On this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast, host David Hirsch speaks with special father Jude Morrow, of Derry Northern Ireland. Jude’s son, Ethan, doesn’t have special needs, Jude himself, the dad has special needs. He’s on the autism spectrum and he’s written a book about his experience which will be available in April 2020. It’s a fascinating conversation and it’s all on this Dad to Dad Podcast. Visit Jude Morrow Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/jude.morrow.7
Dad to Dad 81 – Jude Morrow Of Derry, Northern Ireland, Is A Father With Asperger’s Syndrome.
Jude Morrow: I think that dots have such a crucial role to play an NHI is life. No matter what I know your usual clientele for your podcast would be the parents of children with autism and other needs. I was one of these kids, so I’ve been there. So I. Well to be in the Special Fathers Network, because at a majority of these fathers, do have children with special needs. I was once the child, my autism doesn’t disappear at 18. That’s still here, still using it and we’ll continue to do so for as long as possible.
Tom Couch: That’s special father, Jude Morrow, Jude son, Ethan doesn’t have special needs. Jude himself, the dad has special needs. He’s on the autism spectrum and he’s written a book about his experience, which will be available on April, 2020.
He’s also talking to our host David Hirsch on this dad to dad podcast. Here’s David Hirsch now.
David Hirsch: Hi, and thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the Special Fathers Network.
Tom Couch: The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process.
New fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support dads. To find out more, go to 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group.
Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: And now let’s listen in on this really interesting conversation between special father Jude Morrow and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with my friend, Jude Morrow, from Dairy, Ireland, a father of a young son and a social worker. Jude, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the Special Fathers Network.
Jude Morrow: Oh, no problem at all David. Thank you for having me on.
David Hirsch: You are 29 years old and the proud father of Ethan who is a six year old typical kid, unlike virtually all the other dads who’ve been interviewed for the dad to dad podcast. You’re the one with special needs. You have Asperger’s syndrome. A form of autism, which was diagnosed when you were 11.
Yes. Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Jude Morrow: Well, I grew up in a typical nuclear family and dairy Ireland slash Northern Ireland. Whatever your flavor is. I grew up pretty close to the study center. We loved on a maisonette, which kind of doubled as an, a, an apartment of one older sister, Emily.
Um, I’m lucky enough to still have my mom and dad, Emma and Tony w with me today.
David Hirsch: That’s fabulous. Some curiosity. What did your dad do for a living?
Jude Morrow: My dad, uh, was, uh, an accountant technician number keeper, and I was working day. He’s retired. Now. My mother only really started working whenever I grew up about because she was my primary care when I was young.
So she went out to work. Maybe when I was. Maybe eight or nine, um, was that a little bit more independent? And she worked as what we would call here, a social work assessment, which would be like a family support worker for young mothers and children.
David Hirsch: Okay. I remember in our prior conversation, I think you mentioned your dad was adopted.
Jude Morrow: Yes. He was adopted as a, as a baby. Yes.
David Hirsch: What impact do you think that had on him or his fathering for that matter?
Jude Morrow: Well, he very much identifies as adoptive family as has really family. He doesn’t really use it specifically as a label whilst my grandparents weren’t his biological parents. He would fondly remember the most as mother and father and their children who aren’t technically as biological siblings.
They very much views and loves them as, as brothers and sisters. Okay. So I’m not sure that has adoption really had an impact on parenting because he speaks so fondly and with much adoration of his mom and dad. So he very much took a big influence from them and has older siblings as well.
David Hirsch: How would you describe your relationship with your dad?
Jude Morrow: I have a great relationship with that. Um, whenever I was younger, I was mostly with my mother. I hopped, I suppose, to align myself with her. She was my main care, my first love and soulmate, and still, she still is about me and my dad’s relationship. Improved more. So whenever I was on my teens, we would have went to football matches together.
We’ll have well, soccer matches as a, as a w w would be in the States. And yeah, w w we don’t become very, very close in my teenage years and the novelty, because I suppose I was getting to know him more in my teens and early adulthood. Whereas whenever I was younger, I was very much aligned to. My mother, who’s at home with me all day, every day.
David Hirsch: Okay. That’s fair. And I’m wondering if there’s some important takeaways that come to mind when you think about something your dad always said or something that he always did that is important to you?
Jude Morrow: Well, My dad to me is the pinnacle of perseverance on patients, which are two things that I don’t have.
Aye. Aye, aye. Very much depend on them to help me sell things. Flat pack furniture has always been an enemy of mine along with instruction manuals. Um, so he would be very good at things like that. I know, uh, technically speaking, they announce us to person. I should be the methodical one of Gemini, but I just, I just wasn’t blessed with patients.
So I always looked at him with NBA whenever he belts things, whenever Ethan was coming along, he helped build Ethan’s foggy. Which I couldn’t do because I was left alone with the flat pack bogey for about 10 minutes. And then it became high risk of being thrown out my window. So I kindly asked him to do it, uh, which he did.
And I remember watching him do it and being able to build it and thinking, God, I wish I had the patience to do that, but I just didn’t. So he’s really taught me that patience is a virtue. Have I put it on the practice yet? Not really, but at least he taught it. That’s done. That’s done. I’m very much a right here right now.
Let’s go, let’s do it. Let’s get it done as quickly as possible. And I’m trying to change it. I haven’t been very successful, but I mean every day is a new day is not
David Hirsch: absolutely. Well, if I can paraphrase what you’ve said, he’s been a great role model, especially in the area of patients. Yes. And maybe you’re more patient than you are today, but you still want to be more patient going forward.
That’s what I heard you say.
Jude Morrow: Yes, I do. I, I just, I have a, like a fever, like an extra, just want everything done as quickly as possible. I don’t like having a lot of tasks hanging over my head. I like to get things done and dusted and ready to go. And sometimes some steps can be skipped and, you know, my dad would be very good at helping me to look at the whole process overall, as opposed to just looking at the end result.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So, um, I’m wondering, did your grandfather’s your dad’s dad, your mom’s dad play any role in your development?
Jude Morrow: My parents fathers both had died by the time I was 11 or 12. So they. It doesn’t really have that much of an impact. I do have positive memories with them. No, I remember going to visit them whenever I was young, or I remember they both had very warm attempt of smiles toward me.
They would have known that I had my own struggles and I always, I remember feeling warmth from them, both because both of my grandfathers were born in 1911. So that’s 109 years ago. So perhaps their views on autism and, you know, special needs for want of a better term, you know, their views and their knowledge of these things are quite limited.
So I would have been quite easy for them to perhaps, but they didn’t. Okay. I only remember receiving kind of want some happiness from them. And they knew that I was different and they didn’t, they didn’t hold that against my, my parents at all. Perhaps from a generational point of view, it would have been easy for them to believe that my corks existed because of perhaps bad parenting, not having a good enough discipline regimen, but that wasn’t the case.
