Nadya Suleman, known to many as the "Octomom" who gave birth to octuplets in 2009, opened up about her "severely autistic" teenage son in a post on Instagram. Suleman, who is mother to 14 children, shared that her "adolescent infant Aidan" is "14 years old, going on 1 in his head." Aidan's autism requires "total care."
"He requires complete assistance in meeting all needs in activities of daily living. Aidan is non-verbal, requires feeding, changing (he is not potty-trained), bathing and one-to-one supervision, as he has no safety awareness and would walk aimlessly into traffic," Suleman revealed, writing that she has been his "ONLY care provider."
"This 'job' is my life (other than caring for 13 other children singlehandedly)," she explained. Suleman said she also struggles with "permanent disabilities," as her back has been broken for 10 years due to her pregnancy with the octuplets. "Despite my broken back, and relentless pain, I continue to physically care for my son, and will never give up on him."
Suleman was inspired to share more about her and Aidan's story after dropping off 11 of her other children for their first day of school on Tuesday. Aidan, who attends a special needs school during the year, is still off for the summer.
"This morning ... I took Aidan to the park, feeding and following him until he grew tired. He engaged in a meltdown (dropped to ground, threw water bottles, took off shoes and propelled those at my head)," she wrote. "As soon as we arrived home I bathed, changed and fed exhausted Aidan and held him until he fell asleep."
Suleman explained her son's "circadian rhythm is discombobulated as he tends to wake from 2 a.m. staying up ‘til after 5 a.m."
"Why did I choose to share this aspect of my life on the same day as my other kids’ first day of school, as opposed to posting an adorable picture?" she continued. "For a couple reasons. First, to describe the details of my REAL life, not a 'perfect' depiction of what I want people to perceive my life to be. Second, to provide a contextualization for both my supportive followers, and the condemnatory critics, as to what truly matters in my life: my family."
She concluded her post with the hashtags "AutismMom" and "ILoveMyFamily."
She has posted before about Aidan being autistic, but never so in depth.
Suleman gained notoriety in 2009 after birthing octuplets — six boys and two girls — conceived via in vitro fertilization. She was already mother to six children, also conceived via IVF. The octuplets turned 10 in January. In an interview with the New York Times last year, it was noted that Aidan is "severely autistic" while another one of her children is on the spectrum.
In the video posted to Instagram, Suleman affectionately calls Aidan her "baby" and "angel." Her post can be read in full below.
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