Mother of children with autism speaks out following Avonte’s disappearance

WESTCHESTER (PIX11) – Having a child with autism is challenging, but one Westchester mom is raising three children with autism.

Eileen Muniz and her husband have Gianna, who is 10-years-old, and Vincent and Marz who are 9-year-old twins. All three were diagnosed with autism.

“You go through stages, at first I was crushed,” said said Muniz, “You can’t stay crushed, you have children to take care of.”

The family has a service dog named Randy. He stays with Vincent, and keeps him safe when he’s not at a special school in Manhattan. He’s a heeling autism service dog.

“He’s tethered to Randy, when he feels Vincent try to bolt, he  heels,” said Muinz.

Muniz can’t talk about Avonte Oquendo without getting choked up. Her heart goes out to the family of the 14-year-old autistic boy who walked out of school more than a month ago and hasn’t been seen since.

“They don’t know they’re in danger, they don’t know they’re wondering,” said Muniz.

Inside Muniz’ home, there aren’t any sharp edges.

I have to watch how they hold a fork,” said Muniz.  “I have to watch when they brush their teeth.”

Muniz said she wants to see all children with autism be provided with special GPS systems.

She also wants special amber alerts.


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