Allison Moorer Addresses Son’s Autism in Powerful New Song
Allison Moorer holds nothing back on her upcoming new album, 'Down to Believing.' The singer covers a wide range of topics, including her separation and impending divorce from musician Steve Earle, the murder-suicide of her parents when she was just a teenager and her son, John Henry's, diagnosis with autism.
Moorer attacks the autism diagnosis and subsequent fallout in the brave song 'Mama Let the Wolf In,' where she shares her own fears and struggles of dealing with the challenging disorder.
"It's about how I feel about my son having autism," she tells Rolling Stone Country. "As a parent, whatever your children go through, I think there's a certain amount of it that you feel responsible for, even if you know it has nothing to do with you, even if you know that there's absolutely no way to protect them from the world or what they have to go through, whether it's being bullied, having a hard time in school or being an addict. When you can't protect them from going through something that's hard, you feel responsible for it. No one knows what causes autism; no one knows how to cure autism."
The songstress says her son's diagnosis, right before he turned two, has dictated most of her life choices.
"It's not something that you ever get used to because it constantly changes," she notes. "John Henry has been in a special school and has done ABA [applied behavior analysis] therapy since two weeks after we found out. He started speech therapy and occupational therapy even before that because we knew something was going on. It's something that we were able to jump right on because we were lucky and caught it. A lot of kids don't get diagnosed until way later, whether it's through denial or whatever. We were just very aware of it.
"So I spend a lot of my time paying attention to that, making sure that he's OK," Moorer adds. "I'm living in New York because there is a school there that really is great and provides everything that he needs under one roof. And his dad lives in New York. Well, he tours most of the time, but John Henry and I live in New York state."
In spite of her proactive stance on taking care of her little boy, she admits it's always a struggle.
"It's a confounding condition," the 42-year-old concedes. "I admittedly have lied awake at night and asked myself, what did I do, where did I go wrong? I know I must have done something to cause this. If I had just not done this, or if I hadn't exposed him to that. A million things have gone through my head. Basically the song is channeling that energy and expressing that extreme frustration at not being able to protect him. It makes me feel very powerless."
'Down to Believing' will be released on March 17, 2015, on eOne Records.