Holly Robinson Peete’s Hopes & Fears For Her Son

Holly Robinson Peete's Hopes & Fears For Her Son

Holly Robinson Peete knows first-hand the challenges of parenting an autistic child: A mom-of-four, her oldest son R.J. was diagnosed with autism when he was 3 years old. Since then, the actress has been working on behalf of families like hers, advocating for awareness and greater resources through the HollyRod Foundation. In an interview with the Detroit Free Press, Holly opes up about her hopes and fears for her son, who is now 14.

On hopes, fears & Trayvon Martin: “Well the biggest thing for any parent of a kid with autism, is there comes a time when more than likely we’re going to go first. We’re not going to be here. And that part is difficult to deal with. Because you’re so fearful for what kind of community he’s going to be in. It’s really interesting with this whole Trayvon Martin situation. (For black families,) there’s certain ways you have to teach your kids to stay safe because there are certain suspicions and stereotypes. Well, with a son on the spectrum, it really scares me to death. Because I don’t know that he understands how to read social cues. So if an officer says to him to get his hands out of his pocket, what if he brings something out of his pocket and it looks like a gun? It’s just so frightening. What my hopes are for my son is that he is safe in a community where he is protected, where he has people who genuinely love him and look out for him and want the best for him when I can’t.”

On how R.J. is doing: “It’s challenging because the teen hormones can really cause erratic and a little bit of regressive behavior. You feel like you’ve moved past a lot of things like stimming (self-stimulatory behavior like flapping, rocking or spinning) or some of the things that he’s been doing as a child that you feel like you’ve grown out of, you’re seeing that again. Also, just dealing with girls and social circles and all these things that are already a nightmare for any typical teenager or typical teenager’s parents. But when you fold in autism, you have social issues that are really difficult to navigate. I try to have those conversations publicly as often as possible because, you know, we don’t talk about it enough.”

On treatments & therapies: “We’ve tried everything. I’m hesitant to say to people what works for me because it may not work for their child. My goal is to create an environment where families can try, let’s say, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which was helpful for my kid. But at $100 a half hour or $100 an hour, no one can afford that. Our goal with HollyRod is to set up centers where people can go and try hyperbaric oxygen therapy without sacrificing the rent or tuition.”

Filed under: Holly Robinson Peete

Photo credit: Bauer Griffin

19 Comments »»

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  1. Anonymous

    she beening very honest ** realistic ** in this interview about her autistic child and her fears for his future as he gets older.
    I know there is a wide range of Autism in children but that Jenny McCartney interview earlier today was just dumb.

    Reply
  2. SiervaMaria

    I know what you’re saying Holly. I’m a person of color and I see it everyday. Hell, I’m a grown female professional and have gotten followed in a store within the last two weeks while some drunk biker type with 40 secrect pockets got ignored. One of my sisters has a son who probably will never live away from home but he’s physically normal looking and does function outside of home. He’s big for his age and when spectrum kids get confused or uncomfortable, they react in ways some may find threatning. Some think racism and stereotyping is all in our heads. I wish it were.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Waa Waa Waa, stop feeling sorry for yourself. If someone has a opinion or view of you that isn’t true, prove them wrong. You guys need to get over it and show racist people they are wrong, or of course they’re gong to keep believing it. There’s a reason for the stereotypes…..

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      I also feel for Holly and others in her position. While it is sadder than sad, it is so true (racial profiling) is alive and well in our society no matter how much some try to convince themselves it doesn’t exist. I remember reading a story a few years ago where a young autistic black man was shot and killed by the police simply because he failed to follow commands issued by the officers. It seems he had boarded the wrong bus and when he realized it, he became very agitated and confused. Some may argue, it could have happened to anyone but I have seen cases where people of color are treated differently than their counterparts in same or similar situations.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        And it must be because he was black right? Not because he wasn’t obeying commands or because it was most likely a crime-ridden neghborhood? Why aren’t cops just shooting every black man they see??
        You guys make me sick the way you ignore everything else and focus on the fact that a person is black. Stop blaming your color and make a better person of yourself. Don’t act ghetto and you won’t be treated like you’re ghetto.

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          I love how someone who betrays a clearly racist attitude thinks they have the right to lecture people that there is no racism.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            Of course there is, and there always will be. But stop using it as an excuse for everything bad that happens to you.
            Become a strong, productive member of society and you will see how quickly what you thought was ‘racism’ was mostly just in your head.

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know why you think I’m black. I’m not. I’m not using racism as an excuse for anything. Nor is anyone else. You like, several other people, have completely missed the point.

            And your profound arrogance and ignorance is doing you no favors. As a woman I find it deeply offensive when a man claims to speak for women’s experience, and I would be deeply offended if a man claimed that the sexism women experience is all in their heads. Similarly it’s deeply offensive for you to claim that the experiences of black people are all in their heads. You don’t live their lives, and you cannot speak for them.

        • what

          your racism is showing… maybe you should cover it up!!! I am happy you have your white privileged and you don’t have to admit that racism is real because you are not affected it. I was raise in a white community my mother is from Africa. I didn’t have any black friends til i went to college. I wasn’t taught racism because my mom not being from this country didn’t see race as black america do. As an adult moving far away from my home I see how people treat me and react to my present. When I enter a new space I have to first prove that I am not dangerous and second I have to prove that I am not stupid before people will start treating normal. The idea that race dont come into play is stupid, you proved it when you said “you people make me sick” that right there you have judge a whole race of people on one person comments, you just show your disdain for black people and you may not think it because of skin color but it is because you are judge all people who is black the say way, label them ghetto. Here some truth… all people have racist bias, we are taught them from our family, friends and the media. We will not not as a country be able to move forward if we dont own our racism.

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            I don’t think you’ll be able to prove you’re not stupid, because your grammar is horrible. Are you sure you went to college?

          • what

            My grammar maybe horrible but at least I am not a bitter person who get their rocks off from being nasty on the internet. I am only here to spread love… and for people who live their life with such hate and nastiness all I can truly say is God help you.

          • what

            My grammar maybe horrible but at least I am not a bitter person who get their rocks off from being nasty on the internet. I am only here to spread love… and for people who live their life with such hate and nastiness all I can truly say is God help you.

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