128 – Navy Veteran Evan Spotswood of San Clemente, CA Has Two Young Children With Autism
Our guest this week is Evan Spotswood of San Clemente, CA. Evan works in facilities management at Chapman University and has two children; Fletcher and June, who are both autistic. He served 5 1/2 years in the Navy, which included two deployments. We’ll hear his faith, his family and some of his challenges and triumphs, including overcoming alcoholism on this Special Fathers Network, Dad to Dad Podcast.
Beach Kids Therapy San Clemente – https://www.beachkidstherapy.com
Stepping Forward, LCC – https://www.steppingforwardcounselingcenter.com
Evan’s Email Address – Evan.Spotswood@gmail.com
Dad to Dad 128 – Navy Veteran Evan Spotswood of San Clemente, CA Has Two Young Children With Autism
[00:00:00] Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is thrilled to be sponsored by Rubin Law. A multi-generational law firm dedicated, exclusively to serving families, raising children with special needs.
Evan Spotswood: Don’t think that nobody will understand because there really are more and more everyday people out there, even if they don’t have the exact same set of disabilities that your son or daughter may have.
There are so many people out there. And I, I really encourage those to go out and seek other people dealing with these issues. It takes just a little bit of that weight off of your, off of your shoulders.
Tom Couch: That’s our guests this week, Evans Spotswood, Evan who works in facilities management, has two children, Fletcher and June who are both autistic.
We’ll hear about his challenges and his triumphs on this Special Fathers Network, Dad to Dad podcast. [00:01:00] Here’s your host, David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to this Special Fathers Network data dad podcast.
Tom Couch: Special Fathers Network is a Dad to Dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process. New fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for dads to support dads to find out more, go to [00:02:00] 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search Dad to Dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s listen in on this conversation between Evan Spotswood and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Evan Spotswood of San Clemente, California. Who’s a father of two and works at Chapman university in facilities management. Evan, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Evan Spotswood: Oh, you’re welcome. Glad to be here.
David Hirsch: You and your wife, Jennifer have been married for 15 years and the proud parents of two children, Fletcher, 10, and younger sister, June, 8, who both have autism.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about
Evan Spotswood: ypurself.
Um, I was, uh, born in San Jose, California, and I grew up on a, uh, A piece of land up in the mountains above civilization, I guess you could call it kind of really isolated, [00:03:00] just really, I guess, down to earth in a, a sort of a, for lack of a better term.
I went to school in a, uh, more of a hippy sort of area, lots of, um, really down to earth people.
Okay. And did you have any siblings growing up?
I had an older brother. He he’s eight years older than I am. So. We didn’t share a lot of, uh, time together as, as kids, as it, it is difficult to hold a relationship with an older sibling.
When you’re first in your formative years, when they are eight years older than you, that relationship didn’t really start growing until much later in life.
David Hirsch: Okay. Uh, from what I remember, uh, one of the things we have in common is that our parents divorced when we were young and I’m wondering, uh, Without going into granular detail.
When was that? And how did that impact you or your brother for that matter?
Evan Spotswood: Um, my parents were separated around about my daughter’s age, so I was about eight years [00:04:00] old and I don’t really have many memories of that time. Things were, were pretty, uh, chaotic I’m told from mom and dad being in turmoil, but there is no real trauma.
We were always taken care of. And our parents both put us up as high as they could on their priority list. I have not experienced anything like that myself. So I hope to never repeat that cycle myself, to be honest. So, yeah.
David Hirsch: Well, I can associate with that. Um, out of curiosity, did you live with your mom or your dad, or how did that transpire?
Evan Spotswood: Both. Both me and my brother really found it important to be. At the house. And that was really where the family was centered around was the house. And this house was something that my dad and my mom both built with their, with their bare hands. It was this piece of property. Like I mentioned, up on the Hill and then we started in [00:05:00] a travel trailer and then we moved up to a barn.
