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New Haven mother working to get autism awareness group off the ground


A mother from New Haven has been working to get an autism awareness nonprofit group off the ground.

Tracey Foskey said she also offers a monthly support group to parents of children with autism. She said her inspiration is her 10-year-old son.

A few months ago, Foskey and Brenda Moore were mere acquaintances through Facebook. Now, they're friends brought together by their children.

“[I've heard] ‘Oh my God! I didn't know this was there,' and a lot of people are more eager to talk about it knowing that someone else is going through the same thing they're going through, and they're not in it alone," Foskey said.

Foskey's son Tjay was diagnosed with autism seven years ago.

"[I said] ‘Why me?'” Foskey said. “Then, I had to turn it around and be like, ‘Why not me, because I'm a voice for him, and I can be a voice for so many other children.'"

That's why she said she started her New Haven-based support group.

Named after her son, “Total Joy Are You” helps parents who have limited access to services.

Foskey said the group meets once a month where members share the joys and struggles of parenting a child with autism.

“We love our kids,” Moore said. “We see them as typical kids, and so we just want to build a community where our kids can come, they can be loved and parents can come and get the support that they need."

Moore said her 8-year-old son Billy is completely non-verbal.

"He has no fear, but he does certain things and it inspires us,” Moore said. “So we're grateful for that."

The group's members have gathered at several places, including a church and a Panera restaurant. The mothers said the get-togethers, while wonderful for them, have done wonders for their children.

“I just have to be a warrior for my son,” Moore said. “I just have to be on the front lines to advocate for him."

Foskey said she hopes to establish her non-profit by the end of the year.

Anyone looking to connect with her can do so on her group's Facebook page here.

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