As we continue to celebrate Autism Acceptance Week we hear from Eden, age 9, who is autistic and has experienced low self-esteem and anxiety and his parents Karen and Rob, as well as Jess Rogers, Aspens Specialist Intervention Advisor. They explain how the support Eden (pictured below with Jess) has received from the Aspens team has increased Eden's confidence, boosted his self-esteem and developed his sense of trust in others. Karen and Rob also share their thoughts on what changes need to be made in our society to increase acceptance of autism.

Jessica visits Eden at his home for weekly 1 to 1 sessions and Lucy French, Behaviour Support Specialist has supported the family by working in partnership with other professionals. 


"When Jess visits we write down my strengths in a book that reminds me of all the things I’m good at. I enjoy our sessions and we play different games. I have a few things in common with Jess which is good.

I have lots of special things I like to share with Jess. Jess has shown me lots of different types of origami that I really enjoyed. It’s good that I don’t have to learn anything like maths or English. Jess also listens to me talking about all my interests.

I like having someone to come to my house to talk to and that I can show all my things to. It’s made me feel comfortable talking to people. It’s important to me that someone is there just for me." 

Eden’s parents (Karen and Rob):

"Having Jess come in for weekly 1 to 1 sessions with Eden has allowed him to open up to someone different. Eden immediately clicked with Jess and feels comfortable with her. Jess has shown Eden that he can trust other people, and this has led to him becoming more confident with others. Eden has been more open to going out and doing other things. He has even mentioned the possibility of going back to school. It has been so important for Eden to have someone come and see him without putting any education or pressure on him.

Aspens has also supported us with bringing together all the professionals that deal with Eden, and Lucy French, Behaviour Support Specialist, has been instrumental in helping with this.

We would like Eden to enjoy doing things as a family and be part of the world again and to be able to do what he wants to when he is older.

We want other families to know that tailored support is out there. It is not a one shoe fits all scenario. There are lots of people out there that can offer support. It doesn’t happen overnight, so patience and perseverance are key. Take one day at a time and enjoy all the small achievements.

In terms of autism acceptance, we all need to be a bit more understanding about difference. Eden has (very) long hair and when he goes out wears shorts and sliders (no matter the weather) which sometimes gets some looks. There is generally a reason for why people look or dress the way they do! More education at school on these and other conditions would be really helpful too."

Jess Rogers

"The focus of my sessions with Eden has been to increase his self-esteem. Eden became very comfortable with me from the first visit as it turns out we have a lot of the same interests in common. I allow Eden to pick and choose what he wants to do during our sessions.

This may be Eden wanting to see what things I have in my bag or it can be Eden showing me some of the things in his bedroom. One of the first sessions focused on looking at Eden’s strengths. We wrote them down in the front of a book and add to it every time we think of a new strength.

Eden is also very creative and is interested in origami. I got some origami paper and we have made a few different things in our sessions.

When I first met Eden, he would find it hard to look at me. He would often hide under a blanket from me. Our first session only lasted 30 minutes before Eden got overwhelmed and had enough of talking. After this, our session times increased every week and now Eden doesn’t like when the hour is up!

His parents have noted that he is now more confident in going out as well as speaking to new people.

I hope that in the future, Eden can identify how amazingly clever he is. I believe if Eden believes in himself then he can achieve great things in life.

Aspens' support is so important to these young autistic people as we are there to grow their confidence and allow them to be themselves with no pressure. We achieve this by using high-quality positive behaviour support. This allows us to identify the reasons for a person’s behaviour and is used to create a clear and structured plan of action. It is the most rewarding job and it is amazing to be part of Aspens."

Information on our Family and Specialist Support services can be found here:

Family Support

Specialist Support