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Pucks and Puzzle Pieces

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Blog - Pucks and Puzzle Pieces


I have two passions in my life: family and sports. I always figured that once I started my own family, sports would be a big part of it. I imagined teaching my kids all about the games and teams I loved and having them gravitate towards the same interest.

Get to know me:

My son Ryan was two when he was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Later evaluations would suggest Asperger’s and a healthy dose of ADHD. After the initial shock dissipated, I found myself wondering if I’d ever be able to share my passion for sports with my son. He struggled with poor coordination, low muscle tone and a difficulty focusing, which kind of makes it tough to watch a 3 1/2 hour football game. His early interests were more like fixations, usually on inanimate objects: toy cars, garage doors, spinning tops, etc. So it came as the most pleasant of surprises when he took an extreme interest in my most favorite of sports: hockey.

You’ll find here stories of my family’s experience with autism, and how a shared love of a sport has brought our family, Ryan, his younger sister Riley, my wife Veronica and myself closer together during some very challenging times.

“Pucks and Puzzle Pieces is one dad’s story of connecting with his son through a shared love of hockey. Neil writes about parenting a child with autism and he writes about hockey, but what comes through most is a celebration of fatherhood and family.”


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