I would have been easy for them to think that, but they’d never, ever did. And that’s a very positive thing. I think my grandfathers were quite progressive individuals for their generation.
David Hirsch: Well, thank you for sharing and sorry, you didn’t get to know them because they died at such an early age. Yeah. I don’t know where I would be today.
Do you know a little bit about my story? My grandfather, my maternal grandfather, Sam Solomon. Um, I knew it was a little guy and then, um, Quite surprisingly, he lived to age 93. So he died when I was 40. So we had an adult relationship and it was a very meaningful relationship. I refer to him as my primary father figure growing up.
Jude Morrow: Yeah.
David Hirsch: Let me share another insight with you. Uh, we have my wife and I have a 10 month old grandson.
Jude Morrow: Congratulations.
David Hirsch: He’s the first grandchild on both sides. Maybe from this perspective, me, um, looking at, you know, our young grandson. Our children are really important to us, but the grandchild’s probably the most important person on the planet.
Jude Morrow: my parents are the same with Ethan. My son who’s no sex because I know because I have a great memory. There’s not a lot that happens on my life or has happened on the past that I have forgotten. But I do remember things that my parents would have reprimanded me for. But they don’t reprimand him for, it’s a huge, huge and equality and a ice cream given to him before bed.
I mean, that’s absolutely fine. There has grandparents, it’s not their role to look after his nutritional needs. That’s buying us as father apparently. So yeah. They completely spoil them. And I totally agree with that sentiment. So, uh, you you’ve heard it from me first. There may be some, um, There may be some kind of lighthearted friction between you and your children, because you will let your grandchild away with things that you did not let them away with.
David Hirsch: Oh yeah. There’s totally a double standard, right?
Jude Morrow: Oh yeah.
David Hirsch: My recollection was that you went to the university of Ulster and you took a degree in social work and, uh, your work, your career is primarily in the area of elder care and dementia working with older people, 65 and above. And I’m curious to know how you chose that as a career.
Jude Morrow: Well, whenever I was young, whenever I was a teenager, I went to a local youth grip. I wasn’t on an autism specific youth grip, autism specific grips doesn’t really exist to the extent that they do know. So it was a standard cross community. Grip. And what I mean by cross community for American must nurses, there’s been a longstanding conflict in Ireland as I’m sure you know, the Catholic Protestant side where I love and dairy, it’s quite prevalent here.
So their government schemes and initiatives to post reconciliation and being able to live together in peace. So I went to a grip that was aimed at both Catholic and Protestant, male and female in the city. Again, it wasn’t an autism specific grip. And I really enjoyed that. Um, whilst I had a lot of social difficulties as a child, I was always wanting to set myself very lofty goals in the face of impossible odds.
So I wanted to give myself a challenge and I decided to become a social worker for a couple of reasons. One being. I felt some sense of vulnerability about my own life that perhaps maybe to improve my own self worth, I could help others. Um, the second one being, which has actually transpired as, because of the, the logical way that my autistic brain works.
I’m reasonably good. Okay. Crisis type events, because I’m able to step back think logically and think, okay. This is what we’re going to do. So I, I sort of happened very naturally that that was the career path that I went on to because I was under youth grip. I’ve become a youth leader at came to decide in university courses.
And, but yes, that’s, that’s the one that I went with. Excellent.
David Hirsch: Well, but it seems like you’re very well suited for it. And, uh, this might not be the career that you have for the rest of your life. We all get started someplace.
Jude Morrow: Yeah.
David Hirsch: Who knows? You might become a author public speaker, and that could be your, your next.
Iteration of what you’re doing, but, uh, you know, you have a amazing message and speaking ability, um, you don’t know where that might take you.
Jude Morrow: Well, my answer kind of depends on where and when the actual podcast will be released. As of right now, I’m still working as a social worker unemployed. So I will say yes, absolutely.
I want to be a social worker for the rest of my life. Um, F I am some hype. Blast with a massive wave of good luck and make the New York times bestsellers list. Absolutely. Bring on the right member speaker. So I suppose it depends whenever you release the podcast before or after April, this happened, which is when the.
Copies of the books that we released.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll get to that in a moment, but, uh, more seriously, uh, the work that you’re doing critically important. Sadly, my wife and I buried our three of our four parents a few years ago. They were all in their eighties and nineties. And the care that they received later in life, the last five or 10 years of their life, uh, was remarkable.
Uh, I think it’s a calling doing the type of work that you do. It’s not something everybody can do. Not everybody can be around. Other people, a lot of low and older people who are, um, dealing with end of life issues. And I’m not talking about hospice work, that’s a special subset, but I’m just talking about being there on a day to day basis, helping seniors navigate their reality.
So I really admire the work you’re doing. And if you did that for the rest of your life, I think that would be a very honorable profession as well. So, um, I usually talk about marriage in the podcast, and I don’t want to overemphasize this, but, uh, Nathan’s mom are not married, but you’ve maintained a very healthy co-parenting relationship and, uh, say thank you to both of you for doing that.
It’s not always that way and it, it’s not easy. So, um, I’m wondering, how is it that you’ve been able to do that? Given the circumstances.
Jude Morrow: I suppose when we were together, we didn’t seem to have an awful lot in common. Whenever it came to Ethan, we did have one thing in common and that was his best interest and the knowledge that he needed to both a mother and the father and his life.
So yes, that’s what we agreed upon. And it’s worked well this last six years.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it’s remarkable, whatever you’re doing, continue to do more of that. And I think it just speaks to the maturity. Not necessarily by age, but emotional maturity that you both have, that you can accept that. And you know, that you’re going to be in Ethan’s lives hopefully for a long time to come.
And that if you can stay focused on what’s in his best interest, you know, everything else is sort of secondary.
Jude Morrow: Absolutely.
David Hirsch: So let’s talk about a special needs. So I know a little bit about your story because I’ve read the book and it’s amazing. We’ll get to the book in a moment, but you are nonverbal for the first few years of your life.
Yes. Very regimented a resistance to change, you know, looking back and with the benefit of hindsight, how did your situation evolve or how was diagnosed?
Jude Morrow: Well, whenever I was very small, the first telltale sign that my mother noticed was I used to line up. My toy cars everywhere. I liked certain things at certain times of the day.
Like I like to eat or drink and do certain things. At certain times of the day, I did have some developmental delays, especially with speech on. I didn’t walk until I was over 18 months, I believe. So there were some delays evident physically. Early in my life. And I did find it very hard to communicate because whenever I was coming on four and five, whenever my speech was starting to improve, I only had two volumes.
The first one was shot and the second one was silence. So I would have gestured a lot without actually coming right out and saying it. I would have done that quite a lot. It was hard. I remember at the time, whenever I was very small going to my play grips and I did go to Duke. It was the first one I did go to.
Uh, I didn’t last, very long at. And the second one I went to was a playgroup for mixed abilities. That was the way the system was back then, because I didn’t have a firm diagnosis. I hear a lot of people these days receiving diagnoses of autism at three and four years of age, quite early. About the title Gnostic criteria at that time was that there needed to be sustained and prolonged evidence of difficulties.
