Sunday, May 2, 2021

The Real Struggles of Autism

 Today is my youngest daughter's birthday. I haven't gotten to be with her for a year and a half, mostly because of Covid but also, because she is going through the most trying time of her life right now. Her middle son, Owen, was diagnosed with Autism at 18 months. He is now 27 years old. As the years progressed so did his behaviors. 

Noone, not even those who are close to them, know the struggles she and the entire family faces 27/7. Even going to the grocers or keeping a doctors appt is a huge deal. I was very taken by a post she did on Instragram and would like to share it with you. It wasn't done for pity or people to say 'oh, you poor thing' but to bring awareness to Autism.

There are so many spectrums of Autism and so many levels of behavior. Mostly in the news one hears about the kid who is autistic who ends up going to college. Or even gets a job, has a career. The success stories. There are no success stories in the Murray household. Success, to them, is one or two hours where things are fairly quiet. 

So, here's Susans post:

Today marks the last day of April’s Autism Awareness Month so I thought I’d share with you what most people experience with autism when they see their friends/neighbors out and about with their child who has autism. They often see the more calm moments that led us to actually be in public. I know for us we have had the struggle of a lifetime this past year and it’s had its dramatic ups and downs. I post pictures of Owen smiling. I’m not posting about the behavioral issues, the physical struggles, the ER visits that lead nowhere. The self injurious behaviors that are new... the holes in our walls that we have had to repair from those unimaginable moments. Everyone has been stressed beyond reasonable limits daily just to try to hold on to wherever normalcy they can. My other children have stopped their needs for his & done work & homework through severe times.
Life has focused almost entirely on Owen and getting him more stable and finding a new best support & home again. With well trained staff. I share this not for sympathy but Awareness. Autism awareness is more than a blue puzzle piece or light... it’s about the reality of everyone’s experience with autism. Owen & so many others need care 24/7.... there aren’t off times. This is the reality for so many families out there but you don’t realize it unless you live it. I’m not sure what lies ahead right now...I pray a lot for him. To save him from his struggles. My heart breaks a thousand times a day. Guess it always will. This awareness month has come & gone. So much is needed still... services, training, understanding, acceptance....the list is far too long. Im so proud of my children for stepping up in ways they should have never had to!! I am so proud of Owen for doing the best that he can in these trying times. He has had it harder than the rest of us and I hope he knows we will do whatever we can to make his life the best we can!!
I’m forever grateful for my family and my sweet supportive friends. You all have been my rays of hope and sunshine. I count my blessings every single day.

I just ask that you please keep this family is your prayers. Like Susan said, my heart breaks a thousand times a day. 


  1. I get it. My grandson is on the spectrum as well. i love him so much but
    his issues can be such a challenge. Your family has my prayers.

  2. Oh dear, I am praying for your family and for Owen, for relief and healing. That sounds incredibly hard.

  3. I think it is important for your daughter to share so that others can try to understand what it is like to live with autism. There seems to be a wide range covered under the autism spectrum. My heart goes out to families that are dealing with it. I will certainly remember your daughter and her family in my prayers.

  4. My thoughts and prayers are with Owen and your lovely family Latane.

  5. Prayers for the family. It is hard to raise a child and take care of a child with autism. I speak from experience.


  6. You read about the youngsters who have autism but not the adults and the toll on families. My experience has only been as a teacher and having autistic 4th and 5th grade students, both high functioning and not. Prayers for calm in the family as Covid restrictions lift.

  7. What a long haul and I will pray for quality answers for Owen and his family.

  8. Prayers for this family and all who have loved ones with autism. HUGS

  9. The autism spectrum is quite varied. It's a tough go, I am sure. I've taught quite a few students with autism.

  10. Such a difficult thing. You absolutely love your child with all your heart but you're also grieving the life you expected to have when you were pregnant. I have dear friends who have lived a life like the one your daughter is living. Just last year they made the extremely difficult decision to put their son in a home. Mom literally couldn't sleep and cried for days. But now, their lives are changing and their other kids are experiencing mom and dad in ways they never have before. I know that choice isn't for everyone. I commend your daughter and her family. I will also keep them in my prayers.


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