Mother’s Day Series – A challenging and rewarding life

Being a mother-of-three, with a son who has autism, has given Betty Pulefolau a challenging and rewarding life.

“For me to be a mother of three special boys  it’s a blessing and a calling that I need to fulfil in my life. They are precious gifts.” Betty says about her sons Roman, 17, Joel, 16 and Zechariah, 14. 

“For Roman, at three and a half years old, we realised there was something wrong with him, he wasn’t meeting his milestones and he wasn’t talking. Our GP wanted to refer him for further assessment.”

Roman was diagnosed with autism, a serious development disorder that impairs the ability to communicate and interact.

Betty and her husband Brian’s experience from the initial assessment process to limited access to support services, motivated them to start the Pasifika Autism Support Group (PASG). This is a group where Pacific parents of kids with autism can fellowship and support each other by sharing what works for them as a family and what services are available.

The loving mother has devoted her time towards helping her son and providing a place for other families to seek information and support for their children.  Most importantly she is also focusing on raising awareness of  autism in Pasifika communities.

“I could put on a brave face and say that everything is fine, but it has been emotionally challenging, I put on a smile because I’m part of a support group and I want to let other parents know that it’s going to be okay.”

This Mother’s Day, Betty is reminded about the joys of motherhood, an experience that she doesn’t take for granted.

“The rewards of being a mother to three boys, is seeing them grow and develop in their own unique way.”


Date: Thursday 6 May 2021