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Linette Alfonso: A SuperMom?

My younger brother was diagnosed with autism when he was around 18 months old. It completely rocked our world, but especially my mom’s. She was essentially the one that had to take him to speech and occupational therapy, worry about his schooling, find him proper care for when no one was home and so much more. She was in nursing school at the time, trying to juggle raising two kids and doing her clinicals, but finding out my brother’s diagnosis made her give up on this and focus on being the best parent she could be to him. I think she has done exactly that.

Her Campus (HC): So, did you feel like you knew something was off with his development even before the diagnosis came in?

Linette Alfonso (LA): I did; that’s what prompted me to go to a neurologist to see if there was anything wrong. He wasn’t talking or even verbalizing at all, which was strange to me. I noticed he would “stim” a lot too.

HC: I know it couldn’t have been easy to hear the words, but can you describe what it was like to see the diagnosis on paper? Did you have any idea what to do next?

LA: It was definitely scary… not in the way that I was scared to raise him, but scary to think about what he would have to experience. All those countless hours of therapy and special schooling… it was just a lot to think about.

HC: How do you feel it impacted your life and your family’s life?

LA: We were all pretty shaken up about it, more so apprehensive, uncertain of the future. I know my daughter was feeling bad because she wasn’t getting a lot of attention and she may have felt neglected, but we were just trying to help him. I dropped out of nursing school and went back to my old job because it was just too much. It required a time commitment that I just knew I couldn’t give.

HC: Of course, this was years ago; how do you feel about it now?

LA: We’ve grown into a rhythm; the whole family has. My daughter moved up to college, so of course, that’s one person that was helping a lot that’s no longer there. I work from home, which is good because I have to homeschool him, so I work on lesson plans and do homework with him. I do my best with the things I have available to me. But we’ve made a lot of progress, so I feel proud of the parent that I was and still am.

HC: You said you work from home; how is that? Do they accommodate you since you’re working remotely?

LA: Yes. I work for a law firm in Miami; I used to go into work, but since we moved to Orlando, I work from home now and just go in person every other Friday. They’re very accommodating with the work given the situation, and I love my job.

HC: Do you ever feel overwhelmed sometimes? What do you do to cope with it?

LA: Yeah, of course it gets overwhelming sometimes. I have to cater to multiple people’s needs and essentially put my own last. Whenever I feel like it’s all too much, I just go to my room for a bit, watch some TV in my bed, and try to relax. It felt like that a lot for a while, but now it’s gotten better.

HC: Alright well, thank you for taking the time to speak to me today! I enjoyed learning more about your life and how you manage so much on your plate.

LA: You’re welcome! I hope this helped.

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hi! my name's allison, i'm currently attending florida state university majoring in exercise physiology in hopes of going to med school to become an ob/gyn! i'm an iced coffee lover, heavy grey's anatomy watcher, and a pumpkin flavored everything enthusiast. just happy to be here :)
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