https://www.fundmytravel.com/campaign/rvkN05UBlaMy son, River, is 4 years old and I’ve been blessed to be his Mother. My name is Allison and I’m 34 years old- attended some college but unemployed right now. We live with his father (42) and his father’s Mother (68) , his older Brother (45) and his two teenage sons (15 and 18 years old) from his first marriage. River and I sleep and spend most of our time in the basement of their home. With so many people and little space- the basement was our only option and an unhealthy one at that. River has severe Autism and other learning delays with developmental disorders that was legally diagnosed last year. In turn, I have become his primary caretaker since quitting my job as an admissions agent at a state college, to focus on his therapy- occupational, behavioral, speech – about 5 session a week, all in home. He’s had a lot of issues going to daycares or developmental centers including ABA therapy- so I had no choice but to dedicate all my time to my child because my presence was most conducive to his progress as my unfettered support and patience has been pivotal to his progress it seems. But We stay in the basement because it’s been proven to be the safest for him down here… his Uncle and Brothers… even his Grandma and Father reprimand, yell, curse, shout, threaten to spank or hit, and punish him needlessly, even if he is stimming or acting like a normal 4 year old or opening cabinets or drawers to explore. He has been chastised and taunted and outcasted nearly everyday because his learning delays, odd social interactions and behavioral challenges either makes his family angry or confused or even offended. River just doesn’t respond or understand to normal commands or suggestions so it appears as though he is ignoring them or mocking them or even being disrespectful . He’s not. His family doesn’t understand Autism in the slightest and believes it’s made up. While my son, River doesn’t understand what he is doing “wrong ” most of the time when upstairs among his own family. Yet it’s the 4 year old that’s being the intolerable, Disrespectful ignorant one? Right. River is constantly upset and feels isolated or left out because of how he is treated by the very people whose only role in his life is to love him, regardless. But they have deemed my child an inconvenience. A burden, a liability and out of control even doing normal 4 year old. And I don’t know how I’ve tolerated this for as long as I have because it’s truly harmful and abusive behavior. Unfortunately, i do not have any authority or any “right” to acknowledge or point out the rest of the family’s ignorant and abusive behavior towards my child as it makes us look ungrateful and entitled for voicing different opinions or setting boundaries with my child. Or it’s commonly expressed that I did something wrong during my pregnancy to have had a child with Autism so I’ve been labeled as incapable, selfish, and incompetent. Being assaulted with so much negativity on a daily bases while trying to provide the help my son requires to aid his mental, emotional and behavioral development- I don’t mind being segregated with my beautiful son all day and left to raise his out of sight and out of mind in a basement. But I need help with money so I can get us the hell out of this environment. I’m working on applying to government programs to help with child care, food and money whilst searching for part time work. I don’t want to raise my son here any longer than I need to with these kind of people. Me- his advocate, his Mother and main protector- We have to move out as soon as possible and to anywhere. Literally, anywhere is better than here and so long as we are together- nothing else matters. River deserves the moon and the stars and a home where he can be himself without being fearful for just being himself. We all deserve that.