Meet Carrie Cariello, blogger and author of What Color is Monday? and Someone I’m with has Autism.
By sharing her family’s story, Carrie is opening eyes to the colorful world of autism. With five kids and one on the spectrum, she knows a thing or two about the long and beautiful days of motherhood.
Well okay, not exactly. But through her writing she is trying to make sense of it all to better understand the disorder and the boy that she loves so dearly. In the face of autism, she inspires us with hope.
Her writing is heartfelt, honest and real—exposing the tantrums alongside the laughs in every quirky moment of parenthood. This month, Carrie compiled all of her posts into a new book, Someone I’m with has Autism.
She wants mothers and fathers and families to know that living with autism is okay.
“It’s a very manageable condition on certain levels. I try to give a glimpse of reality and bridge the gap between the usual and unusual. So many people are experiencing the same journey and we are not alone in this,” said Carrie.
Leading a family of 7 with a newly added dog, Carrie and her husband learned how to find support and balance early on.
Instead of prioritizing the children, she first prioritized her marriage. Though it sounds counter-intuitive, the Cariellos found that strengthening the foundation of their family would make them better parents.
“Once we had kids I realized how critical it was for Joe and I to stay happy. We have gone out once a week, every week since my first son was born 12 years ago,” Carrie said.
Like every human family, they missed a week or two here and there—when Carrie was in the hospital having a baby.
“You really learn yourself inside and out when you are a mother. You know what you need, what kind of person you are, and what things help you be the best mother you can be. I am not a person that can run on empty and give and give and give to this little hoard of people around me.”
For Carrie, this meant finding time to spend with her husband, work out, write and share the adventures of her family and living with autism.
“Being a mother forced me to stretch myself more—do more, be more. The sense of accomplishment at the end of the day that we’ve gotten these 5 people everywhere they wanted to be and laughed with them and enjoyed them is one of the best parts of motherhood.”
Because despite someone in the family having autism, the Cariellos find happiness sharing everyday moments. They laugh together, they grow together. They live with the disorder and the boy and they’ve learned to love them both.
While Carrie speaks for autism, she also speaks for hope.
Thanks for inspiring us and sharing your story.