Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

Awetism — no typo here

The day I realized my two-year-old son was autistic, I felt death. Felt the weight of a curse. Thought I was being punished. Got angry and cried on the unfairness that my only son, for whom I had taken such good care since before he was conceived, had been damaged in such a way that everything I hoped for his growth and future was now under question. I felt so much fear. I believed autism was bad; a terrible life sentence… But then, a surprising feeling took over me…

A woman who had had trouble accepting her new role as a full-time mother, and who only two days before had shared out loud that she’d probably take her life should she ever be put on the role of , I found myself thinking I would not hesitate to give anything—eyes, arms, legs, personal hopes and dreams, my life if it was necessary… Anything to take this curse away from him. I would give anything for Joaquin to be whole and happy.

It’s been almost a year to that day, and the experiences that have brought me to this moment have completely changed my understanding of almost everything in life. I’ve never won a raffle but somehow got that 1 in 110 lottery, and although I did not ask for an autistic child, Joaquin is the most amazing gift that I have ever received. It is only because of his autism that:

I’ve learned to accept and love my son exactly as he is every moment.

I’m learning to accept and love every bit of myself, and talk lovingly to the little voice in my head that often speaks unkind words to me.

I’ve learned that I choose my feelings every moment, and my mind can help me understand and control them, and move to a higher vibration any time I want.

I’ve learned that beliefs and the programs operating in my subconscious not only affect my feelings, but also my body, my cells, the reality I perceive, and the Universe.

I’ve learned that God is love. That there’s no darkness other than that when I close my eyes and heart. That I am always in the company of a force that only wants the best for me, and all I need to do is open my heart, choose to connect, ask, and let go.

I’ve learned that life flows easily towards happiness, health, and abundance when I don’t get in the way trying to control everything.

I’ve learned that there’s a piece of my being that knows the answers to every question and problem I have, and when I ask and listen, those answers come in such a perfect way, I know exactly what to do.

I’ve learned to transfer so many of my personal skills talents and joy to areas I had no interest in exploring before.

I’ve learned that life is a school, and every challenge I encounter—far from a curse or karma—is an opportunity to learn and grow.

I’ve understood that we’re all here to transcend our individuality and connect consciously by choice with everything we perceive outside of us. I believe that everything is one, and our purpose is to take our place in the organism that everything is.

I’ve been given so many new friends, an extended family with whom I share the same values, challenges, and journey meant to make us grow and learn to love beyond ourselves.

I’ve found people so loving and giving (our program volunteers), they constantly inspire me to help others. Not sure when or how, but I recognize I’m being prepared to share the gifts I am receiving with other people some day.

As much as I can… slowly but hopefully surely… I’m trying to sometimes be more than I do, listen more than I speak (it’s a struggle), and open my heart and send love and light to those that rub my ego the wrong way. Baby steps, but the journey’s gotta start somewhere.

I’m the mother of an autistic child, and because of that:

I’ve become a much better parent than I thought I needed to be.

I’ve become a more creative person than I thought I was.

I’ve learned to love somebody like I never thought I could.

I’ve found every piece of myself that I believed I had lost.

And as I’ve discovered and acted on all of these lessons, Joaquin has developed in such an amazing and beautiful way, today I see him completely whole, and I have no fear for his future or my own happiness.

I’ve gotten it all.

A magnificent autistic child playing exclusively with rocks in a playground

Today is Autism Awareness Day

If you are the unhappy parent or relative of an autistic individual…
If you are a doctor who every day gives up on autistic patients and treats them as “untreatable”…
If you are anybody looking down on an autistic person, focusing on all the ways how he/she is different than you…

… It’s time to wake up!

Welcome to my parent mentoring service

Hello, you Super mom of an Awesome autistic child.

If my experience and words speak to you, I invite you to learn about my mentoring service for autism parents.

Intentional parenting, development, and education for our children is my passion. My purpose is to empower you with the emotional and practical support you need to thrive as you reach for every outcome you dream of for you and your child’s life.

Learn More


  1. On , Natalia Erehnah wrote:

    Nicely said. I too have learned and grown because of my children’s Unique Magnificence. I’m about to publish a book about the experience called Swan Mothers. Many of us are learning and growing. It is awetizm.

  2. On , Maria wrote:

    Thank you Natalia. I love the metaphor of swan. Have applied it in my experience before. Sending you good vibes for the book; may your message help others still struggling with resistance.