Following Our Children.

Hi, I’m Jen. Lisa invited me in to share some good news with you, and bribed me with some good coffee into the bargain. Usually I blog here, drop in and visit, I will do my best with the coffee!

Recently we have seen a big jump in my sons speech. He is putting a lot of effort in and is it so exciting to see the results. He has begun to attempt the words himself while using PECS, something I genuinely did not even have a timeframe for in my own head.

Needless to say we have been celebrating this, encouraging it too. Then someone who is facing a diagnosis of autism with her child asked me this:

‘What do you do?’.

I was torn between replying ‘so much’ and ‘so little’. ‘So much’ because my daily routine revolves around his tutoring hours, appointments and spotting all the learning opportunities to push yet another gem of information. ‘So little’ because it is second nature to us and this is just our normal life. I couldn’t give this reply of course, not to someone who is starting out and looking for help, so I sat down and had a think about it.

1. We have an amazing tutor who loves my son almost as much as I do. She knows what makes him tick and works with his strengths and interests to achieve incredible progress.

2. We are just about to finish a block of Occupational Therapy. We have been working on a sensory diet, sneaking in things he doesn’t like while he is doing activities he does like, in the hopes that he won’t be as offended as he would normally be. We play on the trampoline, climb on the slide, roll around in the ball pool and use the swing. This is how our back garden is decorated these days, all from an OT point of view.

3. He loves the computer and TV. We use language building programmes and DVDs and a host of internet sites that teach him lots of different skills. Being a computer addict myself  I completely understand his facination with technology so this doesn’t feel like ‘work’ for me either. One of his first words was ‘google’, another was ‘Facebook’. No idea how that happened *cough*

Then I realised that the common thread through all of this is that we are all doing what he enjoys doing. We are using his interests to help him learn and he doesn’t even realise it. He gets to do the things he enjoys all day and we get to watch him make more progress than we ever dreamed possible in 7 months. It’s a win win situation.

I have been very glad of the chance to do a mental review. It would be so easy to let things slide and not even realise it.

‘What do you do?’ is such an simple question and it turns out the answer is too: Follow my child and go where he leads me.


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Jen Cull
Mum of 3 great children, one of whom has autism. Wife, taxi service, blogger, cook and chief bottle washer in my *spare* time
Jen Cull

Jen Cull

Mum of 3 great children, one of whom has autism. Wife, taxi service, blogger, cook and chief bottle washer in my *spare* time

One thought on “Following Our Children.

  • My name is Crystal Lee, and I am a doctorate student in clinical psychology at Baylor University. I am beginning to collect data for my dissertation, and I am hoping that you will help me. My study is interested in stress and ways of coping with stress in parents of children ages 5-12. Specifically, I am looking for parents of children ages 5-12 in three categories:
    1.       Parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
    2.       Parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes
    3.       Parents of children with no diagnoses

    My hope is to use the data from my dissertation to create an intervention to help parents cope with stress.

    If you meet the above criteria, please take this survey: (the first page is the informed consent, so you can take a look at it before agreeing to take the survey).

    If you do not meet the above criteria, please consider forwarding the survey to any parents you know that fit the above criteria. I’ve attached a flyer to this email with the information from this email that you can send to people at your convenience.

    People who complete the survey can participate in a drawing for one of three $50 giftcards to Additionally, people who refer others to the survey get their name added into the drawing for each person they refer.

    The current study is being conducted by myself, Crystal Lee, under the guidance of Dr. Helen Benedict, who can be contacted at 254-710-2961 or via email at [email protected]. This study was determined to be exempt by Baylor University’s IRB. If you have any questions regarding the study, you may contact me at [email protected]
    Thank you for your time and help,
    Crystal Lee, M.S.
    Doctoral Student
    Department of Psychology and Neuroscience
    Baylor University


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