Hello, my friend.
I’m Heidi Rome, the founder of Moms Spectrum Oasis, guiding autism moms like us to stay sane and guided on this tough journey. I’m based in New Jersey, the state with the highest rate of autism in the U.S. An interesting (!) distinction, yet it means that I have always been surrounded by many moms in the same boat since my younger son’s autism diagnosis–and I’ve always been drawn to be of comfort and service whenever I can.
The mom of two handsome sons, I live in a very different motherhood world with each. My older guy, Eric, 19, is neurotypical: smart and compassionate, he is a sophomore at university and deciding whether to major in psychology, criminal justice, or education. My younger sweetie, Ethan, will soon turn 17 and has severe autism. By “severe”, I mean he has very limited spoken language and he exhibits dysregulated, injurious behaviors toward himself and others when he becomes upset. When Ethan entered puberty, the situation became so unsafe at home and at school that we made the then heart-breaking decision for Ethan to move to attend a residential therapeutic school out-of-state for kids like himself. There, he would receive the 24/7 support, supervision, programs, and kind security that we, his exhausted family, could no longer provide. A huge inspiration for me during this next phase was Ethan’s typed message to me describing his experience of his own autism as a spiritual journey. My choice to accept Ethan as he is unconditionally and to focus on just loving him no matter what changed everything for me, and I wrote a book to share his wisdom and comfort for moms with YOU.*
Now, I focus my practice to guide moms whose autistic kids are teens and young adults, and help them prepare for and navigate the reality that the world changes at age 21. Always open to miracles, we nonetheless create a vision and plan to achieve a happy life for our amazing spectrum kids that will continue to flourish even beyond our own lives. Yes, I know, we all feel we can never die because who else will meet our special kids’ evolving needs forever? However, I don’t think you’re a zombie either, so we prepare now so you can breathe again and release that terrible burden of worry I suspect you drag around with you everywhere. Working with individuals 1:1 and in small groups, depending on what is required for the people involved, you will no longer feel so alone and isolated—so many here at Carer Escapes are reaching out the hand of friendship and sisterhood to you!
Loving and taking care of yourself, Queen Mom, is the best, strongest, foundational way to love, encourage, and honor your child—wherever they are on the spectrum. Our sensitive, empathetic kids feel and respond to everything we feel—to the point we might think they’re reading our minds! So, modeling love, honesty, and self-care sends them the powerful message that they too have the personal responsibility to love and and prioritize themselves. You may have heard the saying, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That says it all!
I invite you with my whole heart to reach out to me, so we can talk about what’s going on with you and figure out the best next step for you and your autistic son or daughter.
I’m here for you.
Purchase Heidi’s book “You Just Have to Love Me: Mothering Instructions From My Autistic Child” on Amazon here.