Just a Mother Sharing How Autism & Mental Illness has Imapcted our Family



Bio: This blog was created to share our experiences and the impact of mental illness and Autism. I believe in the importance of erasing the stigma of mental illness and for that to happen, families such as mine need to speak out, advocate, and provide the real story of what we endure daily. That includes, the struggles and the successes of our daily life and interactions with the health care system, schools, police, and society in general. Mental illness, just like cancer, diabetes, or even the flu is a medical illness and it's past time that we treat it as such. I feel our societies failure to provide treatment and support services for mentally ill individuals and denying hospital care to the mentally ill is setting a separate and unequal standard in our country that the mentally ill are somehow less deserving of medical care and being treated with the same dignity and quality care that any other person facing a medical crisis has the right too. They too have a right to a successful life free from pain and without proper care and understanding their illness could have life threatening consequences. As a mother with a child who has struggled for years with mental illness and Autism, I feel it is my path in life to raise awareness so that we might create the much needed change in this country and end the discrimination facing the millions of mentally ill. "Mental illness is an equal-opportunity illness. Every one of us is impacted by mental illness. One in five adults are dealing with this illness, and many are not seeking help because the stigma prevents that." ~Margaret Larson

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14 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Angela,

    Not sure where you live but in Australia where I am (Perth) not a lot out there to help families or teenage children struggling. I can imagine the hopelessness you feel must be exhausting at times. You too need a break and sometimes that’s the biggest resource that’s lacking for families. Again stay strong. Your a great mother. Hugs Paula xxx

    • Finding the appropriate help for your child can be a long and exhausting journey. It’s also just as difficult to find mental health care as an adult here in the States. We were living in California and now reside in Denver, Colorado temporarily. Almost every State in this country has a “C” rating or less in regards to mental health care, according to NAMI. There are only six States that have a “B” rating and none bearing an “A” rating. All of the States that bare a “B” rating are located on the East Coast except for Oklahoma oddly enough. We are currently in the process of considering which one of those six “B” rated States we feel would be the best fit for our family. Because of the severity of my son’s mental illness, we want to make sure that he has the absolute best support system in place and that includes the best mental heath care facilities. I’m sorry to hear that Australia doesn’t have a better mental health care system in place. Thank you for Paula for the kind words. I hope you stay strong as well. Angela

      • Thank you and all the best to you and your family. Before I go, I really struggled at school and when my father finally took me out at 14, that’s when I started to strive and have hope. School was just no use in the frame I was in. I learnt more leaving school than I ever did at it. Some kids just don’t strive in the public system and I was one of them. Hugs Paula xxx

      • Yes, my son also struggles in school. We are lucky to have him in a school that specializes in students with special needs. He currently only goes to school 3-4 days a week and for half days. It sounds as though you had very supportive parents, I’m glad and I look forward to reading more about your journey.

  2. Writing has always been my therapy. 🙂 Best of luck to you and your family.

  3. Thank you so much for fighting stigma and advocating for an improved mental health care system. Would you be interested in sharing your unique perspective and journey on Stigmama dot com? Your voice needs to be heard!

    • Thank you. I believe mental health and the way first responders interact with those in crisis is such an important issue and one that cannot be talked about enough. I want all families to feel safe when they are forced to involve law enforcement, and for law enforcement to be continuously trained, so that they can keep not just those in crisis safe, but themselves as well.

      Thank you for asking me to contribute and I would love to add anything I can if it helps to erase the stigma of mental illness. Please, just let me know what I can do to help.

      • Go take a look at Walker Karraa’s site Stigmama.com and submit a piece of your writing. You could even repurpose something you have already written. I just created a post calling for submissions about Stereotypes. We could use a wider range of voices. Your perspective is unique. You write beautifully, too, which I love.

  4. Thanks so much for visiting my site and choosing to follow along.
    I wish I’d had a mother like you who is so courageous and strong, I know you must not feel that way most of the time, but your voice helps us all.

    • Thank you so much. To be honest, it is difficult but I love my son and I know he struggles and he needs all the support I can manage to find him. As a child I had parents who didn’t fight for me, so I never wanted to be the type of parent that didn’t fight for my own children. All children deserve to have someone in their corner cheering them on.

  5. Hi, angelia! I posted your blog post “A Rising Crisis in our Nation” to my closed facebook group for XYY chromosome disorder. Boys with xyy chromosome abnormality can have autism, ADHD/ADD, various abnormal behavior and mental health disorders ranging from mild to severe. Some of our members’ boys are having a terrible time like your son. One boy is in prison, and a couple are in residential treatment facilities. Some are making threats and some are acting on threats to injure themselves and their family members. We are at a loss to know who to turn to. I am going to suggest that everyone get in touch with their local NAMI representative, which seems to be the advice you offer. Please let me know if you have any other advice for us. If you’d like to join our group just to see the kinds of things boys with xyy are contending with (similar to what your son is dealing with) we would love to have you for a member! Shoot me an email and I will ask that you be added to our group.

    • Thank you! NAMI is an excellent resource as well as Catholic Charities. Catholic, at least in our area, has an extensive wrap around program that helps families in crisis. It doesn’t matter if you are affiliated with the Catholic church or if you even have a religious preference at all. They provide in-home therapy, and have an on-call crisis team that will come to your home when your child is melting down. They teach social skills, story boards, and work with them out in the community. I have to say, Catholic Charities has been a life saver for our family these last few weeks. Also, NIH, The National Institute of Health, they do various research and we were able to get our son in there for seven weeks because he had been misdiagnosed with schizophrenia when he was ten. NIH was where we were able to receive a definitive diagnose of Autism and a few other things. I hope that helps and please feel free to contact me anytime with questions.

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