And that’s why I was diagnosed at 11 as opposed to much early on, I suppose, at the time the pediatric professionals wanted to see if I would simply grow out of it, which had done done. I still haven’t. I’m still waiting to grow out of it despite having a beard. So I didn’t grow out of it, but I was examined at my second play grip.
I did an examination, which I did write done in preparation for this interview of what it was called. I don’t have the notes to hand, but basically it was like an IQ test to see if I had the intelligence coating for a. Mainstream school. And I did buy quite a comfortable margin. Actually. I know you’re the one asking the questions, but here, the, the, the, the module for want of a better term has 74 IQ.
If you’re below seven day, it would be a special educational needs school. And above that would be mainstream school support, which is what I scored. Okay. Have you heard of that, David? The magic number being 70, he has a different than the States.
David Hirsch: You know, I don’t know if there is a number per se. I’m not that close to the evaluations that are done, but I can say that I’m here in the States.
It seems like it’s a little bit more advanced and I’m not saying better or worse. It’s just more advanced because it’s very common today that developmental delays are diagnosed within the first 18 months. And it’s not uncommon at all that somebody would be diagnosed with autism between 18 and 24 months.
And we have something called early intervention, which is zero to three. And that if you’re more than 30% delayed in your development, however, that is described well development, emotional development, the learning that would be typically taking place, you’re entitled to certain services. Early intervention services.
And what we always encourage parents to do is have their kids evaluated and don’t be in denial. If they are experienced in delay, it’s better to have early intervention and to do something about it, as opposed to what I think I heard you saying is, Oh, mr. And mrs. Smith, wait, maybe your son or daughter will grow out of it.
Jude Morrow: Yes.
David Hirsch: Because more time that goes by the farther back they get. And your story is.
Jude Morrow: A typical story. What
David Hirsch: I mean by that is that if there is a delay it’s better to engage and do something about it from a therapy standpoint, then wait and hope. Hope is not a strategy, but in your situation somehow some way you’re one of those outliers, right?
You’ve somehow been able to overcome a lot of the obstacles or challenges and beat the odds. So, um, I don’t that doesn’t answer your question. I don’t know what the number is, but it sounds like it. It wasn’t like by a small margin that you were evaluated and were allowed to go to mandatory in school.
But you know, you obviously showed a high level of intelligence, but you had these other, um, issues that you were challenged by that, you know, made it difficult for your parents and your peers. To get along.
Jude Morrow: Yes. And it is very difficult, especially living here. The reason why a lot of clinicians here would say, you know, maybe it’s best to hold off.
It’s best to hold off as it comes down there, but have a healthcare system issue as well, because we have the national health service, which is free at the point of entry for everybody. I know there’s no, um, Camera on, on this podcast, but I’m giving the thumbs to the camera. Whereas in America, it’s a privatized insurance-based system.
So evaluations and tests and diagnosis activities can be done quite quickly and quite earlier in life. Whereas here there’s the Bible of waiting lists, which is unfortunate. And I think that’s where I kind of. Fell victim to a later diagnosis of what would be normal.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, good that we talked about it just making people aware here in the States, and I’m hoping that the podcasts to be listened to locally there in Ireland as well.
So I’m thinking about advice that maybe early on that your parents would have received, uh, instrumental in helping you manage the situation or prosper.
Jude Morrow: Yeah. I think the advice that I got from my mother no more than an hour ago, because I called her on the kind of presumption that you could ask that question.
And I asked her if I was three years old now, what would you do? And what she said was I would immediately reach out to autism type services, whether their grips or activities or support networks that cause. What she did was she spent a lot of time trying to liaise with clinicians and specialists to get me a diagnosis.
And getting a diagnosis is not some high, a magic wand. What a diagnosis for many, many parents with autistic children is basically a confirmation of what they already know. That’s my interpretation of, but whenever I do my speaking tour events, a lot of parents do feed that back to me is that I fought for so long for a diagnosis and I fought so hard.
And for so long at the expense of. My child in essence, because they wanted their beliefs reaffirmed. But in that time they could have reached out to autism grips, explain the situation. My child is awaiting. A diagnosis is showing these quirky behaviors. Could he perhaps join her grip? He or she, but that doesn’t often happen.
I think. People have a pre programmed conception that there needs to be a farm diagnosis before you can avail of any supports, but with maybe more charitable and voluntary grips, they would accept referrals from parents on good faith that they’re going through the process of a diagnosis. So I think that’s what my main advice would be is.
Reach out to support, not only for yourselves as parents, but for your kids to mix and socialize with others either. You know, the more you wait from for a diagnosis the longer time will go by for your child.
David Hirsch: Absolutely. So looking back, I’m wondering what were some of the more important decisions that your parents made on your behalf?
Jude Morrow: Well, whenever I was at school, they had to give approval for me to have a classroom assistant. Who was with me, right. The way through school, right. The way through school. And I absolutely hated it because I had someone sit beside me and a lot of my friends glasses, and I looked right, the other children and they didn’t have anyone, something beside them.
And it was quite a lasting scar that feeling different. But without that additional classroom assistance, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to successfully navigate through school. I did have the intellect. I did have it. I did have it. However, they helped me structure my classwork on how to do homeworks and so on, which I find incredibly helpful on a lot of advice that I got through my classroom assistant has actually greatly influenced my own writing style.
Not necessarily the content that comes out on the page. Of course they do that, but the way I structure chapters, articles, speeches, everything, the Tufts and advice that they gave me, like given positive structure and flow through mode have stuck with me right up to this day. So they did make that decision for me.
Of course, if I had the decision to have someone sit beside me all the time, I would have told them to get lost. But that was not at the session for me to make. It was a decision for them, which I very reluctantly honored. Well at the time, but looking back now, I am glad they didn’t make that decision for me.
David Hirsch: So I’m sort of curious at what age did that classroom assistant start and was it the same person that followed you, you know, along or were there a number of different people involved?
Jude Morrow: No, there was, uh, several different people involved. The system here is slightly different to the States. I, as I’ve been speaking to more people internationally, I’ve got a greater sense of what they’re.
Educational Nate’s assistance is like in schools, and I’m not sure that even varies state by state where you are. So here, the classroom assistants are employed by the school. They’re not a separate authority that stays with the child throughout their entire educational journey. So I went to two primary schools, what you would call an elementary school.
So I had two, one in each school. But they were obviously employed by the school. And then whenever I went to secondary school, I had one from year eight to 12, which is from when I was 12 to 16, because after 16, the way it was then as after 16, education’s not compulsory here. And the final two years of school, I didn’t have a classroom, a system because technically I was there voluntarily.
So. That’s the way it went, but I had done have different costume assistants in my education journey. Yes.
