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To the moms who raise a loved one on the spectrum,

This weekend is Mother’s Day and I wanted you to know how important you are to your child. You may not know it, but simply by being there for them you are making a huge difference. I know this because when I was growing up with autism my mom helped me through some of the hardest moments in my life…

When I was completely nonverbal till I was 2.5, my mom was there.

When I was diagnosed with autism when I was 4, my mom was there.

When educators in my schools couldn’t understand why I was lashing out, my mom was there.

When I started school my mom was there.

When I had to move to 3 different public schools in 4 years, my mom was there.

When I came home crying from school for not only being bullied but having difficulty with that transition, my mom was there.

When we fought our school district for 2 and a-half years to get me an out of district placement for students with learning disabilities, my mom was there.

When I needed someone to drive me to school, my mom was there.

When I found my strengths, my mom was there.

When we finally found the therapies that worked best for me, my mom was there.

When I made my first friend and ran home to tell everyone, my mom was there.

When I graduated from grade school, my mom was there.

When I was struggling with taking the SAT’s, my mom was there.

When I graduated from high school, my mom was there.

When I was nervously waiting for an acceptance letter to come to our house to see if I got into college, my mom was there.

When I graduated with my undergraduate and master’s degrees, my mom was there.

When I received my first full-time job offer, my mom was there.

When I received my certification as one of the first professional public speakers with autism in the country, my mom was there.

When I had any self-doubt in my ability to achieve great things, my mom was there.

When I succeeded and overcame the obstacles that challenged me when I was younger, my mom was there.

To the moms out there who love someone with autism, I hope you realize the impact you make like my mom made for me simply by being there.

I love you mom!

Wishing all the amazing moms out there in our community a Happy Mother’s Day!