Helping parents of autistic children

Mental Health
Social inclusion
October 12, 2016 •  By Centraide

“I’m the mother of two autistic children.”

A Centraide-supported agency helped Johanne overcome several challenges.

Johanne is the mother of two autistic children. The youngest, Rémi, is 11 years old and is a high-functioning autistic. He’s relatively independent, but communication and social codes are difficult for him to assimilate. Simon, Johanne’s eldest, is a non-verbal autistic. He’s now 13 years old and still doesn’t speak. He self-harmed severely for several years, to the point where Johanne had to constantly hold his hands to prevent him from seriously injuring himself. When he was 6, he had to be hospitalized for 4 months. It was a very difficult time for the entire family.

Beyond the specialized schools that are available, resources are scarce. Johanne found the support she needed from a Centraide-supported agency that helps families living through these types of experiences. This support helped Johanne find the energy she needed be the parent she needed to be, and to create a peaceful home-life with her autistic children.

While life remains a daily struggle, Johanne is delighted by every small victory – things that may seem totally innocuous to other parents, but that show real progress in her children. Because each little victory makes her appreciate life with her two boys all the more.