And then from the barn, we moved into a larger house on the property. So that was where we grew up. That is what we knew. And. And that’s where my dad stayed. So it wasn’t like, Oh, mom or dad was the favorite. It was no, that’s where our family that’s where our home was. That’s that’s what home was. It was to stay with the home.
And I stayed there as long as my dad was there. Once he could no longer maintain that property, uh, financially he moved. And that was the time I transitioned from middle to high school. And I didn’t see it as. Um, I had a hard time making friends myself in elementary and middle school. So I would have been transitioning from one school to another, regardless I put it probably would have been transitioning from out of that school district into another.
So what was the point? I, my mom asked if I wanted to come live with her and I said, sure. Why not? Because [00:06:00] living where I was, was going to suck anyway. So why not? Give that a shot. So I moved up to the Pacific Northwest on to Fidalgo Island, which is about an hour and a half North of Seattle.
David Hirsch: Okay. So you live with your dad initially after your parents separated or divorced, and then you ended up going to high school and living with your mom and, and my stepdad.
Evan Spotswood: Sorry, sorry to interrupt. But yes. And my, and my stepdad. Yeah. Who was also, um, had something to do with how I turned out today.
David Hirsch: Excellent. We’ll get to him. But before we go further, uh, I’m sorta curious to know a little bit more about your dad out of curiosity. Is he still alive and what did he do or what does he do for a living?
Evan Spotswood: Uh, my dad is still alive. He is currently retired. He, he was a union electrician and a often on spec home builder, but by and large, during the time that I was aware of him coming and going, it was to, and from a job site as an electrician. Got it.
[00:07:00] David Hirsch: And how would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Evan Spotswood: Um, he was, he was always very present in a sense that dad was always around. We were always with dad, always in his back pocket. Cause that’s where, that’s where he wanted us to be, whether it was to pass knowledge upon us or to make sure that we were safe. We never were left wanting for. For anything, we we’re always fishing or doing outdoorsy stuff, riding motorcycles, and just being outdoors and taking in whatever it is he could give to us through, through osmosis more than, than really anything.
Never any, well, this is how we’re going to do things today, son, it was well, I’m going to be doing this and you’re going to be with me while I do this.
David Hirsch: That’s what you meant by being in his hip pocket? Yes. Okay. Well, it sounds like he was present, like you said, and involved and, uh, you had a lot of different experiences that, uh, [00:08:00] you can look back on with your dad.
And, um, if there’s an important takeaway from your relationship with your dad, a lesson or two that you might’ve learned, um, good or bad, what would they be?
Evan Spotswood: Um, do everything with urgency, everything with urgency and. In my own talks with therapists, et cetera, et cetera. Some of that, uh, turns out might have been detrimental.
However, I still feel that, uh, doing things with urgency and with purpose is very important to how much success you have. If you look like you’re just dragging your feet and you probably are, and you’re probably not getting as much done as you could. If you weren’t operating with urgency and purpose.
David Hirsch: Well, that’s a good lesson. I think of the word intentionality, right? Be intentional about what you’re doing as opposed to being passive or just sort of going along. I’m so curious if there’s any other role models of father figure role models.
Evan Spotswood: My stepdad [00:09:00] was in the military and offered a large amount of structure in kind of a passive way through high school.
He wanted to be there, but it was never. Like, Hey, let’s go do this. It was, Oh, you want to go do that? Okay, I’ll go do that with you. And then when it came time towards the end of my high school, he really stepped in and saw that I had been struggling with certain things and really kind of laid things down black and white, which is, which is how, how he was.
And he said, and I remember it distinctly, look, we’ll pay for you to go to college. As long as you’re you’re being successful, but I don’t see that happening for you, Evan. So you should really, really, really look into the military because it’s going to give you what I think you need, because you’re not just going to stay here on my couch without going to college and a job.
[00:10:00] David Hirsch: So, so out of curiosity, what branch of the military was your stepdad in?
Evan Spotswood: He was in the Navy as well as my father. He was, uh, my stepdad was in for 20 years. My dad did four years in Vietnam. And so I said, Hey, what can it hurt? And this was in 2000 or 1999 was when I decided to make that decision, then everything was pretty quiet since the Gulf war.