David Hirsch: So once the diagnosis was made, starting age 11 beyond the classroom, I’m wondering, um, I remember reading, I think it was in the book about a woman by the name of Jane. And I’m wondering what role did she play?
And at what age,
Jude Morrow: Jane was a CBT analyst. She was repaired. To work with me by my general practitioner. So without giving too much, huh? Oh, the book away, I had two rounds of therapy, which were psychotherapy, which was done first and the cognitive behavioral therapy was done. Second. So the psychotherapy was done first, too.
Identify the triggers that were causing me difficulty in adulthood and with the cognitive behavioral therapy, which was facilitated by. Jane named for the book. That’s helped me to come to terms with the pre identified things and to move forward. So that’s what her role was thought happened whenever I was 25 I’m 29 now.
So she, they only really became involved whenever I was in my mid twenties.
David Hirsch: Again, without going into what you did in the book that was instrumental in helping you overcome some of the challenges that you’ve had as an adult, not just as a young person. I just want to emphasize that. Yes. So I’m thinking about your situation.
I’m wondering what impact your situations had on your older sister, Emily?
Jude Morrow: Well, whenever I was young, my mother was very closely aligned to me because I had latched on to her. She was my soulmate. I was almost. Possessive over to a certain degree because she got me and that wasn’t, it wasn’t anything personal against my father at all.
It’s just the way at fail. I mean, among other species in the animal kingdom, the young are very closely aligned to their mother more so than their father. And I was new, different, and at created somewhat of not a divide, but. Almost like two different households on say the one house, my father would have been automatically closer to my sister because my mother had to spend so much time with me.
But as I’ve grown and healed, we’ve all become closer as one unit, as opposed to two separate units, 11 under one roof. So with my sister, absolutely. She was overshadowed. There is no database that I got. 99.9% of all the attention on the house because I needed it, uh, at that time. And she very gracefully stepped back.
Um, I suppose that was all she knew. And, you know, through the, my childhood, she had the vast majority of. I haven’t slept and look at me, you getting my parents’ attention and no, my book has gone more wide. She’s doing the same thing again. I’m the, the sibling, that’s getting a lot more attention than her and with radios and interviews and everywhere, she turns I’m on magazines and books and podcasts and shit.
She just can’t get away from me at all. So, yeah, she’s been trained for it. All her life. So she’s probably used to it at the state.
David Hirsch: What does Emily do now?
Jude Morrow: Emily has two kids of her own. She works and a residential home for adults for older adults. So she’s been doing that the last 10 years. She loves her job.
She’s very good at her job. She’s great with people. She would be a lot better with people than me. In general. I wouldn’t say that I’m a Muslim throat, but I’ve certainly been called it, but she certainly has a genuine love and affection for, for other people on helping people. She’s always been in a caring profession herself, and she’s very, very good at it.
It’s very admirable. That’s
David Hirsch: fabulous. So you’re doing similar work. You’re both doing social work, but maybe not the same, uh, populations and, uh, Her children must refer to you as uncle Jude.
Jude Morrow: Yeah. Yes they do. And they absolutely love me. They love me. I’m like this giant Colossus of a man that comes and plays with them.
Um, yeah, they love me. Third grade kids. They’re four and three now. So yeah, they have a. A great relationship. Even with my son, Ethan, he’s the oldest grandchild in our house. There’s three grandchildren. My one on Emily’s too. So yeah, but there’s three grandkids under sexier, so yeah.
David Hirsch: So I’m wondering, I’m thinking about your situation, what impact it’s had on Ethan and I we’ll get into that in the book a little bit, but just on a sort of higher level.
Jude Morrow: Well, I think my. Coping mechanisms that I had developed through school with the help of my schools, um, the clinicians and psychologists that came to visit me, they’re the main coping strategies that I had learned or did here to retain, um, structure and to have as much control as I could over my days.
And to exert that positively, then whenever I. Find that Ethan was coming. I knew that my routine would have to change, which was difficult. Um, whenever he was born, it certainly did change. He was eating different foods and waking up and going to bed at different times. And then I thought, you know, what, what, what, what’s wrong with this child?
Why can they not go to battle? 7:00 PM. Like it was already night by County eat the same cereal anymore. What what’s going on, I must be doing something wrong because he’s deviated from routine, which I somewhat worship. And because of all the changes that came naturally with his developmental milestones.
It came to a point where even he could see that I was struggling and that’s why he asked my mother has grandmother. Why does daddy always look so sad? So he thought he knew it.
David Hirsch: Well, that’s a pretty perceptive thing for such a young person. So it must’ve been, I don’t want to say really obvious.
Jude Morrow: Oh, it was.
Oh yeah. I mean, please say it was really obvious because it was, I mean, I just could not manage the routine. Like he could, he could speak and converse from no wage at all. He could have a full fluid conversation on a year old. I couldn’t do that, but he certainly could, is very, it has an awareness that I just don’t have.
He’s good at body can pick up body language. He knows when I’m annoyed, when I’m struggling and when we’re. Alright, when I want to go home without actually coming out and saying it. So he has a very clued up child and always has been
David Hirsch: well, it’s a remarkable, it seems like he’s very bright and he’s so much farther ahead at his age, his young age, it’s six than you were because he’s, he’s not challenged by some of the social issues that you were based on your Asperger’s.
Jude Morrow: Oh yeah, no, he is so much further ahead. He is. Non-autistic or neuro-typical as some would say. And he, as so aware of other people, it’s fascinating to me. Like sometimes I would ask them, how do you think this person is afforded in public? Even when someone’s just sitting there? I would say, you know, does this person feel, they would say, she looks very happy.
And I would never have guessed that. And I’d be like, Oh, you know, you say, so dr. Fell
great like that for a shop when we’re doing shopping, because I am not very good at. Crowded places I’m not cost truffle, but glow. I could do a concert because everybody’s face same way on the noise is organized. It’s the band playing, but in a supermarket, I don’t cause everybody’s going from directions, doing different things.
Things left off the shelves and back and down and everything. And even sometimes say, do you want to go home? And I would say, yeah, I want to go home. So he knows when I’m not happier, I’m not comfortable in the situation and he’s happy to escort me out of it at a young age.
David Hirsch: That’s amazing. So I think I, what I heard you saying was that you like predictability.
Jude Morrow: Yes, I
David Hirsch: do. If you’re looking at something. Like a concert where everybody’s paying attention to what’s going on in the stage. And there’s a lot of noise. There’s a lot of people, there’s a lot of commotion that’s okay. Because that’s predictable. Yeah. But if you’re in a situation, like you said, at a supermarket and people are going every which direction and, you know, sort of like cutting in front of one another, and there’s a lot of maybe noise going on, you know, in the aisle that you’re in and maybe over the PA system, you know, that’s like information overload for you.
