Just before his second birthday, Kimberly Maschi’s son, Jase, was diagnosed with autism. In that moment, as the doctor delivered the news, Maschi says she’d “never felt more alone.”
“I honestly thought no one would ever understand this,” Maschi, 30, told The Huffington Post in an email Tuesday. “Autism is not talked about, it’s not known, I had never heard of it until Jase. I felt hopeless and desperate for answers.”
Today, some four years later, Maschi continues to struggle with daily challenges and heartbreak, but she’s certainly not going through this journey alone.
For over a year, Maschi, who lives in Oxford, Massachusetts, has been sharing Jase’s story on the video sharing platform Vine, providing an intimate glimpse of what daily life is like for a child with autism and his family. In September, Maschi started an account called “Nothing Is Wrong,” dedicated to sharing this story, one short video at a time. She sometimes also uses her personal account to do the same.(Story continues below)
“I know a lot of other mothers on Vine who have children with autism, and many individuals who themselves have autism. I liked sharing my story with them and wanted to do more,” Maschi told Buzzfeed last month. “I wanted to give people an inside look into what this life is really like. I see many people using Vine for more than just comedy, so I thought I would too.”
In her Vines, Maschi -- who also has a 1-year-old daughter named Charlotte -- re-enacts scenes from her and Jase’s life. She also shares her deepest fears and worries and celebrates the everyday joys.
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Throughout the last few months, Maschi has amassed hundreds of followers, many of whom have sent her words of gratitude and thanks.
“So many other parents have reached out and told me they know how I feel and they feel the same way. Doing this has taken away some of the loneliness,” she told the HuffPost. “I am so grateful to the people who have talked with me, who follow our story and show their love and support for my Jase.”
As for the choice to use Vine as her platform, Maschi said there’s something cathartic and comforting about creating these short snapshots of her life.
“It’s been a challenge to squeeze so much information into 6 seconds at a time but I find it refreshing, it gives me structure where my life is always chaos,” she said. “I am happy to be a part of this community, I not only want to raise autism awareness, but have others feel what it’s like. I want others to cry with me, to be scared with me, to be overjoyed and happy with me. I want them to know my son, the good the bad and all the in between. So when they see another parent or child with autism they will know their struggle. They will know that these children are just different, not less. They need help and support, guidance and understanding. And so do [their] parents.”