Ted Lyde is a comedian and the father of a special needs son and a "near-genius" daughter. His son Jackson is fifteen years old and his daughter Grace is seventeen. Jackson has muscular ataxia and is non-verbal, but Ted says he's still very loud and celebratory, even at 5 am. He's been married to his wife Jaime for many years.
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In today's podcast, we discussed everything from what it means to be a father of a special needs son, how anger and grieving affect mothers and fathers differently, and what discipline is appropriate for special needs kids to what it means to be a man and a provider. We also talked and laughed a lot about sleep -- or the lack thereof. Ted claimed to have not had a profound night's sleep for sixteen years, at least since he became a father.
Ted struggled for many years to balance being the father of a son with special needs and a comedian. He believes that comedians are uniquely self-indulgent and found it difficult to continue to pursue his career or be "the center of attention" as soon as his son was diagnosed. He developed and hosts a podcast which has not only been therapeutic for him but given him a creative outlet. Ted says that "Learning Not to Swear" focuses on life, marriage and the art of moving forward when you feel so very stuck.
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I love fiction and stories about men who are holding on by a thread.
My beautiful, wonderful wife Jaime. I'm getting choked up trying to find the words. I tease her about my circumstances, and she says, "Ted, what would you be doing right now otherwise?" And I say, "Nothing better."