Mike Ciavolino and his wife Laura welcomed triplets Michael, Nicholas, and Francesca, and became parents amid their accustomed lifestyle of traveling and working in Manhattan. Mike says that their bedroom now became a neonatal intensive care unit transiently.
Mike said that everything has changed all of a sudden as their daughter was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis (a genetically occurring disorder in the nervous system) straightaway and autism followed later on. He continued that it is overwhelming that his son Michael was also diagnosed with autism two years after his daughter’s diagnosis.
The three kids are sophomores in high school now. Mike said that the encounters he and his family in Oceanport, New Jersey have faced throughout the phase changed his outlook basically. Being an advertising expert and the Shore Creative Group’s CEO, he says that he needed considerable time to embrace the current position.
He says, “having a special needs child in your life is not a detour. It’s the life you were meant to live. It took me years to get to that place, and still, I have my moments, like everything we’ve gone through, days and weeks that really stink, that are overwhelming. But conversely, I’ve received so many more gifts from them, and even just perspective change on what’s truly important.”
Mike started the ‘Empowered is not Impaired’ podcast as he feels he is being called to return it. ‘Super Parent,’ his debut book is on its way to be released. His motto through both these ways is to connect to other parents whose children require special needs and give them hope.
The encouragement is right in time now amid the pandemic as it is hitting people with autism hard. Mike says that he saw his son Michael struggling with his routine, a common observation in autistic people. Mike says that autistic people already have more anxiety and if their routine is being taken away, things would be out of hand pretty quickly.
Michael has ‘significant meltdowns,’ and he spoke in a monotone voice while struggling to give eye contact, says Mike. So, Mike says he spends so much time with his son to help him cope up. Nick is the additional parent to his brother and sister, he is so compassionate about them and is full of empathy, said Mike.
Mike said apart from being called back, he is grateful for other kids with special needs parents who came up before him. He now aims at taking forward the cycle of aid using his upcoming books and podcast. While he interviews different people including parents and educators, his first book is set to release in February 2022.
His goal is to encourage people to the extent where they also start to feel called to be helpful to others and would want to give the same back, said Mike. He hopes that the content his team is trying to bring in enlivens people.
Though his podcast is six episodes past, he says his team was able to convey great stories and the guests coming to every episode are truly inspiring.