Holly Robinson Peete answers your questions about parenting a child with autism. Please note that Holly is not a doctor, see your family physician with any questions about your child.
Question: Do you have any tips on what to say to my doctor and how to get them to listen?
Holly Robinson Peete: Don't be accusatory and preface your questions with "I am not trying to be disrespectful or your profession but please honor my mommy intuition by indulging me…" If you pediatrician discounts your feelings, is condescending or belittles you SWITCH fast!
Q: How do I get my husband to embrace our child with autism?
HRP: Tell him you understand how hard it must be for him. Find time to pamper him!!
Q: What do you tell RJ's siblings about autism?
HRP: I told them their brother's brain works differently from theirs. That if he doesn't respond to them or doesn't play with them not to take it personally and that he still loves them—it's just difficult for him to show it.
Q: How does your twin daughter Ryan handle all this being a twin?
HRP: It has been hard on her. She is so connected to him and worries about him all the time. She can be like a smothering mother at times! He is very comfortable around her—she has been a great support system for him. Siblings play an important part of intervention.
Q: What should I do if my husband isn't dealing with this well?
HRP: Validate his feelings!! Email Rodney on our site www.hollyrod.org—he will be answering questions for the dad. This is a piece of the autism equation that is being ignored: Dads need help with their feelings.