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By Brenda Kosky-Deskin

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Saluting 10 Autism Super-Moms

May 9, 2013   Comments (0)

Family Matters Grandparents Parents Kudos!

     

autismThis Mother's Day, let's give a big shout-out to the Autism Super-Moms who have paved the way for the rest of us with their unwavering dedication, creativity, bravery, and forward-thinking. I am in complete awe of all of these remarkable woman and their tremendous accomplishments and am forever indebted to them for their ongoing work to better my son's life and the lives of so many others who share his diagnosis...

eustacia cutler, autismEustacia Cutler
 – Mom to Temple

When few had even heard of Autism, and those who had were attributing it to "refrigerator mothers" who failed to bond with their children, Eustacia  paid no heed to the social stigma associated with having an autistic child and instead focused on raising her daughter, Temple Grandin. Despite so-called experts' urgings, Eustacia refused to institutionalize her then non-verbal and often violent daughter. Her unrelenting drive to educate and socialize Temple was largely responsible for Dr. Temple Grandin becoming not only one of – if not the – most well-known and respected Autism advocates today, but also an internationally recognized expert within the agriculture and cattle-management industry. Eustacia tells her story in Thorn In My Pocket. Watch this touching video of Eustacia's address to Autism Moms and families everywhere.

liane kupferberg carterLiane Kupferberg Carter
– Mom to Mickey

As a professional journalist, Liane advocates for and raises awareness about Autism in an impressive list of publications that include The New York Times parenting blog, Motherlode, The Huffington Post and The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism, to name only a few. In her capacity as a member of Autism Speaks' Parent Committee, she helped edit the organization's Transition Tool Kit. Liane's writing is powerful and direct, often calling out people for their attitudes and behaviors toward her son and others on the Autism Spectrum with blogs like, The Way You Look At Him and The One-Two Punch of Autism.

areva martinAreva Martin
– Mom to Marty

Award-winning attorney, author and media personality, Areva helps parents everywhere with her highly acclaimed book, The Everyday Advocate: Standing Up For Your Autistic Child. Areva, a highly sought-after public speaker, makes regular appearances on The Dr. Phil Show and Anderson Cooper, and is a syndicated columnist. Areva graduated with honors from both the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School and is founding and managing partner of Los Angeles Law firm, Martin & Martin LLP. Areva's benevolence has helped more than 15,000 families in low-income communities across California through the Special Needs Network, Inc., a non-profit organization she co-founded to support families who have children with special needs.

Holly Robinson Peete
 Mom to Rodney Jr.

The HollyRod Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Holly and her husband, former NFL quarterback, Rodney Pete, provides tablet computers and apps to people with Autism in order to "Give the Gift of Voice", as their campaign is so aptly named. This talented actress and singer collaborated with her daughter to author My Brother Charlie, a heartwarming children's book about a boy with Autism written from a sibling's perspective. Holly graciously uses her celebrity status to raise awareness about Autism and in 2010 participated in the third season of Celebrity Apprentice, setting a show record for raising the most funds for a charity on a single task. Holly is a Board member of Autism Speaks and her philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors.

Nunu Sanchez
– Mom to Tony

We Autism Moms can be a tough bunch. We have a lot on our minds and we aren't afraid to say it! So can you imagine managing over 21,900 of us? As a moderator of the ever-growing Facebook group "Autism", Nunu does just that. On a daily basis, Nunu monitors posts, welcomes new members and ever so diplomatically plays referee during the occasional disputes that inevitably arise every now and then. Nunu's hard work and dedication give all of us Autism Moms – and many others – a unique and invaluable forum where we can speak our minds (politely, of course!), learn and share. 

chantal sicile-kira

Chantal Sicile-Kira
– Mom to Jeremy

An award-winning writer and speaker, Chantal is also the Founder of Autism College, a unique online training website for Autism parents, teachers and professionals. Jeremy's beautiful quote says it all, "My story is like Helen Keller's, the deaf, mute, and blind girl. Helen Keller had a teacher, Anne Sullivan, who taught her and took her out of isolation. My first great teacher was my mom..." Through Autism College, speaking engagements, her own blog and guest blogs on Huffington Post, as well as her six books including the latest, A Full Life With Autism, Chantal shares her years of experience as an Autism Mom and educator with countless other parents and professionals alike.

tammy starr, autismTammy Starr
– Mom to Carly

Survivor. Champion. Self-professed "Autism Warrior". Tammy is all of these and more. Tammy quips that she is the manager of "Carly Inc." when describing the myriad of responsibilities she assumes that have enabled her autistic daughter, Carly Fleischmann, to thrive. Carly was diagnosed with severe Autism as a toddler. Now a teenager, Carly is a famous Autism advocate whose story of an awe-inspiring communication breakthrough is revealed in the family's book, Carly's Voice – Breaking Through Autism. Tammy's ongoing advocacy efforts have helped countless Canadian families and she has let nothing, including two battles with cancer, stand in her way when it comes to getting what her daughter and others on the Autism Spectrum need to reach their utmost potential.

amanda telford, autismAmanda Telford
– Mom to Philippe

Amanda Telford actually did what many overstressed, financially strapped and desperate Autism Moms have only thought about. After exhausting all possible avenues to find help for her severely autistic adult son, she courageously dropped him off at a local government office with a note explaining why. Her actions have garnered support from around the world and hopefully finally gotten the message across loud and clear that our governments need to not only recognize, but give support to the many families like Amanda's who are desperate and struggling to care for their aging children with Autism. Learn more about this courageous Autism Mom and her gut-wrenching decision.

suzanne wright, autism speaksSuzanne Wright
– Grandmother to Christian

Suzanne and Bob Wright had all of the resources and connections they needed to give their grandson every therapy, service and comfort he required after he was diagnosed with Autism in 2004. However, they decided to do more. Much more. Within two years of receiving Christian's diagnosis, they had founded Autism Speaks, an organization that has helped millions of individuals and continues advocating for and raising awareness about Autism, providing funding and resources to families affected by Autism, supporting Autism research and lobbying government for legislation and policies that will further their organization's cause. Suzanne has addressed the United Nations in her advocacy efforts and continues to speak around the world to give Autism a voice like it has never before had.

autismYou – Mom to 1 of every 88 children

Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. You've more than earned it. Few truly appreciate the struggles that you have gone through, and continue to endure, all in the name of love for that very special person who has changed your life forever. You can truly appreciate how precious one single spoken word is. You give of yourself when there is no more left to give. Even though you might not get the opportunity to hear it, know in your heart that as an Autism Mom, you are loved in a very different, yet ever so special way.

May 9, 2013   Comments (0)

Family Matters Grandparents Parents Kudos!

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