So, let's talk about the experience of raising an autistic child from the perspective of a husband and wife…

Have you ever wondered how couples navigate the unique journey of raising a child on the spectrum?

In previous episodes, we had Nick who talked about the experience from the Black fathers’ perspective, and Cheryl who talked about advocating when there are forces that make it harder to raise an autistic kid.

But what is it like as a couple? What are the dynamics in a relationship when raising an autistic child?

This is a conversation that’s not often had, especially as parents, we often forget that we also have a life and relationship outside just being moms and dads.

But in today’s episode, we’ll learn the importance of keeping the love burning as husband and wife, the importance of communication, understanding, and care, and the power of partnership in raising a thriving autistic child.

After all, as parents, we all just want what’s best for our children. Join us as we work towards the end goal and not let the fear of uncertainty stop us.


Why you need to check this episode:

  • Learn the importance of being present in your relationship as husband and wife and making time to nurture your connection outside of your responsibilities as parents;
  • Discover actionable tips you can try doing with your partner if you’re struggling and are at different points and speeds in your journey; and
  • Recognize the importance of communication and self-care, especially if you’re raising a child on the spectrum.

“Something else that we also had to learn is that we had to keep our love burning outside of children as well, making sure that we are not just thinking of ourselves as mom and dad. For us to be able to communicate effectively with one another, for us to be able to be around each other and do all these things, we have to have our own relationship outside of parenting; not being in mom-and-dad role, but being in husband-and-wife role as well for our relationship.” – Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

Topics Covered:

00:00 – Introduction: Welcoming this week’s special guest, Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

00:49 – A conversation not had often: Why this episode of talking about raising an autistic child is different from the usual

03:15 – On working towards the end goal: What it meant to Maria, both as a mother and as a wife, when our daughter’s diagnosis first came around

05:39 – When you are the expert and you know what needs to be done, you also understand that time is money

07:32 – Not a mind-reader: The lessons learned on educating her husband so I can catch up to speed

09:13 – It can be a lot: Husbands on letting our wives lead us, and the wives’ thoughts on that

12:08 – What was it about raising a child who is autistic that added extra layers of either comfort or discomfort in the relationship?

14:07 – The role our personality traits play: What’s beneficial? What’s not?

16:50 – For couples who share the same destination but are at different points in their journey

22:12 – Take note: Here are some actionable tips for couples out there

27:38 – For Black women who are with Black men: “Make sure we’re checking in to make sure that they’re okay”

28:42 – Connect with Maria Davis-Pierre

Quotes:

“One of the lessons that you definitely taught me was that if I’m saying it in my head, you’re not a mind-reader and I have to verbalize it to you. I cannot have the expectation that you should know.” – Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

“Communicate with your partner; where you’re at, your fears, your concerns. Oftentimes, people are either afraid or have shame in what they’re feeling, so they don’t voice those concerns, but your co-parent, your partner, should be someone that you trust and can share those emotions with.” – Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

“Make sure you have a therapist that you can go to for couples, for family, [and] for individuals…You don’t have to have problems to be going to a therapist.” – Maria Davis-Pierre, LMHC

Connect with Maria Davis-Pierre and the Autism in Black Inc.:

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