BMWK: Chris and Shanté: Name four ingredients that each marriage should have when raising a child with autism.
- Understanding– Realizing how certain situations can make each other feel. It’s helpful to be able to recognize these feelings and know how to properly approach each other when addressing them.
- Patience– This is especially important when dealing with a non-verbal child. Frustration can easily set in with all parties when communication isn’t being relayed in the manner you wish.
- Perseverance– When difficult times arise, it is important to band together and ride it out, because raising a child with autism will bring about many challenges.
- Humor– When living in an environment that has the potential to become a daily stressor, it’s great to be able to laugh, smile, and find humor in situations that would otherwise bring you down.
BMWK: What has been the most challenging factor in your marriage when it comes to raising a child with autism?
Shanté: Having different points of views on how to discipline Dylan, and when it’s necessary to.
BMWK: What has been the most fulfilling?
Shanté: Watching Dylan’s growth and seeing him overcome obstacles. It has also been very rewarding to see the bond development between him and Chris.
BMWK: Chris: What advice can you give to men who may be hesitant to get involved with a single mom raising a child with autism or any special needs?
Chris: I would tell any hesitant man that it’s a chance to gain characteristics that will help you become a better person in many different areas of one’s life while also affecting other people around them in a more positive way. Any person who has the opportunity to experience and learn of this condition has a greater possibility to help, encourage, and support others going through this same experience in their own lives.
BMWK: Shanté: What advice can you give to single moms who may be hesitant to get involved with a man because they are not sure their child with autism will be accepted?
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Shanté: I understand that it is hard to allow someone else into your child’s life. It’s hard to open that door of trust. As long as you are willing to let a little of your guard down and be upfront and honest about your child’s situation and needs, if the man loves you, he’ll accept your child just the way they are.
So what’s next for the Supervilles? They are gearing up to open F.A.C.E.’s Place Respite Care Center on January 11, 2014. Located in Silver Spring, MD, this program will offer a fun-filled environment personalized to meet the needs of children, ages 3-12, with developmental and intellectual differences. Family members and caregivers will have an opportunity to enjoy a brief period of restorative relief, knowing that their children are in a safe, loving, understanding, and accepting environment.
BMWK – If you are parenting a child with Autism, what are you doing to keep to support your marriage and keep it strong? If you are a single parent with a special needs child, how did you overcome reservations when it comes to dating?
Check back every other Tuesday for additional articles from Kpana Kpoto as she shares her experiences and what she learns as she raises her son that has been diagnosed with Autism.