Jude Morrow: Yes, it is. Okay. It is very difficult
David Hirsch: beyond your own experience. You’ve taken the initiative to write this book entitled. Why does daddy always look so sad originally published in the UK just last year, 2019, which is currently available through audible, and then we’ll be coming out. Like you said, reprinted and here in the U S sometime in April, if everything goes as planned.
I loved listening to the book, Adrian, Newcastle, your voice did an amazing job. He’s your audible voice? Ethan
Jude Morrow: asking why I look so sad, haunted me and I came to a fork in the road. It was now time to decide what direction the rest of my life would take. I couldn’t continue creating public images of myself for the rest of my life.
These few tile tamps often caused me stress that couldn’t be hidden from Ethan. My family were withdrawing from me too. I simply could not listen to their advice. And I only pursued the option that felt most comfortable to me. All I wanted was to bring some order and clarity to my life. The second path would be the dark and Misty path.
I often refuse to go down. The path to accepting I had Asperger’s and coming to terms with it
David Hirsch: at first, I was like, well, this isn’t sound Irish to me. Right. It doesn’t Irish accent that you have. But after I listened to it for awhile, what I like was his, his way of reading, you know, being your voice was very soothing.
Jude Morrow: Yes. And I’m
David Hirsch: thinking there’s going to be a lot of people with autism was to your book, reading your book, and maybe a little easier to understand just from a language standpoint, Exxon standpoint. So I thought that was brilliant. I don’t know how the two of you came in contact with one another, but I just want to say Adrian, you did an amazing job.
Jude Morrow: Oh, he’ll really appreciate that. I’ll make, I’ll make sure he, he hears this. And that’s interesting you say that it was very easy to understand what I wanted. Whenever I put the print copies of the book code and bearing in mind, this is a book that whenever I pitched it to publishers at the time before it was released, nobody wanted it because autism stories were too common it’s been done.
So what. But what I think people don’t really understand is that there are so many books offering advice on the parenting of autistic children. Biology dictates that children grow into adults, which I did do complete with said autism. And whenever I put the book out, whenever I wrote the book and finished it, I decided to self publish it.
Which I did, but whenever I had the manuscript in my hand, I wanted to make it as easy to read as possible because I love books. I read tons of books, but when I, sometimes when I open a book and see the inside of it, it’s very busy. It’s very, all the is very small, very close together. And I don’t really like that.
I don’t know if that’s specifically an autism thing, but. That’s definitely a good model thing and it was my book. So I thought, okay, I’m going to double space it. And I did. Um, whenever Adrian came on board to narrate the book, I wanted it to be as neutral and easy to understand as possible because in the book there’s quite a lot of hated moments on it.
There’s quite a lot of emotional moments on it. There’s quite a lot of, to me, very funny moments. But I wanted the book to be read plainly to tell the story as closely as he could, like I was telling it without losing my personality and two, because what’s the book I wanted my personality to come out through it as much as possible.
And my personality is I really only have one face. And tone my, uh, yes, mr. Mara, we would love to publish a book worldwide face on my mr. Morrow. You have several weeks to love. Face are exactly the same. So not that Adrian’s boring. I’m boring. Adrian thought I wanted the book to be as neutral as possible because whenever audio books get about too dramatic.
Sometimes I just say no, thank you. So I wanted to have that it’s, it’s definitely a style that I’m going to get.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So we know where the title of the book came from. This was something that Ethan said to your mom, his grandmother, about you being sad. Yeah. Um, so hopefully that’s not a buzzkill for, you know, everybody who’s going to be reading and.
What motivated you to write the book though? You mentioned you had a love for books. You’ve read lots of books growing up, but not everybody wants to share their story. What, why is it that you decided to do
Jude Morrow: this? I had actually written the whole book over a period of years, without really knowing it. I have a lifelong habit of writing and notebooks always have done, but I’m not a diarist.
I’m not. Adrian moles on Frank R I wouldn’t be kid. I’m not a diarist, never have been, but whenever I was undergoing my therapies, I had to reflect a lot on my life. And for anyone that wants a bit more detail on psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral therapy at those require a lot of reflection, note taking and sharing, not the fault and the following session with my notebooks that I write in my personal notebooks after I complete them.
They’re burned. They’re not for public consumption. I throw them away. They’re gone forever. I’m not sad. But with the therapy, I kept them on. I don’t know why I, I was looking for something in the cupboard under my stairs, which is full of my stuff. And I came across this box and all of these books were in it.
Then I put all the notes in chronological order. And that’s what you read. That’s the book. That’s the way it is because I had to reflect on different parts of my life. And the book itself goes from my early childhood and then early adulthood. So those two particular periods of my life were covered by the therapy sessions, which then became the book itself.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, it’s remarkable. Um, it’s so well written. And you mentioned you self published. Was there anybody that helped you edit it?
Jude Morrow: Um, I did have some help from my aunt who is a published author in her own. Right. She read, read over it how to look over it. So that was done. And yeah, I, I did really sit then through Amazon.
I got the cover done. That was great. The cover as was mind blowing because whenever the cover was being dumb, I did not expect the book to go anywhere. Like a dead like it has done. So yeah, that’s was just a blur the whole thing, because I didn’t expect any of this from whenever the book initially came out, what I ultimately wanted was a written document of what my life was like, something for a reason to read later in life, because a lot of the topics that are discussed in the book, I find it very difficult to talk about an, a free flowing conversation that might sound incredibly strange.
But there is a lot of emotive topics on it that sometimes people would have said, surely that’s not, you surely that’s not true, even though yes, it does. Yeah. Well,
David Hirsch: I’m assuming that you have more than one aunt. Who was it so we can give her attribution for her assistance.
Jude Morrow: I was mad. I was my amazing out grand.
You may have sprawl who, uh, wrote, uh, several novels, Irish themed novels, one called Myra. And the other one called Emmer, which is named after my mother. So yeah, those books are right there and she did an amazing job of editing the book. Although whenever the book was picked up by beyond words, they have to go through their editing ruins because there was quite a few colloquialisms on it that maybe needed to be changed to suit a more general worldwide audience.
David Hirsch: So who do you consider your primary audience? The target audience.
Jude Morrow: I don’t really have a target audience. Yes. I want parents of autistic kids to have some hope that their children could grow up to love, happy and successful independent lives. I won’t autistic people to read it and believe, okay. I’m not alone in the world.
There’s someone like me and he grew up to be reasonably. Okay. And then. For non-autistic people in general to have a record of what our struggles can be like. So there isn’t necessarily a target audience as such. That’s not really what the book is for. Obviously I want as many people to read it as I possibly can.
Uh, so I don’t necessarily want to pin it to any one particular. Section of society, so to speak.
David Hirsch: That’s fair. So what type of feedback have you received so far with the self published version of your book?
Jude Morrow: Self published version of the book? The feedback has just been incredible. I can’t believe it. I was on Amazon for may, June, July, August, September, October, and six months that had gained, I believe 35 or 36 foot five star reviews.
