I received a very sad email from a mother that has it as bad or worse then us in regards to the number and severity of her children's Autism. However she was angry that we are 'getting rich' from 'exploiting' our children. I hope that my response can help to further clarify who and what we are. Our goals and dreams we hope to accomplish by appearing in a documentary about Autism.
I'm sorry to have offended you, it sounds like you are in the same boat as us; or maybe worse. Your situation is one of the main reasons we decided to put our family 'out there' in the first place.
The average Joe out there has NO idea what it is like to raise children like we have. The medical bills, the special diets, various treatments and more. Sure some will judge and complain, but that is their problem not ours.
We'll continue to try and educate and increase the level of tolerance and acceptance toward our children. It's not much yet but we have been able to help raise nearly $25,000 for a number of charities that help Autistic families. (not for the AutismBites Foundation however) Many of the links on our website have benefited from us placing them on our site. That is our intention, to help others as well.
We don't have the pulling power of a Hollywood celebrity or have written a best-selling book. But we feel an obligation to let people know that there are many people that are having a VERY tough time raising Autistic children. Not just us or you.
We haven't been paid for any magazine, newspaper or TV interviews (that's a myth). It has made people aware of us and we've sold a number of t-shirts. But, 95% or more of the costs of those shirts goes to shipping and production for the website that makes them for us. And we're losing count of the number of free t-shirts that we've sent to families that have a difficult time affording them.
The film production company did pay us a 'location fee' to film us, and even though we appreciated it very much; it wasn't that much. We aren't rich now. The money is not rolling in like some seem to believe.
After trying to maintain a 9 to 5 job these past couple of years, I gave up. The workplaces just weren't able to have me take off for appointments, emergencies or sickness. I can understand that and harbor no hard feelings. But I still need to provide for my children. That is why I need to have a blog and website that may include some advertising, links to businesses or various offers.
I sent out our 'invitation' email to only those who kindly emailed us messages of hope and understanding. I'm sorry you got on the list by mistake. I'm sorry to have given the impression that we are doing this for money. I guess that people assume that when a sad tale is told that they are expecting a handout. We got a ton of emails from people that wanted a mailing address to send things to us. Others wanted to donate money, so our website manager put a PayPal button there. They feel good, we are very grateful and our children lack for a bit less. WIN-WIN-WIN
We aren't exploiting our children, we are showing the world how beautiful they are and how blessed we are. Our new business link on our home page has products that people buy every day. We aren't begging anyone to buy, but we hope that some will. It's my home business just like your doll hospital.
I'm sad to hear that you have no help, no respite, no breaks and no 'loot' rolling in. We have NO help, 4 hrs of respite for 2 children a week, NO breaks and NO loot rolling it. And that's OK for us too.
I want money to 'roll' in for my family. I want to take care of them and give them what they need and a few wants. I DO want money rolling in from MY efforts, the businesses I create and put together. I DO NOT want to barely 'get by' and barely make it each day. I want a better life for my children, they've already been given a hard road in life and they deserve better. And somehow, some way I'll work and scratch and find a way to do that for them. They are my children I love them and I don't think I need to accept a vow of poverty to be in the good graces of the rest of the world.
I wish you all the best and hope you find peace and blessings in your life.