Happy Father’s Day – to ALL the Dads!
On this Father’s Day, I would like to acknowledge the dads who fight for their children every day and never stop trying to make their lives the best they can be.  It isn’t easy juggling work with the needs of special needs children – especially in a world were resources are scant and hard to get. And in this post-pandemic world with soaring costs. And carving out quality time for your special one, your other …
“Why Ukraine?”
As the friends of “Not Just a Dad” have seen, in April NeuroNetworks Fund partnered with Unicef and all donations to NNF will be sent to help relieve the suffering of the children of Ukraine. In May, we are sending all donations to NNF to Disability Rights International, a non-profit that is helping disabled children in Ukraine who have been abandoned by their caregivers. Many of you sent supportive comments about this effort, reflecting the …
Supply chain shortages and temper tantrums
There are so many things that are now a part of our everyday conversations that were just unimaginable two years ago – and the “supply chain” is one of them. I bet most adults don’t even really understand what supply chain disruption really is – now imagine trying to explain it to an autistic child? How do you explain to her that her favourite candy and juice box drinks can’t be found… due to supply …
Sunflowers
I remember all too well our national response to the pandemic – schools were closed and my daughter lost all her services – no speech, no OT (occupational therapy) and no ABA (applied behavioral analysis therapy.) Unfortunately, remote teaching didn’t work for us, or for many of her friends, and my daughter’s progress unraveled and she actually went backwards. Only now is she catching up – but it has been a two-year slog. It doesn’t …
People with Epilepsy Need Better Treatments – a guest blog from one of NNF’s board members
Happy New Year, “Not Just a Dad” friends! I hope your holidays were happy and healthy, and that 2022 has started on a positive note for you. I’m delighted to share this guest blog from Peder Jenson, M.D., one of NeuroNetworks Fund’s board members and a physician who has specialized in and treated people with epilepsy for decades. Since approximately 30% of autistic people will also have epilepsy, I wanted to share Peder’s thoughts about …
Making Spirits Bright
It’s that time of year, and it can vacillate between being magical or frantic. For families with an autistic child, there are more sensory challenges and more stress, especially as we prepare for the inevitable family get-togethers AND the added complexity of Omicron hovering over us.  For my autistic daughter this can be a bewildering time. But there are a couple of wonderful organizations in my area that help bring joy to my family, and …
A Special Needs Dad Gives Thanks
A special needs parent fell in a hole. Doctor: “Can you keep a diary of your experience in the hole?” Local authority: “Sorry, we don’t have enough money for a ladder.” Family member: “What hole?” Another special needs parent: “I’m here. I’m on my way down. I know how to get out and I won’t let you do it alone.” At this time of year, we give thanks and count our blessings. Last weekend we …
Dentist
 “Tooth hurts”. These words send a shiver down my spine. I don’t like going to the dentist – being Scottish and brought up on a diet of candy and a regime lacking fluoride, I have reasons to dislike going. I also have more crowns that the British royal family.  My youngest isn’t particularly fond of the dentist either – but she leaves with a smile and remains cavity free. However, my eldest – with her …
Pay It Forward!
My daughter bites her hands when she is anxious, frustrated or excited. I mean she really bites, and bites hard. This behaviour is distressing, and left unchecked and can escalate to other forms of self-injurious behaviour, which can impact her safety. We have worked with school and therapists to try and reduce the instances of hand biting and have been largely unsuccessful. At NNF we work with companies that have great ideas but can’t attract …
A grateful dad says thank you to healthcare workers!
The pandemic is still raging. We are in the midst of the impact of the Delta variant….. and Lamba lurks in South America. Along with increased knowledge of the Greek alphabet, it means that we may have to accommodate continued change as we prepare for a new school year. During the early summer, my teenage daughter and her friends became eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine and our town set up a vaccine station in our …
Back to school…..again: a guest blog from our friends at MindNest
It’s back to school time again, and for the second year in a row, the world is far from normal. This can be a challenging transition for any child in any year, but especially more so for those with an autistic child in the family. With that in mind, we reached out to the team from MindNest Health and asked them for some top tips to guide us as we ready our children to return …
Summer
When I was a kid, summers were magical. We had no school and, as latch key kids, we roamed outside all day with friends until it was time to go home. There was also the obligatory family holiday; some were fun, some less so. Nevertheless, it was a carefree time and strong friendships were forged, many of which still last.   As a parent of an autistic child, summer couldn’t be more different. When school …
Sleep
It is 3am. My daughter is awake. How do I know this? Well, she gathered her toys and wandered into the hallway to play with them. Now I am awake. Through experience I have learned that time is of the essence – if I can get her back to bed quickly, then the odds of her falling back to sleep improve enormously. If that doesn’t happen, she will become more and more awake until a …
Listening
In today’s pandemic-induced, mask wearing world we lose a number of nonverbal cues that guide us in our everyday interactions and that can make it more difficult to ‘read’ people. It could be said that it gives us a fleeting glimpse into parts of the autistic world. The reality is it is incredibly difficult for people who are not autistic to truly appreciate and understand the autistic world, in part due to the diversity of …
Escape
Before having our children, I thought eloping was running off to get marriedwithout the trappings of conventional marriage; in Scotland, where I amfrom, couples would travel to Gretna Green to get married.  In the 18 thcentury it became a haven for young lovers following the 1754 MarriageAct; if you were under 21, you were forbidden to marry without yourparents' permission. Today it means something very different to me and many others in a similarsituation; 49% …
Autism Awareness Month
As a parent of a child with special needs, life can be very much a battle; a battle for services, support, respite, acceptance and understanding. We often do this on our own, within our own family unit but broader family and community support is both invaluable and essential.     Autism awareness month is April. We have our own month to remind everyone we are still here and -importantly – we get an opportunity to …
Why I Do What I Do
I am a scientist, investor and proud father of a child with autism I am working from home, or rather trying to. My daughter is back from school; today is a half day. She is sitting next to me, trying to get my attention. “I am grumpy and tired” she tells me. She pokes me until I respond then gives me an enormous smile. The phone rings and I answer it – a work colleague …
About Me

Hi, I’m Brian, I am a scientist, investor and proud father of a child with autism.

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