Father details son’s struggles, accomplishments in book

Sean C. Morgan

In a lot of people’s eyes, Parker Seiber started life with a raw deal – a birth defect, cerebral palsy and autism.

But his father, Rich Seiber, counts Parker as a blessing and an inspiration for overcoming his limitations and constantly illustrating biblical principles.

“For years, friends and family have been begging me to write a book about my amazing son, Parker,” said Rich Seiber, a former television reporter and disc jockey. “My readers and family and friends were saying, you really need to write about your son. Finally, I have put elements of his miraculous story on paper.”

In January, he published the book “Parker’s Story: Essays on Autism and Awesometism” on Amazon.com. The book is available digitally for the Kindle for 99 cents. Hard copies also are available.

“My son, we consider him our miracle baby,” Seiber said. Parker’s birth defect is a malformation of the brain – half of his brain did not develop.

“He has all these challenges,” Seiber said. “He’s remarkable in that he’s overcome them.”

That’s come through perseverance, a lot of prayer and a lot of therapy, Seiber said.

Seiber and his wife found out about the brain malformation during her pregnancy, so “he’s basically been in therapy since the day he was born.”

Today, the boy can read, although he has problems understanding and interpreting what he reads, Seiber said. He can memorize Bible verses easily.

“He’s a tough kid,” Seiber said. “He just gets overwhelmed, but he just makes things happen.”

“We wondered would he crawl or ever throw a ball,” Seiber said in a poem he wrote when Parker was 6. Parker did crawl and throw a ball.

And when “you think it can’t be done, just remember my son,” Seiber said. “He’s proof it can be done. My son’s perseverance and personality have made him a hero and inspiration to many.”

Parker has been an inspiration to the Seiber family, he said. He shows his parents, who must deal with their own exceptional challenges, that they can overcome them. That’s what Seiber wanted to share with his readers.

The book tackles he subject of autism, Seiber said, but the stories are something for everyone.

“I want to challenge people such as myself, when we complain about how tough life is. What right do I have to complain about how tough life is?” Seiber said. “My son has overcome so much more.”

The book is “all about overcoming obstacles,” he said. It is packed with humorous and uplifting anecdotes written in a devotional style, with a Bible verse, a story about his son, a summary of the lesson and how to apply it.

The key to overcoming their challenges rests in their faith and in leaning on God, he said, and in Parker himself.

“He probably encourages us just as much if not more than we encourage him.”

When it came to writing the book, his third, Seiber realized he had already been writing about him since he was born. It was mainly a matter of compiling that writing.

“My hope is one day he will read this book and realize what a blessing he’s been,” Seiber said. “I hope a book about him will encourage other people too.”

Seiber grew up in Sweet Home, graduating from Sweet Home High School in 1986. His father Don Seiber continues to live in Sweet Home.

He moved away from Sweet Home in 1990 when he graduated from George Fox University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He earned his master’s degree in communications from Ore-gon State University. He moved to North Highland, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento, in 1997.

“We still come to Sweet Home every year to visit my dad,” Seiber said. His wife, Stephanie Seiber, loves small towns. The two have one son, Parker, 11. Seiber’s stepdaughter, Sarah Giarraputo, has two children.

Seiber has spent more than 25 years in media, working for seven years as a reporter with PBS television statewide and nationwide. He has starred in almost a dozen television commercials and been a radio disc jockey with KFIR and KFOX.

He said his son and family have been featured in national publications and websites, such as Yahoo, Football Nation, Mysterious Ways and Life Support.

“Parker’s Story” has been highlighted in broadcast programs like “Real Christianity.”

Seiber said he is active at Bayside Church as a volunteer for the church’s Serve Day and Trunk or Treat ministries. For five years, he has served on the board of directors and was elected board secretary for the pro-life ministry Pregnancy Support Group.

He also has written two novels, “The Homeless Informant” and “Box Office Betrayal.”

Both of his novels are Christian fiction, he said. The “Informant” is the story of a man who makes one bad choice and the consequences that follow, taking him from husband to homeless to the hospital.

“I’ve always loved to write,” Seiber said. He worked on the Huskian school newspaper in high school.

While growing up, he would stay with his grandmother while his parents were at work. She watched soap operas, which were much tamer in those days. He grew up watching them, and he loved the ongoing story lines.

He loves the plots, the twists, the turns and unexpected events.

“My wife encouraged me to write my first novel,” Seiber said, and she’s still looking for a sequel to that one.

Seiber likes happy endings, so its ending is happy.

“I have that storytelling desire,” Seiber said.

Both of his novels also are available at Amazon.com.