WOW | Men Speak

When Your Child Has Special Needs

Fathers of children with autism share their struggles, their learning and finding the joys of parenthood.

Compiled by: Pabita Dahal

Dr Kapendra Shekhar Amatya
Consultant Surgical Oncologist, Nepal Cancer Hospital and Research Center

My 12 years old son is autistic. When he was two years old, we realised that he was not interacting or responding as his peers were. Hence, we went to India, where the doctors confirmed us about his condition. Very soon, my wife and I went for a three-month training to learn about how to deal with children with autism.

Patience is very important for parents of autistic children. Every second is a challenge as he can’t comprehend basic social skills. My wife Dr Sunita has been training him about the simplest things such as drinking juice using a straw, eating, walking, blowing the candle, etc.  We too have changed ourselves according to his special needs. Now we can see that there is a big improvement.

Obviously, we want everyone to accept our child.  But the most important thing is that we ourselves need to accept our child first. Sometimes even the smallest things that he does such as playing football brings us abundant happiness.

When it comes to my responsibility as a father, I have realised that although I share the duties with my wife, I cannot do as much as her; I do not have that extent of patience. I think mothers are heroes whereas we fathers are just side characters to help them.