So I signed up before anything really got crazy thinking that it was just going to be six years of, uh, Pleasure cruise around the Pacific. I was in for a little bit of an awakening.
David Hirsch: Yeah. So from what I remember, you just said you went from high school into the Navy. What was your, uh, Navy experience like how many years did you actually say?
Evan Spotswood: I did just over five years, I had signed up for six. I got out because of the, my ship was decommissioned. And I would say that if, if you asked. [00:11:00] Anybody, it would be true to my form to find that loophole. And I was able to find a loophole in the regulations that would allow me to keep from having to go on another ship and go to another deployment, which would have been my third and my third deployment.
In five years, I found a loophole in the regulations that said, if you de a ship within 12 years of your end of service, you can be separated just like you were normally honorable. And I would say I was a 4.0 sailor. Really excelled. Maybe one of my, one of my chiefs would argue I was a little less than 4.0.
But by and large, I got great reviews and really did enjoy my time. Excellent.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for your service to our country. And, um, I’m wondering, what were the lessons learned? What impact did serving in the Navy have on you?
Evan Spotswood: Accountability. I left high school with probably the maturity of a. I have a 13 year old [00:12:00] and it gave me structure and it taught me accountability and it reinforced those, those values that were given to me and my, by my dad and my stepdad that you got to work to earn things nothing’s just going to be handed to you really?
It did open my eyes that what is given to you is not really worth as much when you don’t earn it. If that makes sense. So I took a lot of pride in what I did and self-worth, it gave me confidence in the style of which that you’d learn your, uh, mode of service or, um, your job in the military is hands-on and it lends itself to, uh, my style of learning.
I’m not book-smart I can’t look at a book and read it and go, okay, I get it. I’ve got to see it applied, or I have to apply it some way for it to stick or to really understand it through that. [00:13:00] That’s a, I was able to do that.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, it sounds like the military was a positive experience and you developed a number of skills and at the very least some discipline, and like you said, accountability.
So I’m sort of curious to know how you and Jennifer met.
Evan Spotswood: For a long time. We never really told anybody because back in 2001, 2002 dating sites and dating on the internet was almost, uh, almost a taboo and almost for just the, the elite Nerdist of, of the internet. And, um, it was a website at the time called face that jury.
And it was just basically people looking for validation on, based on their looks alone and. There was no long courtship. It was, it was just a, Hey, do you look like you check all the boxes? We’re close. Let’s meet from there. We were pretty inseparable. I had not really been forthright with [00:14:00] her and my employment.
She did not know that I was in the military right away. I realized that a lot of the local girls in San Diego, didn’t like to date Navy guys. She didn’t know for, uh, for a few weeks closer to a month. And then, and that was getting close to my first deployment. And that’s when I came clean with her and I said, Hey, look, I’m, I’m in the military.
If you couldn’t tell which, you know, nowadays I can spot those guys a mile away. So I said, Hey, I’m, I’m getting ready to leave on deployment for six months. And I’m ready to jump into this with you. If, if you are with me, because if you’re not, then, then let’s just say, Hey, nice knowing ya. Because de deployments, even, even on very solid and established relationships can be tough.
And so really for me, it was like the probability of this wonderful, pretty funny [00:15:00] lady sticking around for me is next to zero. I’m a, I’m a. Goofy guy. My social graces are, are like that of somebody from the 18 hundreds that, that lived in a barn. I was not looking at this being a very, you know, the outlook.
Wasn’t good. And, and she, she, she said, yeah, yeah, let’s, let’s make this, let’s make this work. And I think, you know, if you want to look at it that we basically got married that day, cause little over two and a half years later. We did get married and then we made it through two deployments and, uh, yeah, it’s been, it’s been awesome.
David Hirsch: Well, it sounds like a very interesting story. And, um, I guess if you roll the clock back to 2002, that’s when you first met the online dating situation was completely different than it is today. And you’re sort of pioneers if you will. And, uh, you know, as I [00:16:00] understand it, you know, one out of seven marriages today, Are those a result of people meeting online.
