My Biggest Fears For My Autistic Son


Dear Sully,

I hope you get to experience what it’s like to have a true friend.

I hope you get to experience what it’s like to fall in love and be loved in return unconditionally.

I hope we get to attend your wedding someday and be those proud parents of the groom.

I hope we get to stand in the hospital room and hold our beautiful grandbabies who have a huge heart and are extremely intelligent just like you.

I hope you get to experience what it’s like to live independently.

I hope you get to experience what it’s like to be a college student. Do all the regular shenanigans twenty somethings do.

I hope we get to have a drink with you on your 21st birthday.

I fear that you will get bullied in school, and I am not there to protect you like a mama bear should. That it will make you feel that you are not good enough when baby you are far from it.

I fear that you will be out and about sometime and people may mistake your aggression and overstimulation as someone who is dangerous. But baby, we all know you’re far from it.

I fear that you may one day need more help than we can give you and that scares me to death.

And I am ashamed for even thinking about that.

I fear what may happen to you when you age out of the system and we won’t have a good enough plan for you to help ensure your success.

Fear you may never feel the feeling of accomplishment by obtaining a degree you worked so hard for or a job you have always wanted.

I fear what will happen when dad and I are gone. Will someone be there to ensure you are well taken care of and loved?

This fear actually takes my breath away and paralyzes me with fear.

As hard as it would be, I can’t even imagine life without you. I sometimes wonder if it would be easier if we went last so you never had to face those feelings. I know some will judge me for this thought.

But most of all Sully, I fear that you don’t know how incredibly much we love you. That you are amazing, loving, intelligent and unique just the way you are and we’re always meant to be. 

Don’t ever change that!




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Tonya Andrews

Tonya lives in Ankeny, Iowa with her husband, Tim and their 3 boys, Gavin (24), Remington (10) and Sullivan (9). Their son Sullivan has Autism, ADHD, ODD, and SPD and their whole family suffers from anxiety. They started their Facebook page Confessions of a Family with 3 Crazy Boys - Autism, Anxiety & ADHD to help educate, advocate, encourage and support others. They want people to feel seen, heard and know they are not alone. You can also follow them on Instagram and TikTok. Tonya serves as President on the Board of Directors for L-evate Coaching and Learning Services, an autism non profit where she is excited to help caregivers with burn out, provide parents the tools to help their autistic individuals be successful, turn off the electronics and learn life, vocational and social skills. Tim and Tonya love to travel and try to take one trip a year, just the two of them, to reconnect and remind themselves they are still married.

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