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Local Mom Turned Autism Advocate Hopes to Share Her Message With the WNY Community | Families

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Local Mom Turned Autism Advocate Hopes to Share Her Message With the WNY Community
Families, Health, People
Local Mom Turned Autism Advocate Hopes to Share Her Message With the WNY Community

Love without words. If your family has experienced the impact of autism, you already know the pain behind that brief statement.

Clarence residents Molly and Matthew Pitman are the very fortunate parents of two beautiful children, Donovan and Charlotte. Now 14, Donovan was diagnosed with autism at 23 months old … and their lives were changed forever.

“When our daughter Charlotte was about three years old, she asked me why Donovan did not respond when she said, ‘I love you.’ While I was caught off guard, I used her bond with our family dog, Makeo, as a teachable moment,” said Molly. “Makeo plays with you. He gets excited when you come home and he even lets you cuddle with him. Makeo shows you his love without saying a word. Charlotte seemed to have a better understanding, and so did I.”

As the parents of an autistic child, the Pitman’s threw themselves headfirst into their situation, trying to learn as much as possible while embracing every moment, every smile and every milestone. Eventually, Molly wrote and published a children’s book titled “Love Without Words” to help other families — both touched and untouched by autism — gain a better understanding of what some families deal with on a daily basis.

“Today, Donovan is a sweet, sincere, innocent, honest, beautiful, brave, smart and funny young man,” Molly added. “Yes, we have come a long way. We are also very fortunate that Donovan has found his words and we have heard ‘I love you.’

“Our family was also fortunate to know professionals in pediatrics and early childhood education, and we, in turn, now offer our support, guidance and direction to other families dealing with an autistic child,” she continued. For example, the Pitman’s have opened a business called Sweet Charlotte’s, an all-inclusive, one-of-a-kind preschool designed to meet the needs of children of all abilities. The school is located in Clarence.

“I am not an expert in autism,” Molly concluded. “We have, however, been successful in finding the appropriate resources and supports for Donovan and our family. I simply believe in being a strong advocate and relying on hope, belief and prayer.”

Molly would love to share her journey dealing with a child with autism and its impact on family relationships with as many individuals, businesses and organizations as possible, and would appreciate an opportunity to visit local groups as a guest speaker or to hold a book reading and signing event. Her speaking engagements can also be turned into a fundraising activity for local organizations. Please contact Molly at sweetcharlottes@yahoo.com or call 359-6510 for details. You can also visit her website at sweetcharlottes.org for more information.

Families, Health, People

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