This time around, I interviewed Therese Johnson, mother of a non-verbal autistic boy named Ben.
1. What was your childhood like?
My childhood was amazing. Surrounded by love and laughter and having everything in abundance but my parents always instilling wisdom and knowledge in us. We spent lots of time bonding as a family.
2. When your child was diagnosed with autism, what was your initial reaction?
Ben was diagnosed on Friday 23rd January 2015. Our initial reaction was relief and confirmation of what we already knew.
What caused this reaction to change, if it has?
It hasn’t changed, if anything it’s helped the whole family learn more and more about autism spectrum disorder in order to understand/ help Ben.
3. What methods of non-verbal communication have you been teaching your child? Which one seems the best?
Right now we use speech, but one sentence at a time giving Ben time to process and we speak slower. We also use visual cues i.e.: show him the actual nappy when it’s time to change him and we are using PECS but with our own pictures. As he gets older and understands more then we’ll move on to other visual cues.
4. What is your favorite Bible verse?
I have so many favourites but the one that really touches my soul has to be Isaiah 55: 8-11
Isaiah 55:8-11New International Version (NIV)
8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
5. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed about raising your child?
I take time out! I will sing and dance and shake the stress away and remember the scripture that says “A merry heart doeth good like medicine”
6. Who is your favorite biblical figure besides Jesus?
King David. He made many mistakes and was quick to repent and he was a man after God’s own heart.
7. Who in your life makes you want to be a better person?
My children and my family for sure.