Not Alone

Susan is a single mom of three children, two of whom are on the autism spectrum, who struggles to accomplish life’s basic tasks.  Without a car of her own, she must use public transportation to go grocery shopping, but all three of her children require her to be holding them in some fashion so they do not run away from her and endanger themselves.  Like the rest of us, she only has two hands.  What would you do in her shoes?

Susan called Autism Tennessee, as she had many times before, on a particularly challenging and overwhelming day.  She was distraught to a point that we had not heard from her before.  After speaking with her for a while, our Parent Representative felt strongly that what she needed most was a mental health break from the stress of caring for her 10-year-old with severe behavior problems who could be particularly challenging to keep occupied and safe.

We offered her resources for specialized summer camps and funding assistance.  We helped her think through who in her life might be able to watch her other two children for a few hours a day while the oldest was at camp so she could take some time for herself.

Susan called two days later, just as distraught.  She had reached a level of stress and exhaustion that was paralyzing, and she wasn’t able to follow up on the resources we had given her.  With her permission, we reached out to organizations on her behalf.

We found a local agency who was willing to accept one more child into their camp, another agency to fund it, and a third agency to help us navigate her transportation issues in getting her child to camp.  Then we found an organization that accepted TennCare and could start providing behavioral interventions and supports for her son.

The process of getting Susan and her family what they needed involved multiple Autism Tennessee staff, working with at least five other community agencies, over the span of a few weeks.  Autism Tennessee was the bridge to the services Susan needed for her and her family’s physical, emotional, and mental health.

Susan called back a month later and sounded like a new woman.  Her son’s behaviors were already starting to improve as was her outlook on life.  She thanked us for being there for her when she was down and didn’t have the energy or resolve to pick herself up.  She knows she can continue to count on Autism Tennessee to make sure she is never alone, even in her darkest hours.

Will you join us in changing people’s lives and making sure that no one affected by autism in Middle Tennessee ever walks their journey alone?  Please make a donation to Autism Tennessee today.  100% of donations stay in Middle Tennessee and go toward support, advocacy, and education for the local autism community.





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