It’s had multiple five star reviews on good reads. And even for the book to be shared by massive names and the autism community in the U S bonbon, dr. Hackey Reitman, and the other band Maisie started Tonto, who is the founder of the catch clinic for them to share, but they had read and enjoyed my book was very surreal.
So the feedback has been incredible. For the most part, there have been some feedback that doesn’t necessarily apply to those who are maybe lower functioning, but that brings up another topic of, you know, autism in general, where people believe that higher functioning autism. As less autistic because I’m speaking with you, you know, conversing properly.
I’m speaking to you from my heart, which I bought from my job that I got from a university degree and on the face of it, if you’re a clinician, I am high functioning. However, from the pages of my book, there were aspects of me being autistic, completely debilitating at the same time. Whilst waiting for Athens arrival, I was nearly entirely HighSpot and other than going to work.
So I had all those things. I had all those positive factors influence in me. However, I was told to qualitative by my own worries, angst on month for retain than the one for answers. So am I less autistic than anyone else? That’s another thought that I want to stir up in people. Yeah.
David Hirsch: Well, it’s an important, um, facet or realization about your situation.
And I think you tell it very well in the book that you really, really struggled, um, that this wasn’t like, Oh, I’m a little bit smarter than average. Uh, but I think the point you’re making. Is that, uh, autism is not one thing. It’s a wide spectrum of different things. And there are people that have higher levels of intellect like yourself.
And then there are people that are, you know, are. Are less well gifted intellectually. Yes. And that’s just real life. Yeah. That’s just the real world. There’s people that are high functioning that are going to go to college and get their masters and PhDs and, you know, be intellectual about things. And then there’s the rest of the people, the rest of the population.
So. For that reason that autism, you know, affects people of all different intellectual abilities. Yes. And it’s not any easier. I think that’s what you were saying. Some of the things that sort of pull you back or challenge you when you have autism. No, no intellectual boundaries. That’s what I heard you saying.
Jude Morrow: Absolutely. Yes.
David Hirsch: So, if you had to say that there’s one takeaway, a main takeaway for those that might not have the time to read or listen, what would the takeaway be? The
Jude Morrow: takeaway is that autistic people can love us happy and fulfilling lives as anybody else. Of course, I can’t speak for every single person on the spectrum because there will be people on the spectrum that also have intellectual disabilities, as well as their autism.
For me, I don’t have an intellectual disability, but ultimately what I want is for people to recognize that autism as a gift, to be shared, not a burden to be buried, I’ve said the so so many times and nearly every interview that I’ve done, that the most unfamiliar, essential people and most fails. Of human history have been shown to either definitely have been autistic or almost certainly.
I understand Michelangelo, Mozart Stanley Kubrick. They have all been shown to either definitely have pain are almost certainly autistic. So one thinks of autism. One shouldn’t think of petty. One should think. Autism brings gifts and creativity. If you have ask me, I think it was more than likely they’ll testic neon they’re tall that created the first spark that made fire.
That was probably, it was, that was probably the autistic ape that man wait a week to transport fruit through the jungle. And I will we’ll say that forever. Them, the human race probably wouldn’t have lasted. Beyond maybe the iron age at best,
David Hirsch: I think. Okay. Well, you’re getting a little bit more philosophical on me.
I think. Uh, you’re you’re in good company though. If you’re talking about Einstein, Michael Angelo. And Mozart and people like that. So thank you for sharing. And I, it’s hard to argue honestly, but, uh, you know, people that are different are the ones that are changing the world and they might not be widely accepted, you know, in their lifetime.
But when you look back and see the things that people have been, yeah. We’ll do accomplish, you know, you’re, you’re not gonna be making discoveries if you’re just. Following the herd
Jude Morrow: absolutely
David Hirsch: pull that are looking at things from a different perspective. And I think that from that angle, autism is actually an advantage.
Right. You’re looking at things from a different person.
Jude Morrow: Yeah.
David Hirsch: You talked a little bit earlier about your, uh, What I’ll call complex about cars initially with toy cars, but that it didn’t end there, right? No, my wife would call it the car disease.
Jude Morrow: Yes, I do. I have the car disease. I love cars. I absolutely love them.
I still do. I don’t have any toy cars. I need more. I’ve got really ones that I can drive and I can crash. And F. My book and speaking career takes off, but of course I still want to be a social worker. If this is broadcast before or after the book’s released, I will certainly have more. Absolutely. And I don’t know if I don’t have to ask my mother for them anymore.
I can just go. I can get them myself.
David Hirsch: Well, I don’t know what a Rover 75 is.
Jude Morrow: Oh, that’s a beautiful thing. It’s a beautiful thing. That’s my favorite car of all time. F I am lucky enough to move somewhere where I can celebrate another car. I am certainly starting to go into Bible. I I’m the type of person that a lot of car people, if you do have the car disease, you’ll understand what this is.
I judge cars on how they make me feel. Not by their reliability. I mean, my Rover 75 odd Chrome door handles by mahogany dashboard. I was a big, long hopelessly impractical car, terribly prone to engine fires. We can, we’re not in any danger of libel because they’re closed. Done. They don’t exist anymore, but it was the most beautiful car ever made.
An I will not have anyone argue with me with it, those behind the way, love it. Whenever it wasn’t hot, an engine fires or oil leaks or any form of mechanical failure, it was just the most amazing feeling in the world. I have a Jaguar NOI, which is close enough to it and design, but. At just as, not the same as doesn’t give that same feeling, although it is a reliable, beautiful car, it just doesn’t give you, you know, that warm, fuzzy feeling inside, but a car can give sometimes, and you’re not in your head because you agree to a degree.
David Hirsch: Oh yeah, I get it. Um, my, uh, there’s a car disease, uh, actually a neat. I need for speed disease in my family, my grandfather raised motorcycles in Germany and his youth. My dad raised stock cars in Daytona when he was in his youth and, uh, the car disease flares up. And my wife has quick to remind me that, uh, yeah, that’s not a good thing, but I can relate to what you’re saying.
And, um, I did own a Jaguar when I was about your age and the joke at the time. And I don’t mean to make too much of it was that you needed to have two of them.
David Hirsch: one was in the shop. You could drive the other one.
Jude Morrow: Absolutely. But I think the difference between your car disease and my car diseases, I’m assuming that you like fast cars who do like the Supercars Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s and so on.
David Hirsch: Let’s not go there, but, uh, I’ll just say that to keep it short. I have owned three Dodge Vipers, but there’s a little bit of a need for speed, but we’re going to talk about that offline. So, uh, you tell a very touching story about your drive and determination to do a marathon. Yeah. Which maybe was a little illogical in this situation.
But, uh, you know, when you set your mind to something like some of us do, you’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done. What was the motive for doing that? What was the lesson?
Jude Morrow: Well, in my early adulthood, I knew that I was quite a highly strong and anxious person. And I wanted to do as much as I could to help myself.
