51 Year Old Single Mom Of 7 Seeks Grant For Autistic Sons Who Do Matter
(Philadelphia, PA, USA)
I am a 51-year-old single mom. I have six sons and one daughter.
My oldest boy is on death row. Now 32, he was sentenced at the age of 18 for a crime he didn't commit.
My father is deceased. My mom can barely get around now after her hip surgery. It seems like she gets shorter every time we visit her.
My sons were born Autistic/Mental Retardation. My second autistic son is non-verbal. He is now 19 and very childlike.
I prayed he would talk but the doctor told me that if he didn't talk by the age of nine he would never talk. He has never spoken a word.
He is also Albino so he is legally blind. I also have another son who is Albino and legally blind.
When they were younger, people would say that my non-verbal son looked like the actor Macaulay Culkin from the Home Alone movies and I would laugh because he did look like him.
With my son's incarceration, I suffered from depression for years but I couldn't let that stop me for caring for my other children.
The last time I worked was in 1999 and I loved my job. I was a file clerk in a Fire Insurance Company with opportunities to move up but my personal situation made that near impossible.
Autistic Children are very difficult to handle and one that is non-verbal is even more difficult. The caretakers would call my job all the time for me to come get them so I would have to leave work.
I tried having the caretakers watch them at my home. That didn't work either. I would still get calls at work.
My family members couldn't handle them either when the caretakers would quit, so I had to stay home with them.
I only receive disability for them. It's not much, but it helps.
People tell me to put my sons in a home but how could I do that? I love them just because of their disabilities! They do matter.
I will admit that when I was working I had more self-respect. Not having a job makes me feel like a non-person, like I don't matter now.
I looked online for work-from-home jobs but they seem to be scams. I was scammed a couple of times now.
I'm interested in writing children's books so I'm researching that now. I already started writing one book anyway.
I noticed when I read to my non-verbal son he listens as long as I'm animated and he likes to turn the page.
I stopped going and taking the boys to church. When we went the people were annoyed because they would make loud sounds and noises.
I grew up in that church. I couldn't believe it. I thought you are always welcomed at church. The church is torn down now. The building was sold.
When they are frustrated, some autistic kids destroy walls, doors and glass. One of my autistic sons did those things, but he doesn't anymore.
My home is falling apart due to my son's destructive behavior and also to normal wear and tear.
I can't have home repairs done though. It's not in my budget. I am looking for a grant to do home repairs.
I tried a government agency 3 years ago. I was put on the waiting list for emergency home repairs.
They came to my home this year and saw the exposed wires and the ceiling falling apart. They said they would be back but I received a letter in the mail stating that my home doesn't qualify.
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