Mothers Battle Autism
Like Jenny, Holly has tried to reverse the effects of her son's autism with dietary programs and behavior therapies. When Holly got R.J. tested and found out he was allergic to gluten, she put him on a wheat-free diet. "[Gluten] makes him crazy," she says. "And he can't focus. So we took the wheat out, and that made a huge difference."
Holly says she and Rodney have also tried every type of therapy—from speech therapy to floor time to applied behavioral analysis. "He's responded to some things well and others not so well," she says. "We've tried to focus [on the most successful] and pick and choose."
They have also tried to focus on maintaining a healthy, happy relationship. Holly says autism impacted her marriage, but she and Rodney learned to rely on each other when times were tough. "I just am so lucky to have him. I know how hard it is for the men and their boys," she says. "We women, you know, we fight and we do what we have to do. … I'm just glad he stuck around to be my partner in this thing, because I couldn't have done it without him."