This is How I Finally Found Autism Support for My Son

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Jay was diagnosed with autism 15 years ago. At that time, there wasn’t the kind of support that is available now.

It was a long road to finally get my son with autism the help he needed.

The public school system just wasn’t working out.

They put him in a special ed classroom, and I never felt that Jay got the kind of support that he really needed. In fact, they treated me like I did something wrong as a parent.

Jay is non-verbal, so communication has always been a barrier for him. But being non-verbal should not prevent a child from getting the love, care, and education that he deserves.

It was extremely painful to realize that my son wasn’t getting the support he needed in the public school system. I got the impression that the school administrators saw me as the problem, and that was almost too much to handle. I felt like giving up, but I knew I had to keep fighting for my son.

Eventually, the countless hours of searching for resources paid off. I learned about a school in Richmond, The Faison School, whose sole purpose was to educate children with autism.

Jay has been there ever since.

And I’ve learned that every storm has its silver lining.

Seeing Jay thrive at the Faison School has been worth the 120-mile round trip from our home in Fredericksburg. It has been worth all of the car repairs after getting rear-ended--and even more car repairs after hitting a deer.

But, in the end, there is no price tag when it comes to loving my son.

I met Adam, one of the AnswersNow co-founders, years ago when Jay was still in the public school system. I always trusted him as a knowledgeable source of support, so I was excited when he told me about the app he was developing.

And now that I’ve been using it for a few months, I’m hooked.

Soon after I downloaded the AnswersNow app, I was assigned to work with Brian, my personal autism clinician.

He has gotten to know me better over time, and he is always available to talk through a problem I might be having with Jay.

And I absolutely love that Brian sends me a message every day to check in and see how I’m doing.

Sometimes I will test Brian to see if he is really going to respond when I send him a message. He always sends me a message back that same day.

It’s amazing to consider that I have an autism clinician available whenever I need it, whether I need a quick tip to help Jay or emotional support to know that I’m doing the right thing.

Now I’m finally getting the autism help for my son that I always wanted.

But what’s more surprising is that I’m getting help for me.

It’s not just a helpline to learn how to better care for my son. It’s a support line for me and my husband. AnswersNow helps us feel validated and appreciated for who we are.

I know that there will always be ups and downs that come from parenting a child with special needs, but my AnswersNow clinician just gets it.

He’s here for me. No matter what.

Plus, I love that I can message him through the AnswersNow app whenever and wherever I am.

Autism doesn’t have to be the end of life for a family. It’s just a different way of living.

AnswersNow gets that. For me, the monthly subscription fee is so worth it because it brings me peace of mind that I have an autism behavioral expert that I can turn to.

AnswersNow makes it all so much easier. I just want other people to have what I wish I had for the first 16 years of Jay’s life.

My advice to other parents is to give the free trial a shot. I can’t recommend the AnswersNow app enough.

Donna Manning