Katie Moisse, Health Reporter with ABCNews.com, interviewed me for an article that was posted today. The article came about because of studies that show that autism moms have a lower income than moms without an autistic child. She wanted to interview actual moms, raising an autistic child, and find out how the studies relate to us.
I think that the only moms of an autistic child that didn’t see their income lowered, or eliminated, due to raising an autistic child, is a celebrity mom. I had to stop working. My family struggles to get by on my husband’s income.
During the interview, I addressed questions about my experiences raising my son. It was difficult. Even after all of these years, talking about the years before my son’s diagnosis rips at my heart. I was talking to a friend about it last week, and I was holding back the tears. I try to not look back. I try to focus on what is, and what could be.
Yesterday, we were out bowling, and there were several birthday parties going on. My son made his way over to one of them, and the mother of the birthday girl was trying to talk to him. I rushed over to him, and apologized. I quickly explained that he doesn’t talk, and that he was autistic. My son was pointing at a little bag of Doritos that was on the table. She told him he could have it, and I thanked her for her kindness.
Later, I looked around and saw that he was back over there. She was handing him a plate. My son came back to us, and sat at the counter. He had two slices of pizza and a bag of chips. I went over to her, and before I could say anything, she looked at me and smiled. She said it was no problem, they had plenty. I thanked her for being so kind to my son. I could feel the tears in my eyes, and I could tell that she noticed them. We exchanged a couple of words, and I returned to my family.
Our lives are not easy. We struggle with taking care of our autistic child. Moments like that, the kindness of a stranger, makes things a little easier.