So it’s much more commonplace today than it ever has been. So let’s talk about a special needs first on a personal level and then perhaps beyond. So I’m sorta curious to know how did Fletcher’s, um, diagnosis come about and what was your first reaction?
Evan Spotswood: Well, we had heard or been exposed to very little as far as special needs were, were concerned.
No idea. About really, I guess what you could call the spectrum these days, we decided from the get-go that we wanted to put our child into a private school because, you know, why would we go to public school when we can provide ourselves with a private school option? And we’ll get our kids set off on down that road, because we were products of part of the public school system.
And didn’t think that that really worked out for either one of us that said, [00:17:00] Maybe two months into Fletcher being at this public school, we’re being asked that he not come anymore, that, uh, they don’t have the specific skill sets to handle him. This was after he, um, was asked to do something and it was non-compliant actually hurt one of the teachers throwing a tantrum.
Ooh. So at that point, we were pointed towards getting an IEP in and getting some diagnosis because he, he was delayed in speech. So from there, I guess we moved forward with the public school route and, and realize that, wow, there, there are all kinds of programs out there and services available to really help you start down that road.
Of getting a diagnosis, but once you have a diagnosis, then I kind of mentioned earlier, we knew one person with a, with a son with autism and it was, it [00:18:00] was like, Oh my gosh, does this mean that my son Fletcher is going to be like this other person’s child? That can’t be my son. We also had some family members say, well, you know, Evan, uh, maybe, maybe you need to get them tested and.
And how dare you. How dare you tell me that, you know, he’s, there’s nothing wrong with him. It’s something else or that, that was going on. Well, before we did have a diagnosis, so it was certainly nothing we planned for, obviously.
David Hirsch: So would it be fair to say that at least initially there was some level of denial, right?
You just didn’t want to accept the fact that he was. Having some behaviors or something was different big time. Yeah. And, uh, what, at what age was he actually diagnosed then?
Evan Spotswood: Uh, I would say four, four years old. pre-K, you know, we had him set up for preschool that at a [00:19:00] private preschool, you know, we try to get him into soccer lessons and he couldn’t even do that.
You know, all the kids were lining up and kicking a ball into a goal and Fletcher ran and picked up the ball and went running away. And I’m recalling this just now the, the coach pretty much said, yeah, you get them to listen a little bit better. He can go ahead and come back. Okay. Okay. I’ll just get my kid to listen.
I, I, if you can explain to me how to do that, that’d be great. That’d be really helpful.
David Hirsch: So I’m sorta curious to know, um, how did, uh, June’s diagnosis come about? So
Evan Spotswood: June being about, uh, almost exactly 18 months younger than Fletcher, we started seeing some speech delays in the same sort of fashion as, as Fletcher.
So we started going down the same path as Fletcher, because we knew what to look for. We knew what, you know, Hey, if, if [00:20:00] it doesn’t feel right then it’s probably not right. I E the speech not really coming into play when it, when it should, you’re not hitting these certain. Markers. So, so about the same age, we said, okay, well, let’s go ahead and have her put in for a, an IEP and you get her squared away and figure out what, what happens and, and come to find out.
June has a genetic defect, a chromosomal micro deletion, which the side effects of this microdeletion manifest itself in. To the main manifestations are autism like behavior autistic, like behavior and autism, along with seizures. And luckily we did not have any seizures, but June’s speech and cognitive abilities are delayed.
She’s extremely bright and [00:21:00] happy. And verbal and she will talk your ear off, but, uh, getting her there has been, that’s taken some work.
Wife has really been the spear tip of the spear for all of this. I just put my faith in her that her instincts as a mom and I was a woman are making the right things because what my role in our marriages to provide for her so that she can run the house. And whether that’s making sure that she has what she needs on the grocery list or whether she has the means to get our children, the therapies that they need.
That’s that’s what I’m there to do.
