Press And Mentions

You Magazine

What will happen to my autistic sons when I am no longer abke to care for them


Many months ago I wrote a piece called ‘What will happen to my autistic child after I am gone‘. I really didn’t expect anyone to read it. It was just my thoughts and fears that I felt better for putting out there. The rabblings of a menopausal, slightly fruit loop, approaching fifty woman. It’s one of my greatest fears. And as a serial over sharer, well I just had to say it. What I didn’t realise at the time of pressing publish is what would happen next. A few days afterwards an email popped into my inbox. The address it came from was Well as you can imagine I did a double take! That can’t be right, why would You Magazine be contacting me? It’s got to be a scam. Hasn’t it?

So I open the email and to my surprise find it’s from the editor of the magazine. Someone had read my blog post and recommended she have a read. Can you imagine that feeling. Someone had not only read my post but passed it along to another person too. And that person in turn reached out to me to ask if I would like to do an interview for the magazine. To be honest, I wasn’t sure at first if it was something I would like to do. It’s all well and good putting my story in my own little patch of the world wide web. With all 27 of my followers! But with a loyal readership of 1.8 million I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough to share my story with so many people.


 What will happen to my autistic sons when I am no longer able to care for them


So as we do with every decision that impacts us a family, I sat at the dining room table with everyone to discuss whether or not to do it. I was actually very surprised by the ensuing conversation. Whereas my generation tend to keep family matters very much within the family the boys have a completely different perspective. Eldest RFW said, ‘mum, my generation share everything. Go for it.’ And so I replied and said yes to the interview. Though like here, I wanted the boys names protected. And You were very kind and changed all their names for me.


Having never done an interview before I was a little anxious about what would happen next. I needn’t have been. The lovely Anna came down to Devon to interview me and put me at ease right away. They were even lovely enough to also use family snapshots rather than send a photographer. In fact, every step of the process was easy with care, attention to detail and sensitivity throughout. Mind you, I was still a bag of nerves when the day came for the article to be published. I almost couldn’t bring myself to read it! But there was no need to worry.


What will happen to my autistic sons when I am no longer able to care for them


The article is beautifully written. I didn’t want to come across as a pity party and thankfully I don’t think we do. Instead wonderfully supportive messages are still coming in. I’m slightly disheartened and sad too.  That so many families like ours have fallen through the cracks and have little or no support. I’d love you to read the article if you haven’t already, just click here. Or if you’re more a Daily Mail kind of person you can also read it here.


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  • Reply Sue Kennedy July 24, 2019 at 12:17 am

    Absolutely loved reading about your family in You magazine. Your story resonated with me as one of our two sons is severely autistic (he will be 22 next month) I have every sympathy with you regarding trying to secure the support your sons deserve and need. We too had enormous battles with the Local Education Authority to obtain suitable education for him (we won a tribunal case) I could go on about all the meetings with “professionals” (in what I’m not sure at times) and the hours spent on form filling (for little return) Hey ho there’s never a dull moment! PS love your creative work too by the way ?

    • Reply Rachel Edmonds August 4, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Hi Sue, thank you for leaving a comment and for being so kind about my creative work too. You are so right, we are made to jump through hoops. Every meeting just seems to be a repeat of the last doesn’t it. You go to each one full of hope and all you hear is the same old thing over and over again. And as you say the endless paperwork, it often makes me wonder if these forms are there to put us off. If only 1 in 10 of us didn’t fill one in that’s one less person to have to deal with. Soory to sound cynical, it’s hard not to be isn’t it.

    • Reply Sue August 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

      Thank you for your agreeing to publish your piece in the You mag. With a 14 year old daughter only recently diagnosed, I have attended ASD courses which aspire to highlight the positives. When your daughter won’t wash, restricts her food intake, has appalling OCD, it was refreshing to read an article that cuts to the chase and asks ‘what the Hell does the future hold?’

      • Reply Rachel Edmonds August 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm

        Hi Sue, thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for also reading the interview. Your daughter sounds very much like my son and I’ve found techniques used in PDA which differ from those of autism have helped us tremendously. At least from a meltdown perspective. We’re going to try hypnotherapy in September (nothing else so far has helped), I’m not sure if it will work but I’ll share the process here for anyone who is thinking about trying it too. I’m not sure what the future holds but have heard some amazing success stories after the piece was published. It has given me hope that we can all have a happy ending.

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