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.
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.
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.
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