David Hirsch: Excellent. Well, it sounds like there’s a little bit of a divide and conquer [00:22:00] strategy going on there. Uh, Jennifer has her role as the primary caregiver, all things, health and education, perhaps for your kids. And then your, your goal is to make sure that you provide for your family in the best way you can.
So there isn’t anything that they might need or want that, uh, you know, you’re not able to provide them. I know in a prior conversation you made reference to two or three of these organizations that have really helped June and Fletcher prosper. And I’m wondering if you can identify them to sort of making sure that we give them proper attribution.
Evan Spotswood: So, first one is in, uh, living in South orange County. There’s a, there’s an organization in a, in a therapy center called beach kids therapy. They were really the first group to help us out. And they started holding these little workshops for parents to really understand what is out there. And that’s when I first realized that, you know, I’m, I’m not alone.
And, and we keep in contact with, with them [00:23:00] there. Great with helping you figure out because not all insurance companies will help you with a lot of this and they can help you navigate those hurdles and help you understand how insurance really does work. It was great. The other therapy center that we went through was stepping forward and stepping forward.
I’m going to do them a disservice here, but basically they helped my kids develop conflict resolution and. So the skills for conflict resolution and they have a whole host of other things that they do for children with that have different experiences in life, whether it’s kids there with major anxiety issues and, and they did a really good job of not letting that.
And the reason I can’t really point out point that out is all I know is that I was bringing my children there for, for help, with one thing. And it was a peer. In group-based therapy center, where these kids could work together and they could [00:24:00] resolve things in a healthy environment. And I saw great changes with them.
I know that I could go back to them and say, Hey, Dr. Schaefer, Can you sit down and just talk it out with Fletcher right now, he’s having a real tough go. And, and, and they would, they would certainly do that. You know, they they’re, they’re in such a good place and, and really want to help, help out your children just a few years and a few visits in with them.
And I say just a few years, my, my children went there for, for a few years, but you could see that it was giving them the tools to properly communicate. Not so much with speech, but Hey, I’m having a hard time right now. I need to go take a break outside. And that was one of the things that my son Fletcher did learn from them was, Hey, can you please give me a break?
I’m I’m having a hard time right now. [00:25:00] And that was something that he couldn’t, he couldn’t get out in the moment, instead of saying, you know, instead of just socking somebody or, or screaming or, or loping. Away. He, he let everybody know, Hey, um, he can say, Hey, I’m having a hard time. Can I, can I have a breather?
Can you, can you give me a break? So that, that was amazing. What they’ve done there.
David Hirsch: It sounds like a breakthrough actually. When you think about it, that somebody that age just saying, Hey, I need some help. A little space or a little time would be a good thing. And, uh, you know, that’s a very mature thing for somebody who’s eight or nine or he’s 10 now, uh, to be able to articulate.
So, um, very impressive. We’ll be sure to include the links to the beach kids therapy, as well as stepping forward in our show notes. So that if anybody is curious to learn more about what they do, uh, that will make it easier for them to find. Yeah. So I’d like to. Switch [00:26:00] gears a little bit and talk about some of the challenges, uh, that you’ve experienced.
Um, and I don’t want to focus on the negative, but I think, uh, under the banner of being authentic, uh, you had shared with me some of your own challenges, and I’m wondering if you’re comfortable talking about those.
Evan Spotswood: I certainly am. And I would assume that you’re, you’re referring to my struggle with alcoholism, which, which did start before.
I had children in, I think it, it was part of a cultural thing and part of some just unfinished business that I had in my own life. So I’ve been sober for almost three years now. It’s, uh, October 5th. Um, I quit drinking, uh, January 1st of 2018 and that was. Due to the fact that my wife just said I’ve had enough.
And if you love me, you’ll figure this out. And I decided that I, that [00:27:00] she was more, uh, worth more than anything, um, that I was getting from, from drinking beer all day, every day in, in the military, I suffered an injury. And so that was kind of what kicked me into second gear of my alcoholism. Which was back pain, a hernia herniated discs in my lower back, and then along come these, these lovely children.
