In honor of Mother’s Day, WKBN caught up with Robin Suzelis of Canfield, Ohio, who shed some light on being the parent of multiple children with special needs.
Suzelis is the mother of 12-year-old Evan and 7-year-old Dean, who have both received a diagnosis of moderate to severe autism. Robin told the outlet the diagnosis of autism isn’t something a parent expects or prepares for.
“It makes it hard all around. It’s hard on the family, it’s hard on the kid. It’s trying to figure out how to get the right therapies. What therapies does the kid need? How much is too much? How much isn’t enough? You’re always second-guessing yourself as a parent, which I think is hard,” Robin explained.
While the mother admittedly spends a great deal of time second-guessing if she’s making the best choices for her boys, her husband Ted is fully supportive of her as he believes she’s a “wonderful mother” who is completely dedicated to their boys.
According to her husband, Robin’s dedication to their boys’ autism goes far beyond their family. Ted explained that his wife’s entire world revolves around how to make things easier for the local autism community. In fact, Robin is the board president of the Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley.
Robin explained to WKBN that one of her long-term goals includes figuring out what autistic children need as they continue to age in order for them to have a nice quality of life within the community. She spends a great deal of time figuring out what she needs to do and who she needs to bring in to make the community as autism-friendly as possible.
Ted echoes his wife’s train of thought as he too spends time wondering what the future will hold for their sons as they have no idea how independent they will be when they enter adulthood.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen long-term, how independent they will be. Will they be able to find love or have a job or things like that, that everybody wants for their child?” he explained.
While Robin told WKBN she loved her boys just the way they were and had no interest in changing them, she didn’t hesitate to make changes her life and the world around them to make things easier for them.
Suzelis concluded by telling WKBN that special needs parents should never feel as if they are alone or have no one to talk to because there will always be someone within the community who understands.