By Kelly Cain
Nichole Wilson is on quite the journey, and it is not slowing down anytime soon. In fact, I think she is just getting started. I had the pleasure of speaking with Wilson about the online magazine Autism Moms Are Beautiful.
Based in Houston, Texas, her journey started about 11 years ago with the birth of her daughter, Zeni’ Alyn, who was thoughtfully named after the women in her family. Wilson knew early on her daughter was facing developmental challenges, and after the diagnosis of autism, she knew her dreams of traveling and singing would have to wait.
Concentrating on her daughter’s well-being and helping her overcome the challenges those with autism face every day. Wilson realized she struggled to accept this “new” normal, which for some can be isolating. Wilson knew she couldn’t be the only one.
She took to social media in the early part of 2017 and created the Facebook page Autism Moms Are Beautiful. She connected with many other women struggling to accept their new normal as well, while holding on to the hopes and aspirations for their lives. She wanted to encourage and support other women. Women started to reach out to her for advice and support. She started to offer a fun weekly giveaway, just to make their day or make them feel beautiful.
Through a Facebook Page, she met two women whose stories had to be shared. They each had their own, unique message. She thought “What if I just put their stories in a little booklet so another mom can be inspired.” Just like her idea for the Facebook Page, one thing led to another, and by the fall of 2017, the first publication of Autism Moms Are Beautiful was released.
Warrior moms grace the cover of the publication and bravely share their stories. Autism Moms Are Beautiful spotlights moms that are struggling and want to share their story while maintaining their anonymity. The readers will have a chance to assist them with resources. The publication also now includes stories from fathers of autistic children. Autism Moms Are Beautiful” is now an organization with a website, online magazine, and a Facebook page that attracts new followers every day. The previously small event that marked the start of Wilson’s journey with helping others has now grown and is in its third year. It also includes an award ceremony.
Due to the popularity of the weekly giveaway on her page, Wilson was encouraged to have an “Autism Moms Are Beautiful Award Ceremony.” She at first declined, but then thought this would be a great opportunity to connect with her followers in person. So she held the event to honor them, to share the stories of not only their struggles, but their triumph. She honored not only moms but dads, as well.
The goal is still the same to support and assist moms through the challenges of raising a special needs child. The organization is now a part time position for Wilson as well as several others.
Zeni’ Alyn is doing well and is attending a private school in the Houston area. Wilson strives to reach more women who need hope and encouragement. Her goal for the future of Autism Moms Are Beautiful is to have a national, monthly publication that is available everywhere.
Wilson’s story, along with others, have added great support and resources to the autism community. Please share the information below to connect autism moms that may be struggling to find resources and inspiration. You can visit www.autismmomsarebeautiful.org to subscribe to the publication for yourself or as a gift. Donations are accepted for the annual awards ceremony, held this year on March 22nd. Please visit their website to attend or make a donation.