Auntie Unfiltered Chats With Holly Robinson Peete About Parenting a Neurodivergent Child

I am not a parent; I am simply an auntie.

I decided very early in adulthood that parenthood was not the ministry for me. It is a job that takes a lot of hard work, and I did not believe I had the stamina for it, so I opted out.

Advertisement

I have watched my baby sister as well almost all my girl cousins have children and deal with all that comes with it. I have been able to observe different parenting styles and watch the fruit of those efforts in their children. None of them have had it easy, and I applaud all of their efforts.

With as difficult a task as parenting is, I can only imagine how much more difficult it becomes when you have a child that is neurodivergent or differently abled.

Advertisement

Actress, author and mom Holly Robinson Peete recently sat down with Auntie Unfiltered to talk about her experience parenting her neurodivergent son RJ, who is autistic.

“RJ was diagnosed when he was 3 years old with autism,” she told me, “and we were told that he would never do so many things. One of the things they said he would never do was have meaningful employment.

“It was such a terrible day, We call it the ‘never day’ because...this developmental pediatrician rattled off this list that he wouldn’t speak, mainstream in school, play team sports, live on his own, drive—you know, all these things, and when you’re hearing that about your three-year-old, it was an awful day, and we just refused to accept that...but it was tough to be hopeful at that time.”

RJ is now 23 years old and has a job working with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robinson Peete says RJ is blessed to have parents with resources, and they took the time to make the journey with their son, Robinson Peete said she is so proud of him—but it wasn’t easy.

Advertisement

Check out the video to hear Holly’s story of triumph and listen to the advice she has for other parents who may be experiencing the same thing.

As always, Auntie Unfiltered wants to hear from you. If you have questions, comments, concerns; if you need advice, or if you have a topic you think I should discuss, please hit me up at AuntieSubmissions@TheRoot.com

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

DISCUSSION

whypeepoegottastop
I'mSofaKingSickofWonderBread

It’s so messed up that because a “normal” doctor (or person, for that matter) can’t understand a “different” child, they throw all these “can’t”s at them, instead of just trying to understand even the tiniest bit of what a child may need.

And while I know that it’s likely most people are NOT on the spectrum, it’s starting to sound real weird when someone says “differently abled”. It just starts to sound like “Over here are the humans, and over THERE are the...‘different’ ones...”

Anyway, it’s good that Holly has done right by her child, and I like seeing stories like this, because the “normies” progress more slowly than molasses, so we’ll all have to continue to coddle folks “with nothing wrong” until they can feel comfortable accepting everyone as human.

Sorry, I meant to champion the good vibes in this piece, but I just turned it into a whinefest.

Advertisement

Advertisement