And even before they were diagnosed, just, just holding them and trying to rock them to sleep was painful. So. With the stress of, of becoming a father, um, in pain, more, more drinking came and I just continued to bury myself in booze as these issues started to Mount. And then it turned to where I couldn’t even function without it.
That is not the way to go. And I look back [00:28:00] retrospectively now. And think to myself what a much better, uh, tool I could have been for those children. Had I been sober, had I been able to, um, focus on them the way that I am now and see what really is important for them and help. Recognize, uh, what behaviors I have that aren’t acceptable, that I don’t want to emulate them to emulate from, from me, because if, if anything, I have learned, they are much more apt to parrot your behavior than other children and model their behavior after, after their examples.
And I, and I regret it. I really, I. I really do. There’s no, there’s no room for that, at least in my life. Any, any longer.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thank you for sharing. It’s um, [00:29:00] an important aspect of your experience, right? To be able to look back at that, call it chapter in your life or chapters, because it was over a longer period of time and be able to see it or be objective about it.
And they sense of accomplishment. Accountability, like you were talking about part of being in the military is being accountable for your actions and accepting the responsibility that goes along with being married and being a dad. And, you know, you want to be the best version of yourself. And it’s hard to do that.
You know, if you’re self-medicating you didn’t use the word self-medicating, but I’m just sort of injecting that.
Evan Spotswood: It’s exactly what it was,
David Hirsch: David. Yeah. And, uh, you know, I really admire you. Having the courage that you have being able to talk about it. And the reason I say that is that you’re not alone, right?
There are so many people that struggle with drugs and alcohol and other behaviors that, you know, [00:30:00] have seemed to take over their lives. And, uh, you know, it’s not the best version of yourself and, you know, your kids, your wife deserve. The best version of yourself. So more power to you. I’m looking forward to having you tell me that you’re celebrating your three-year, your five-year or your tenure 20 year anniversary of being sober and being the best version of yourself.
So again, thank you for sharing. I’m wondering if there’s any advice beyond what you’ve already shared that you might offer to a dad or mom for that matter. Who’s listening about raising a child, uh, which differences.
Evan Spotswood: Uh, don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be apologetic. Don’t think that nobody will understand because there really are more and more every day people out there, even if they don’t have the exact same set of disabilities that, that your son or daughter may [00:31:00] have, what they do have that’s identical to you is an extremely difficult.
Life in every day and wondering what’s going to happen today. Who did my child bite today? Who picked on my child today? How am I going to be embarrassed today? There are so many people out there and I, I really encourage those to go out and, and seek other people dealing with these issues. And even if they don’t offer you anything, they can just kind of nod and, and know that yeah, it’s tough.
They can just empathize and sympathize with you. And I guess. Commiserate almost. I am not really the most eloquent person in the world, but it’s all of those things. It’s comfort. It’s it’s knowing that your journey is going to be different than everybody else’s. But, um, there are others on a journey, much like yours, [00:32:00] and it just makes you, it takes just a little bit of that weight off of your, off of your shoulders.
Just get out there and seek. Uh, assistance and, and you’ll find it you’ll find it.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, those are pearls of wisdom about the importance of not being embarrassed or worrying too much about what other people think, you know, you’re not alone in this journey. And I think that, uh, having that understanding, you know, are some of the important steps to seeking, uh, what your family needs, what your kids need.
Right. As opposed to trying to think you’re going to be able to figure it out all on your own. So again, thanks for sharing. Um, I’m sort of curious to know why is it that you’ve agreed to be a mentor father as part of the Special Fathers Network?
Evan Spotswood: It, it, it just it’s, it’s part of, I would say that it’s, uh, also part of my faith, my faith in the Lord and Jesus Christ to give unto others and just share and get out there [00:33:00] and.
What good is all this, if I can’t help somebody else, you know, if I can’t make it easier because I felt lonely. So for me to be able to give back and you know, whether it’s being the best dad that I can be for them or show others how to be a best ad for their kids. I’ve got to do something with, with what I’ve got at the end of the day.
