program was created. This program provides basketball coaches, their teams, schools and community supporters with an even greater opportunity to help increase awareness, fundraise and advocate for the needs of families and individuals affected by autism.

Of course, Dads don’t need to create national programs in order to be special. I know a great many fathers of our students who go above and beyond for their child on a daily basis. Yes, they are special too!

To all fathers out there: Thank You!!

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2 Responses to Celebrating Dads

  1. Mr. Miller says:

    Your dad’s motto – “If you set your goals high, you will reach them” – plays a huge role in how we raise our son, plan his the IEP’s, etc. We set the bar high and have high expectations.

    Unfortunately, I think a lot of people/parents just accept that autistic children have a limit when it comes to learning or behavior. As a result, they may set the bar at, say, a 5 or 6.

    Not us. We have that bar set at 10 and we push our son towards that goal every day. If he gets there, perfect! If in the end he only gets to a 7 or 8 – that’s fine too. I’d rather him go for the ceiling than the floor.

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