THE PEETES COVER LA PARENT MAGAZINE IN TIME FOR WORLD AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

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Holly Robinson-Peete and husband Rodney Peete recently sat down for a candid interview on marriage and raising their four children, including RJ, their first-born son, who has autism. Below is an excerpt of the interview from La Parent:

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As talk turns to their son, RJ, I get the sense that this famous couple, a former NFL quarterback and talented actress, have gained great insight about life and marriage through lessons learned from raising their four children, including RJ, their first-born son, who has autism. The past 15 years of parenthood have taught them that life is an improvisation.

They talk with the keen insight of parents of a son with special needs, describing the challenges that they have faced as a couple trying to meet those needs without losing themselves in the process. They speak candidly about how close they came to separating. “Autism is definitely stressful for parents,” says Holly. “There were many rough patches.”

For Holly and Rodney, the rough patches mainly stemmed from the different ways in which each processed news of this disorder. When RJ was diagnosed in 2000 at age 3, Rodney initially found himself simply wanting to escape, while Holly faced it head-on. She read books and articles, talked to experts and other parents, and began a series of therapy sessions for RJ.

“I was steeped in denial and my wife was ready to fight,” says Rodney. “We were not aligned. It took me a long time to accept autism – time that I should have been using focusing on RJ’s needs.”(Read More)

Today is the seventh annual World Autism Awareness Day. Please head to AutismSpeaks.org for more.

Photo: La Parent.com

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