It was a pleasure to interview Chris Superville and Shanté Nicole Harris-Superville to discuss autism and marriage. We rarely get to hear about the marriages that are working for autism families. I know some married couples raising children on the spectrum and I know single parents doing the same. It can have its challenges either way. Yet, all of these families are doing their best for their children.
BMWK: How old was your child when he was diagnosed with autism? How old is your child now?
Shanté: Dylan was two when he was diagnosed. He is seven-years old now.
BMWK: Shanté: How old was Dylan when you started dating Chris?
Shanté: Dylan was four-years old when Chris and I began dating.
BMWK: Chris: What was your reaction when you learned that Dylan was on the autism spectrum?
Chris: It was the first time I’d ever heard of the condition. Due to this being my first encounter, it only peaked my curiosity and created a desire to learn about it.
BMWK: Shanté: How did Chris’s reaction impact your relationship?
Shanté: Because he doesn’t have any children, I was skeptical about how he would handle raising a child, let alone, my child with special needs. He accepted him as his own, and accepted the challenge of taking care of him. This definitely grew our relationship stronger.
BMWK: How did you both work through the initial adjustments to make your marriage work?
Shanté: We pretty much played “Follow the Leader.” Chris observed how I handled Dylan and he imitated my actions as closely as possible.
BMWK: What roles have you both assumed in your family when it comes to caring for your son?
Shanté: We assume equal roles. This helps because we both lead extremely busy lives, so sharing responsibilities alleviates many situations that could turn stressful really quickly.