In this weeks blog post, I would like to share with you some of the challenges I faced as a single mom raising a son with autism. But more importantly, I want to share some of the solutions I created for beating autism and helping my son improve his skills. Beating autism helped us to create work-life balance in our business and home, while developing the skills to build our dream legacy.
If you are new to my blog, let me introduce myself. My name is Tiffany Simpson. I am a Certified Master Life Coach and blogger here at TiffanySimpson.com. My journey began after my son was diagnosed with autism. It was during this challenge that I taught myself to create computer games and mobile apps to help my son overcome challenges with his speech and social skills. The results were amazing. In fact, today, he is an entrepreneur. He is the creator of The Games Space and an instructor at Coders Fun where he teaches other children to create animation and 3D world games.
My purpose as a Master Life Coach is to help others to overcome their seemingly impossible circumstances, so that they can create their dream legacy. My passion is creating solutions that simplify the process of achieving those results. If you would like to learn more about our journey, please visit my about page.
The Diagnosis: Doom And Gloom
At age 3, my son was diagnosed with autism. His speech was not developing. The only word he was saying audibly was yes. As a result of the speech delay, he developed many behavioral issues. He would throw wild tantrums just to get attention when he needed pretty much anything. This caused a huge problem in our social life. I could not take him anywhere. I was labeled the bad mother with the devil child, who did not know what she was doing. It was awful. Not to mention this greatly affected my business as no one trusted that I was competent enough to handle myself and my son, much less a business. It also affected my self esteem, I did not want to put myself out there, only to face rejection over and over again. I was stuck.
I joined several online forums and other support groups. But it all looked like doom and gloom. Parents would constantly complain about challenges they faced with trying to navigate the day around a child who was unable to communicate. Frustration was high and the only thing the group offered was sympathy and solidarity. Any possible solution seemed like a stab in the dark and it did not seem to be geared towards the children, but rather the parents who were overwhelmed and desperate for a solution. I felt stuck. And for the first time in my life I felt like I was defeated. Beating autism seemed like an impossible feat.
Identifying A Possible Solution
Then one afternoon, as I was noticing my son’s speech pattern as he was trying to communicate with me, I notice he was opening and closing his mouth and sounds were coming out. But, he was not moving his lips to form the words. That’s when the idea came to me, to use the camera on my cellphone to record my mouth while saying his name, age and other words he should have been saying at that time. He would sit for an hour each day and practice say the words while mimicking the motions of my lips to form the words. It took about 4 months, but he finally began to say his name.
Once he learned the basic words, we moved on to a Q&A session, where I would ask him a question and he would need to required to answer with one of the words he learned previously. We would practice for one hour every day as well. It took some time. But he was able to communicate with people. They would ask him a question and his face lit up when he realized that he already knew the answer. He was confident and engaged. Beating autism was not as hard a feat as I had initially thought it to be. Of course, we had a lot more work to do. But we had a working solution and it was enough to motivate both of us to keep going.
… And Then There Was A Glitch
After my son started school, it was clear that I would have to start to adjust the techniques I was using as we needed to widen the scope of his communication skills (which of course did not come naturally at that time). I remember, one time someone asked him, what was the name of his school and he said his name as if he only process the word name in the sentence. That’s when the idea came to me to create an app that he could use to learn the different variations in sentence structure. But of course, I had not knowledge of creating apps. My background is in Science. I have a degree in Math and Physics. It was a long shot, but I was not ready to throw in the towel just yet.
I took to YouTube, and after watching a few tutorials, I created my first app in 4 weeks. I was impressed. Not only was I beating autism, I was creating new skills that I could use to enhance my business and my career. This was amazing.
Beating Autism and Building Our Dream Legacy
It took about 24 months, but finally, my son was speaking. And his comprehension was improving. It was clear that he understood a great deal and was not just regurgitating information he had memorized. Today, we run a program called Speaking Autism, which is a packaged version of the apps I created for my son. The program is designed to help children with autism, improve their speech and social skills with a series of standardized apps and lessons.
In today’s culture, it is very easy to get caught up in so many things that we forget what is possible for ourselves and loved ones. Often times we dismiss the opportunity to follow through on our goals because we are met with seemingly impossible circumstances. Often times we talk ourselves out of the will to try. But today, I want to encourage you, that you don’t have to accept that loss. After beating autism, we have found the courage to stand up to many of our other challenges. Facing fear and rejecting, knowing that we are able to conquer.
Thanks for stopping by. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below. We are happy to hear from our readers. Talk to you next week.