Erin Olwell is a single mom to two incredible boys–Ryan, 16, and Reed, 10. She has been a hairdresser for over 20 years, and when she was pregnant with her first son, she set up an in-home salon. Erin believes that God created this pathway for her because her son was born with autism, and this opportunity provided her with the flexibility she needed to attend his therapies.

Being a single mom is hard work, and having two boys who are living with very different special needs has created even more obstacles. However, Erin maintains a positive attitude, continuously advocates for her sons, and enjoys celebrating their wins each day.

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Advocacy
Most days, I feel as though I’ve missed my calling because what brings me the most amount of joy, aside from making people feel pretty, is advocating for my children and the children of friends that are seeking advice and direction for their children with special needs.

Outing
The biggest accomplishment was working with an ABA therapist to get Ryan to sit through a meal. So, our outings revolve around eating out because we have finally mastered sitting through a meal without taking off when he is finished. Our go to place is Walk-Ons in Metairie because there is action going on and we fit right in.

Family & Friend Visits
When we are not out to eat, we are enjoying our time with friends and family. Ryan loves to visit and take rides in the car, hoping to make it to Mimi’s house. He loves his Mimi.

Work
I get to hear different peoples’ stories and learn and grow with each and every one of them. I have connected different people with resources they need for their own children with special needs, especially those that are part of my clientele in the healthcare industry.

Travel
My son, Reed, has Tourettes, ADHD, an academic learning delay, and is hearing impaired. I am blessed to have been able to take him on vacations while Ryan stays with his Dad. It makes me sad that I am not able to travel with both of my boys, but Ryan is a homebody. Removing him from his familiar day-to-day routine can be very difficult, and in the end, he just wants to go home. Reed and I have gone to Disneyland, Margaritaville, and the beach. We have a trip planned to Disney this March and I cannot wait. It makes my heart happy to spend one-on-one time with him.

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