Every day more and more children in South Africa are born with Autism.

Cullen was born 15 September 2006...

Children with Autism dont show emotion, dont make eye contact, dont play, dont interact, often have problems with Speech and fine motor control...

Cullen continues to challenge himself and conquer all of this...


Follow our journey, our challenge, our triumph, our lives...

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Loving the lights!

Just got back from a long drive with the kiddies, boy it's great having little ones that love the car as much as our little one's!! Had a mate with car trouble so decided to take the kids along ( Mommy is working tonight ) and watching them watching all the light's reminded me of how much I used to love traveling at night, watching the world fly by. The main thing it brought to mind was how quickly time has moved from then to now, gone in the blink of an eye!
Thinking about that makes me wanna slow down, take a breath and spend as much time with our precious little gifts as we can.
My thought for the day - Keep it simple, and spend some time just "Loving the lights"

Monday, 28 March 2011


So today was VERY VERY VERY informative - a meeting with Michele Shapiro (Ph.D. O.T.) from Israel and her Snoezelen Therapy.
Wow - it still amazes me how much I CAN still do for our Horsie...I mean just as you think...ok I have sort of the right things in place, we doing OT, we doing Speechie, daily we do diet and supplements, we doing special WIGGLES and Squiggles school, we are you go ** BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER**, with amazing insight and scientific research to back it up.

Snoezelen is a philosophy, it it a therapy it is a sensory room. I NEED ONE...I WANT ONE for Horsie and ladybug.

It is a room where Cullen can be HIMSELF (calm, open, receptive and accepting) and Ladybug well...she would love it just as much. There are specifics to this room, the lighting, the flooring, the walls, the ceilings in terms of accustics, there are bubble cyclinders (TANKS) for sensory stimulation, music, and so much more.

WHY SNOEZELEN? I mean who cares...well if you sit with Michele and you listen to her passion, which overflows in her research and her school and in her life, you will feel HOOKED...and will want one for yourself, your granny, your neighbour, your grumpy boss, your domestic worker, your mother-in-law but most of all for your children regular and special.

For HORSIE it would be soooo tranquil, calming, beautiful - a space where he can let go of everything that bombards him, irritates him, distracts him and focus on being, on learning, on breathing on acceptance, and on speaking for himself albeit it non-verbally...please check out her website - see my favourite links.

Which begs the question - is anything we set up -  ever enough for our children? AND lets COMPOUND that to A MILLION for our special NEEDS CHILDREN - phew....lots of work ahead and as a friend said today, who I havent seen in ages, "JUST LAY it in GOD'S HANDS!"

So tonight LORD I lay all my hopes, desires, wishes, needs and wants in your hands - you know my heart, my soul, my strength...empower and equip me...

A Snoezelen room....
Thank you

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sneaky little Guy!!

The small little things, the everyday things your kiddies do bring you so much joy, but having a little guy with autism even the minute little details make your heart do summersaults!

I was home early today (OOO Yeah) so I was able to take Cullen with me to pick up Jada, he loves visiting his old school but purely cause he love's the swings, slides and jungle gyms. All the staff love him there and go out of there way to say "Hi Cully" and if they are lucky he may just give them a high five, very cool to know our dude is famous! Any way after picking up sister we were on our way listening to my favourite CD in the car - Barney's greatest hits.
We were sitting at a robot and I nearly had a heart attack as I felt something bite me gently on my shoulder! Our sneaky little guy managed to undo the seat belt on his car chair, quietly climb out and give me a little nibble, after I realised what happened I asked Cullen why he bit me? He just looked at me with a smirky smile and gave me a beautiful sloppy kiss on the cheek, no words were said but I got the message and boy did that kiss feel good.


Ok so this is soooo exciting...I nearly peed my pants...
Went up to LADYBUG out of nowhere and slithered up to her gently on the couch and quietly gave her a BIG open mouth kiss...she shrieked with delight...

This from our boy...
our boy with AUTISM...


Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Self-less inner strength, patience, compassion...still never ceases to AMAZE me - GRANDPARENTALS ROCK!!!

You know how when you are 15 years old and you think you  KNOW take your parents for granted, you think what do "they" know! JEEZ how I know NOW...what I should have known then...
Our parentals sacrificed so much to make things easier, better for us...and I know I am doing the same for my little ladybug and horsie...but what amazes me is just how much their grandparentals are doing for them RIGHT NOW!!

My mom is some sort of saint sent by GOD with patience like....I dont know, what similie I would use but patience to INFINITY and BEYOND as buzz light year would say, and an incredible amount of selfless giving of her time, her strength, her compassion. Just to give you a small mom runs our horsie to our perserving awesome speech therapist twice a week, she takes him to our wonderful OT once a week, she also picks him up from wiggles and squiggles most days. She fights him daily to get him to have a small doo doo in the afternoon, feeds him, changes his nappy (which let me tell you is the BIGGEST sacrifice  as it is sometimes as often as 5 times in one afternoon and thats not wee wees) and she LOVES HIM!!! LOVES HIM LOVES HIM!!!

Poppels (my dad) well...he to has become the most fantatsic I CAN HELP grandparental.Always chipping in to help, swing, run,drive, catch and carry, organise and to LEAN ON!!! Where does this selfless lets be here for these kiddies and family come from...if raising my brothers and I was NOT enough, NOW to give even more of themselves to Horsie and Lady bug??? I just...phew...

It just leaves me WARM and fuzzy...and NOW I know I dont know everything....

I know mom and did your VERY BEST for me, for us kids...and
You are part of what helps me just keep focus, just keep going, just hang in there...just keep swimming.

