Becoming a parent for the first time is a decisive moment for anyone, but it can pose additional problems when you are autistic.
Jude Morrow is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autism spectrum disorder. He had trouble becoming a father at the birth of his son, Ethan.
The Londonderry man has trouble interpreting and expressing his feelings, dealing with sensory problems and dislike his routine.
This posed a big problem when he discovered that he was going to become a father.
- "I was diagnosed with autism at 32 years old"
- Autistic children in NI schools triple in ten years
"Adapting and managing change is not easy for me in the best case," he told BBC News NI.
"I always tried to avoid any change but I could not avoid becoming a dad.
"I just wanted to know right away what would happen, I spent hours waiting there and thinking about what I could do to prepare myself.
"It was a radical change of life, it was a downward spiral and I had a very difficult time."
Sleeping and feeding habits are expected to be unpredictable in a newborn, but some people with autism, such as Morrow, depend on a strict sense of order.
"The constant change with a new baby is something that I really have trouble with, because it went against my routine and it really disturbed me.
"The worst part is that I had a hard time telling you what Ethan was feeling by looking at him because I do not detect the facial cues.
"I did not stop to look at him and ask if he was fine."
Although becoming one of the parents was one of the darkest times of his life, it helped the 28-year-old to accept his autism.
"At that time, my condition was so difficult to live and I was so difficult to live that Ethan could see it," he said.
"I did not stop thinking that I was going to get out but I had to accept that and make peace with myself.
"I now see it as a difference to celebrate – I'm proud of my autism now."
Since he became a dad, he has developed many coping mechanisms, but he still faces the daily challenges of parenting.
"These are things that most people do not even consider, but I can not handle chaotic situations such as children's play areas because of my sensory issues."
He still has trouble explaining how he feels.
"It can overwhelm me," he said.
"I do not always have a proper answer to a situation."
Although his family and friends brought him a lot, Mr. Morrow found very few resources for autistic parents.
"There is a wealth of information for parents of autistic children, but not much for autistic parents themselves.
"I could not find anyone in this group using their voice to support other people like them, so I decided to write a book about my story."
& # 39; Glow of hope & # 39;
Mr. Morrow dedicated the book to his son and borrowed the title from a question asked by Ethan to his grandmother.
"My mother was busy with Ethan and he asked her," Why does dad always look so sad? "
"I decided to use this as the title for the book.
"Even at the age of five, Ethan understood that I had trouble showing my emotions and that I often had an empty face.
"Autism is something I never thought I'd talk about, but I'm happy to have done it because I wish it was a symbol of hope for autistic parents. "