So I wanted to take up a hobby. A lot of people would do relaxing copies, yoga, meditation. Yeah. And my usual lifelong theme of setting lofty goals in the face of impossible odds. I thought, you know what? I’m going to train for a marathon 26 miles of pure hell on the roads and the rain and the wind in Chicago.
You’re, I’m sure you’re used to running and beautiful weather. Here that’s quite apocalyptic. Most of the time it is actually today we have a huge storm. So I ran the holes in the valleys too, to try and ease my kind of anxious and never busy mind. But yes, had a lot more consequences for me because I spent so much time away from Ethan because Martha I’m training as you’ll know, requires a lot of time.
Our doors away from your family. So, yeah, I, I suppose metaphorically, if we’re getting from the theme of being philosophical, I was running away from my problems and that’s why I kept it up.
David Hirsch: Well, not uncommon. Right. Different people pick up, uh, running and things like that. Endurance sports, uh, for different reasons.
And, uh, yeah. Um, I always have a hard time explaining to my wife why I do triathlons. And I came to the conclusion that if I had to explain you wouldn’t understand. So it’s just not talking
Jude Morrow: about it. Yeah, I get it. I get it though. I mean, we don’t need to talk about it. I told I totally get it. I would recommend running an exercise to everybody there.
There’s just something, especially whenever you’re on the road, on the heart or over the ran big off your face. That this is going to be worth it. This is my journey. This is my goal. And it’s going to feel great when it’s finished, although be cautious because for me it was very, it was very hard to stop.
It was nearly like an addiction, you know, running constantly and always wanting to get out there. So there was no real sense of moderation with me. I think that’s a much greater skill than actually training yourself to run 26 miles. Yeah.
David Hirsch: Well, I think the challenge and certainly as you get to be older, I’m out of a generation out of you is that you want to stay healthy and injury free, right?
And as long as you can operate within those parameters, you know, you want to challenge yourself, right. Continue to do things even as you get older. And maybe a lot of your peers are not doing things like that. So you’ve always had a love for reading. And based on this book, a gift for writing a where do you think that actually came from?
Jude Morrow: Well, I had a much more advanced reading age than my peers when I was younger at talks. I mean, given a term it’s hyper Mexia, which I’m not sure if it’s the opposite of dyslexia, but that’s the name for it. And I was always a prolific reader, always was whenever I was young at school, I constantly took books home.
I was given time to read during the class time, because whenever I was reading, I wasn’t disrupting anyone else. So I’ve always just had that passion for reading. And I am very happy to report that I haven’t got with the times. I always love a paper book. I haven’t gone electronic. Um, I suppose I should say that I have gone electronic to promote the Kemble version of my book, but I’m very much a, a paperback book person that I love traveling with books.
Um, that’s just part of me always has been always Welby. I think it’s important.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, you’ve taken your love for reading and developing this broad knowledge you have and somehow. Cultivated that into a gift for communicating, um, as you are today and as you’ve done so eloquently in your book. So I just want to applaud the success that you’ve experienced at such a young age.
Thank you. You mentioned separately that you’ve had a difficulty with sarcasm and criticism, and I’m wondering why is that? Do you think
Jude Morrow: the two are very much linked because when people aren’t being sarcastic. As they’re being sarcastic, maybe bearing in mind. I don’t know when they are being sarcastic. I often confuse sarcasm for personal critique.
I have been told in good faith that sarcasm is often done in a lighthearted and jocular way, but I don’t interpret it like that. I interpreted as they’re making fun of me. I always have done. I’m just, and then whenever somebody actually gives me critique on and I think whilst I’ve become a lot more peaceful, I didn’t initially accept criticism very well because my true methodical way was the correct way.
And their way was the way they thought was correct. In other words, I wasn’t, isn’t always right, but I was very seldom wrong. That’s the way I always took it was my way is fine. And I had to learn over time to accept other people’s ways, which I have done how I’ve obviously had to learn to accept and appreciate take with the book.
Well, I watch, I think I have. Developed upon, um, done reasonably well because nobody in the history of literature has ever written a book that has 100%, five star reviews. If you look on good rates, some of the books that are widely regarded as the greatest books of all time, there will be the occasional contrarian that gives it one star.
So you’re not going to please everybody, but I’ve learned to manage and cope with that a lot better sarcasm. Not so much.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, um, if you don’t pick up on the cues that I think are associated with sarcasm, like an inflection or some something sort of minor, right. I can see where you’d say that you misunderstood what somebody was saying, right.
So you’d said I’ve. I’ve heard on good faith that, you know, sarcasm is supposed to be sort of lighthearted or jovial. It is meant seriously to be lighthearted or jovial, but, you know, it’s like
Jude Morrow: when
David Hirsch: you’re in an audience and maybe, yeah, you’re speaking to people that don’t understand, you know, like your accent or your, a way of saying something I can see very easily, how it could be miscommunicated.
So. Sarcasm, which is sort of like a joke would go over like a lead balloon, you know, with people that aren’t able to pick up on that. So, you know, maybe when people are being sarcastic, they need to do this
Jude Morrow: national symbol for sarcasm the thumbs up, but it doesn’t matter. They’re trying to. I believe trying to teach me to understand and appreciate sarcasm as like trying to teach someone who’s colorblind. What the color blue is. They have monochromic color blameless that doesn’t matter how many signs you hold up saying this is blue.
It’s never going to be blue to them. And the same way. Sarcasm is with me. That’s not something that I feel that I can be somewhat trained to understand. I can try and identify it when people are sarcastic, but I don’t always get it. I do my son and again, and picking it up. Okay, well,
David Hirsch: I’m going to just say, be patient.
Uh, if it’s meant to be it’ll happen. And if it’s not, like you said, you know,
Jude Morrow: I, I I’m, I’m sure I will be absolutely fine.
David Hirsch: One of the things that I really appreciate, um, is that you’re very transparent about your emotional maturity, uh, in advance of Ethan’s birth and how you were unable to. Be more supportive looking back on it.
And you would have been with the benefit of hindsight and it’s, um, a remarkable trait that you have to sort of admit that you not were wrong, but you were not available. And I’m wondering how is it that you’ve being able to develop that because most men, you know, have a very, very difficult time, you know, Admitting that they could have been better or done something differently.
Jude Morrow: Um, eventually whenever I had learned to communicate much more effectively, I did have somewhat of an issue of extremes of communications called I could be very overly affectionate or very, almost aggressive. And that way, my emotional, no maturity, whenever Ethan was coming along, wasn’t very high. I’ll admit that despite having a professional degree and my own house and so on, but I always find it easy to speak about how I was feeling or how I thought I was failing.
To the detriment of others, that guy could speak to you for Iris, about how I was feeling, even though your body language would be saying other things like this, like looking at your watch and looking away, and what’s your arms folded. I would miss those things. Although whenever it came to discussing how I felt, I didn’t necessarily have a problem with that, but what I didn’t have a problem with was how I actually went about it.