LOVE YOU MORE than you will ever know and more than I can ever say....
Although Horsie cant say it right now...he WILL...
Couldnt SWIM without you

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Ernie Els: I want to find the causes of autism

Ernie Els: I want to find the causes of autism



We would like to extend to you an invitation to join in us in our mission to Defeat Autism Now.

In an effort to raise funds for MUCH needed treatment for our little boy with Autism - Cullen Croll
(4 and half years old) we have set up a Golf Day to assist in the ongoing treatment of this precious little person.

We need your support in making The Cullen Croll Action Against Autism Golf Day a resounding success and we will in turn endeavour to promote and provide exposure for your business.

There are several ways in which you can be involved:
• Booking a four ball
• Sponsoring a Hole or prizes (Any prize will be appreciated)
• Or a simple donation.
When and Where?
May 17 2011
Roodepoort Country Club

Hole-in-one Road, Ruimsig, Roodepoort
• Competition Format – Four Ball Alliance
• Cost per four ball – R2000.00
• Cost Per Hole Sponsored – R2000.00

We do understand that due to the current financial climate funds are not always available, but we would appreciate any assistance in any way you can, whether it be a donation of caps, shirts, catering, your time, or anything else that may help in our mission to provide funds for the best possible care, treatment and the betterment of Cullen in his personal challenge with Autism.

Thanking you kindly for your generous consideration and hoping to hear from you soon.

Warm Wishes

Monday, 14 March 2011

ENDING each night with an UPPER...tonight the addition of being naked!!

I truely believe that sometimes we really take ourselves way too seriously! YES Cullen needs routine and so does Jada for that matter of gives children boundaries, but routine does not necessarily need to be lacklustre.

I believe in ending an evening with an not caffeine induced CRAZY from a great tasting RED BULL, I mean a great song to sing to, dance to. In particular my horsie LOVES WAKA WAKA and now claps and smiles when we play it on PVR. Ladybug absolutely thrills herself with Katy Perry's "Lets go all the way tonight..."

We put the sound up...we dance...we sing the words and tonight...WE DID ALL THAT NAKED!!!! Literally 5 minutes before BATH TIME!!! Freedom from clothes, from awkward "oops" I shouldnt be naked notions, just FREE!!!

And then all 3 of us jumped in a warm soaky bath...bonding...holding my horsie tight and watching my ladybug explore the oval tub...soooo BLESSED sooo lucky to have them...


Sunday, 13 March 2011

Cars...he actually played with cars!!!

I worked this didnt spend much time with my horsie and ladybug...missed them...
But what I heard from Nana encouraging so good...warm FUZZIES again! Nana took the monsters to visit my brother and my SIL (sister-in-law) and their two guys...which ladybug loves as she gets to play and spend time with Jeanie and Anyway my horsie absolutely is a WATER FREAK! Loves to swim....its his HAPPY place.

The boys played cars next to the pool...and without making too much of a FUSS Sil actually realised that CULLEN was playing with the cars on the edge of the pool...moving them back and forth...PLAYING!!!! He was playing cars...and yes it may have only been for a moment or two...but he was PLAYING, like boys do, like regular boys do!!!

****WARM FUZZIES *****
Feels good! Feels like HAPPINESS!
Anyway...back to MONDAY tomorrow!

2 weeks til the GREAT BIG WALK!!!!
Support us in raising awareness for
autism spectrum disorders
when: 26th march 2011
where: zoo lake, johannesburg
time: 09h00—13h00
who: everyone!
cost: persons with autism free
R 50.00 to walk for autism
R 50.00 per t-shirt
bring: banners, colour hairspray,
face paints
fun dress code: lime green, black or white
food and drinks vendors and autism related
service providers will be there
to join us on the 26th march 2011 please
contact 011 484 9909 or

P.S. PFP this SATURDAY at Wiggles school was EXCELLENT!!!! Sooooo Valuable! Thank you to Adele and Carin for your efforts and support!!! MUCH love

Friday, 11 March 2011

MIRACLE MAGIC...never the ordinary

So many mommy's take even the little things like brother and sister fighting, for granted...last night for the FIRST TIME horsie and ladybug actually tickled each other and PLAYED!

We were chilling on the couch when ladybug began with her HIGH-pitched voice to signal the start of her intention to tease brother, tickle his foot, his belly, his arm, and under his chin. My horsie was at first quite apprehensive... but began to FOCUS really focus on her eyes..."READ" her smile and facial expression and tone of voice, and it was almost as if you could hear his little brain COMPUTE...make sense of what he was looking at and then began adjusting his apprenhension with a more appropriate response, that of laughing, giggling, smiling and burying himself under pillows - "hiding" from his little sister!


Now for mommies of kiddies who do this with irritation to their sibling and parents alike, you may think so what...but for a mommy of Cullen with Autism...this is TRUELY something ULTRA special, UNIQUE and totally caught us unawares.

It left me with that little tingling feeling you feel in the tips of your toes to the top of your head, that warm fuzzy, awwww boy boy played...and sister who usually backs off out of a little fear of brother's unusual, unexpected response, actually PLAYED, giggled, TICKLED, with more of the same response from my!!

This went on for what seemed like hours, but in reality lasted maybe 6 minutes...if that...but its TREASURED...its new...its certainly is not typical of children with Autism...and Jada Ann loved the interaction with Cullen.

Night a success...can go to bed now and know we lived NOW!!!!
Knowing we witnessed a MIRACLE and the magic between siblings...


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