Mother of two boys with autism shares story of overcoming obstacles

Local News

CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate all varieties of mothers, including those who dedicate their entire lives to their children with special needs.

A diagnosis changed the life of Canfield resident Robin Suzelis not once, but twice. 

“Autism just kind of hit us. You know, we weren’t expecting it, we weren’t planning on it,” she said.

Robin has two sons, 12-year old Evan and 7-year old Dean, who both have moderate to severe autism.

“It makes it hard all around. It’s hard on the family, it’s hard on the kid. It’s trying to figure out how to get the right therapies. What therapies does the kid need? How much is too much? How much isn’t enough? You’re always second-guessing yourself as a parent, which I think is hard,” she said.

Even if she is second-guessing herself, Robin’s husband and parenting teammate Ted Suzelis confirms her dedication to their sons.

“Robin is a wonderful mother,” he said.

Robin does not only dedicate herself to her own children. She is also the board president of the Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley.

“Her whole life is revolving around, ‘How can I help people in the autistic community?'” Ted said.

Robin said her long-term focus is on what children with autism will need when they get older to have the best life possible. 

“How do I bring together or help bring together the best people in the area to develop programs and resources, right, for my family, for all families?”

Much like his wife, Ted thinks about the future and only wants the best for his sons.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen long-term, how indepedent they will be. Will they be able to find love or have a job or things like that, that everybody wants for their child?” he said.

Although Robin would not change her children for the world, her life was definitely turned around.

“You kind of changed your whole world around having these children and trying to do what’s right for them,” she said.

Robin said at the end of the day, she wants her boys to be happy, challenged and living life to the fullest of their ability.

“You have to look at the good. You have to look at your kids. These are my beautiful children.”

She said special needs parents are never alone, and there are people who understand. 

For more information about the Autism Society of the Mahoning Valley, visit their website. 

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