Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Autism Spectrum Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Moms of Autistic Kids Cope Well

Under Stress but Show Great Strength, Study Shows

Special Challenges

The findings are not meant to minimize the challenges of parenting a child with autism, Montes says. But they do suggest that mothers with autistic kids may have something to teach moms of children dealing with similar developmental struggles.

“The [autism] moms reported being angry at their children less often, and they seemed to have much closer relationships with their children than mothers of children with other social skills deficits,” Montes says.

Adams tells WebMD that parenting a child with autism is more than a full-time job. Alison Singer agrees.

Singer’s soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter Jodie was diagnosed with autism at age 2 1/2.

Moms who work outside the home are often forced to quit their jobs to take care of their child’s needs, as both Adams and Singer did. Autism treatment programs can call for 40 hours a week or more of one-on-one behavioral intervention.

“I used to call myself the CEO of Jodie Inc., because managing her life was like running a very time-consuming business,” Singer tells WebMD. “I had to organize her therapy, hire the therapists, train the therapists, buy the supplies, and go to battle to get [insurance] coverage for her treatment.”

Adams, who lives with her son in Orange County, Calif., describes a similar scenario. In her book, A Real Boy: A True Story of Autism Early Intervention and Recovery, she says many women in her situation end up becoming what she calls “autism super mommies.”

“You take on all these roles. You become an expert on diet, on treatments, on all kinds of things, and you end up fighting battles all the time on your child’s behalf because the support systems, which are supposed to be in place to help, aren’t there.”

Special Joys

But both moms agree that the payoff comes from the special bond they have with their children and the joy they take in every hard-won developmental accomplishment.

“My plans included having kids, being a college professor, and writing novels, and then it all came apart,” Adams says. “But having my son made me a much more empathetic, totally realized human being. There is no question about it.”

Singer, who lives in Westchester, N.Y., recalls marveling recently as her daughter boarded the school bus by herself -- a task which used to terrify her.

“I started by walking her to the bus and then standing there until it was gone,” she says. “It took about two years until she was able to make the full trip from my front door, down the driveway, to the bus. As a mother I have learned to appreciate the things that I probably wouldn’t appreciate if I hadn’t seen my child work so hard to achieve them.”

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

girl at window
Symptoms within the first 2 years of a child’s life.
boy playing a violin
How is this condition similar to autism?
 
Mother and daughter indoors playing
Play therapy may undo the disorder in at-risk babies.
preschool age girl sitting at desk
What causes this rare form of autism?
 
High Functioning Autism And Asperge Syndrome
Article
Gluten Free Diet Slideshow
Article
 
Mother and daughter indoors playing
Article
man on bicycle
VIDEO
 
girl at window
Article
Mother hugging teenage son
Article
 
Understanding Rett Syndrome
Article
Home Care Tips
Article
 

WebMD Special Sections