Um, I think that’s, uh, finding my reason for, for being around here.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, we’re thrilled to have you thank you for being part of the network and it’s not lost on me that your kids are still relatively young. They’re eight and 10 years old. So while you do have some experience, that might be a value to a younger dad, a younger dad than even yourself.
Um, there’s still some wisdom that you’ll be able to pick up on from some of the more seasoned guys in the network. Most definitely. So you’re sort of in a two for one situation. Uh, you’re willing to give, and hopefully there’ll be some things that you can receive as well. Yes, of course. Let’s give a [00:34:00] special shout out to our mutual friend, Dr.
Elisa Boskovich for helping connect us.
Evan Spotswood: Yes, of course. Um, I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed talking about it until I started speaking with, with Lisa about her, her dissertation on, on fathers. Of children with special needs and that in it of itself was some of the first and best therapy I received was just getting out there and realizing it’s okay to talk about it.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, um, she’s done some great work and I know that she’s opening a lot of doors for other people, yourself included and, uh, you know, uh, like you said, we’re each here for a purpose and, um, You know, you want to make sure that you’re sharing your gifts with other people. And I know that Lisa is one of those people as well.
So I’m sort of curious to know if somebody wants to learn more about some of the organizations that you’ve made reference to or to contact you, what’s the best way to go about doing that?
Evan Spotswood: Uh, I’m [00:35:00] not really sure. I’m not a, I’m not a social media person. Although I do have social media still active. I actually was microseconds away from deleting all of those accounts the other day, to be honest.
Uh, those organizations, beach kids therapy and, uh, they’re in, uh, San Clemente and Laguna in orange County, California and stepping forward therapy centers. Um, they have office in New Jersey and one out here on the West coast and Irvine. They, they do have websites at one point in time before pre pandemic.
Stepping forward had afterschool programs and they also had a summer camp, which was phenomenal. And they were there five days a week, and really allowed for our kids to have something productive to do over the summer. And quite frankly, at the same time gave mom and dad some respite to, uh, to get some work done at work and not have to worry about, um, what the kids are up to [00:36:00] getting your kids active and involved in a sports league of some sort.
Spirit league in Southern California, they are geared towards children with disabilities. The coaches are either parents of these children with special needs and they have referees that are working towards and in the field of special needs children. And it was, um, really confidence building for both of my children.
Teamwork, uh, was, was taught there, which is something that my, no, my son really struggles with. Those are the three major programs that we were able to find that that just, uh, really, we could see the benefit of them being in them. So I guess my last piece of advice there would be just continue to hit the ground and look for those opportunities to get yourself involved with a community in your area.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So if somebody wants to contact you, what’s the best way to do that.
Evan Spotswood: Uh, [00:37:00] evan.Spotswood@gmail.com.
David Hirsch: Okay. We’ll include that in the show notes, make it easy as possible for people to follow up with you. Evan. Thank you for taking the time in many insights. As a reminder, Evan is just one of the dads who is part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs. If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor, a father with a similar situation, your own, please go to 21stcenturydads.org. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did.
As you probably know, the 21st Century Dads Foundation is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free. To all concerned, please consider making a tech suck bowl contribution. I would really appreciate your support, Evan. Thanks again.
Evan Spotswood: Thank you.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the Dad to Dad podcast presented by the Special Fathers Network.
The Special Fathers Network is a [00:38:00] Dad to Dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process. New fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers go to 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search Dad to Dad. Also, please be sure to register for the Special Fathers Network. Bi-weekly the zoom calls held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.
Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story or know of a compelling story. Please send an email to David@21stcenturydads.org.
Tom Couch: If You enjoy this podcast, please be sure to subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen. But Dad to Dad podcast was produced by Couch [00:39:00] Audio for the Special Fathers Network.
Thanks again to Rubin Law for supporting the Dad to Dad podcast. Call Rubin Law at 847-279-7999 and mentioned the Special Fathers Network for a free consultation. (847) 279-7999.