And I don’t really see me being so you’re disclosing if that is such a verb as a problem, I know that man and dads can have difficulty voicing who they feel. I know that’s common, but it’s not overly something that I can empathize with because I’ve pretty much been an open book. My whole life. I wouldn’t be a closed person.
I’m awful at poker. Um, I can’t hold on excitement, happiness sadness, or play it cool in any way.
David Hirsch: Okay. Well, I guess one thing you could say is what you see is what you get.
Jude Morrow: Absolutely. There’s no hidden costs or small print or batteries not included with me at all.
David Hirsch: So I’m thinking under the banner of advice, what are the most important takeaways that come to mind when.
Raising a child with differences. If you’re speaking to the dads out there.
Jude Morrow: Well, my main piece of advice would be, even though, you know, they have a difference or a gift or whatever way you want to view it yourself, from my view, autism as a gift. But if you feel that your child has a gift or difference, treat them like you would.
In normal child, as much as possible. I know what it feels like to feel different. I was that child. I was the child that nobody wanted at their birthday party. I was the child that was mostly at home with my mother that nobody wanted to teach because I had my own challenges. I will support it very, very well, but it made me feel different.
And. I will never say that people made me feel different on purpose. Their hearts were in the right place and they wanted to help me, but I still felt different. And the differences that I felt as a child deeply, deeply affect me and to attitude. So yeah, the first thing would be certainly trait your child who has a difference.
Like any other child as much as possible if you can. And the second piece of advice, I did touch on it earlier, but I’m going to reiterate it as my own parents went on a assumption that if it quacks like a doc, whereas with me, they believed that I was autistic. That took 10 years to get me diagnosed.
Reach out to voluntary. Yeah. Grips and supports that while at least listened to your situation and maybe consider you for a place in their support grip or for your child to make all their children like them. Because I word on a medical certificate should not deprive your child of the chance of meeting other children like them.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, great advice, uh, to try to treat all your kids the same way don’t treat one more, especially other than the other. Don’t wait for, you know, a label, which is sort of what a diagnosis is. It’s important. Understand what it is. So there are some special treatment that can be brought to bear, but a parents, no.
So their children better than anybody else. And, uh, any healthcare professional or. Therapist, you know, only sees the child on a periodic basis. And I think parents need to go with their gut feel. Right. And I think your words of wisdom will help. Hopefully people do that more consistently. So what advice can you share with other dads or parents about helping a child with a difference reach their full potential?
Jude Morrow: Well, in my case, my love of reading and writing was nurtured. Um, I’ve thought not nurtured. I would not be talking to you. I would not have a book. I would not have anything. If Feinstein’s passion of the cosmos was quenched as an Albert stopped thinking about the cosmos look at something else. We wouldn’t have general and special relativity I think with autism.
And it really saddens me in particular. Um, you know, many other variants of intellectual disability are neurodiverse conditions. Have a trait called obsessions
David Hirsch: OCD.
Jude Morrow: Yeah. Obsessions should be nurtured as their passions, because if you’re not autistic, you’re an expert. But if you are autistic, if you’re obsessed with it, If your child loves the cosmos.
If your child loves steam engines, if your child loves the Titanic, which I, I do. It’s my little vice, no matter what passion your child has nurture it because you never know your child with their obsession with chemistry sets may find a cure for cancer. You just don’t know because. With me, whenever I go, I chasing perfection.
I go and chase it until I get it. So nurture their passions as my main piece of advice. And that’s not just far for dads. That’s for teachers. That’s for community leaders, politicians don’t have a statistics and grades type. System to promote your school or to judge your scope. I think go be on that and go by the nurturing of each individual people, which they should receive.
And if their passions are somewhat outside of the standard teaching curriculum, then allow that.
David Hirsch: Excellent. So why is it that you’ve agreed to be part of the Special Fathers Network?
Jude Morrow: I think that DOT’s have such a crucial role to play. An any child’s life, no matter what I know your usual clientele for your podcast would be the parents of children with autism and other needs.
These children will grow up. I was one of these kids, so I’ve been there whilst parents of children with differing needs have their own journey with their children. I was, their child wants. I was there and I grew up to have a child of mine. Mmm. There are autism experts. There there’s various professionals that have a global voice whenever it comes to autism and neurodiversity.
Unless one is autistic. I don’t feel one understands what it’s truly like in the same way. Non-diabetics don’t know what it’s like to have diabetes or non epileptics know what an epileptic seizure feels like. So I want to pay in the Special Fathers Network because at a majority of these fathers, do you have children with special needs?
I was once the child. My voice, my autism doesn’t disappear at 18. That’s still here, still using it and will continue to do so for as long as possible.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, we’re very thankful that you’re part of the network and, um, you are a little bit of a pioneer, um, because you are a dad and I think that means a lot to you.
It’s very evident, of course, the commitment and the passion you have for your son, Ethan, uh, but equally for helping others, maybe. Learn from your experience so that they can emulate some of the things that were done correctly and maybe live vicariously through some of the experiences that with the benefit of hindsight, you know, you just as soon avoid.
Jude Morrow: Yeah.
David Hirsch: So let’s give a special shout out to our mutual acquaintances, doctor hackey, Reitman, and a friend of his Jim Mueller of Delray beach, Florida was actually a special fathers network podcast, ad number 13 of her connecting us. The work that they do is, is amazing. And I’m so thankful that they’ve introduced us.
Is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Jude Morrow: Yes. I would like to reiterate that my. Book is on release. The publication date is the 7th of April, 2020. The audio book is on audible and the book will be published by beyond words publishing. So have a look on their website for me, if you want to reach out to me, please, do I have my own Jude Morrow author page on Facebook.
And I also have my own email or at gmail.com. So if there’s. Anything that you’d like to discuss. I love speaking with everyone on anyone helped me up. Excellent.
David Hirsch: Well, we’ll put that all in the show notes, so it’ll be easy for people to contact you too. Thank you for taking the time in many insights. As a reminder, Jude is just one of the dads who has agreed to be part of the Special Fathers Network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father or. Are seeking advice from her mentor pother with a similar situation to your own. Please go to 21stcenturydads.org. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the Special Fathers Network, dad to dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know, the 21st Century Dads Foundation as a 501 c3, not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free to all concerned.
So please consider making a tax deductible donation. I would really appreciate your support. Please also post a review on iTunes, share the podcast with family and friends and subscribe. So you’ll get a reminder when each episode is produced. Jude, thanks again.
Jude Morrow: Thank you very much, David. It’s been a pleasure.
Tom Couch: Thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast. Presented by the Special Fathers Network. The Special Fathers Network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers. Go to 21stcenturydads.org. That’s 21stcenturydads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com, groups and search dad to dad.
Tom Couch: If you enjoyed this podcast, please be sure to like us on Facebook and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you listen.
The dad to dad podcast is produced by Couch Audio for the Special Fathers Network. Thanks for listening.