Nov 1, 2018
In this episode we take a look at a mother’s journey and how
she didn't let a diagnosis of autism stop her from living her life.
From the initial diagnosis, to different types of therapies, to IEP
goals, this mother did not lose herself. Instead she turned her
love for Martial Arts into a business venture in which she
encourages others to find their mind and body connection to teach
calm, focus, and confidence.
Meet Jennifer Farren, mother and co-owner of Tiger Rock.
Listen to her journey of how an extra curricular activity meant for
her son turned into activity she loved for herself. From a student
to co-owner, Jennifer is now giving back to the community by
offering martial arts classes to children with needs. These classes
are designed to help with self-esteem, confidence, and feeling good
about yourself and your accomplishments, which is beneficial to any
child or adult.
IN THIS EPISODE:
- The special guest in this episode is Jennifer Farren.
- Jennifer is a mother who has a son with autism and she will be
sharing her journey.
- Nunez had the pleasure of working with her son when he was in
preschool and he is now 19 years old.
- Nunez wanted to bring Jennifer on as a guest to talk about what
the journey looks like when a child reaches the adult years of
- Jennifer received the official diagnosis when her son was 18
- She remembers leaving the appointment hearing “developmental
delays and autism. ” Those words made her very emotional and she
- They got started right away with an in-home ABA program.
- The biggest change was when he was 3-4 years old he became
- Jennifer remembers thinking that it was so much easier now that
he can communicate his needs. It was a turning point.
- Her son will be 19 in a few weeks and he is currently in
- They haven’t quite figured out what the transition will look
like after he is finished with school but they will sort it out
during his next IEP.
- At first they focused on academics and now it has transitioned
to functional communication, job skills, and vocational
- Around 8 years old Jennifer and her husband wanted to find some
sport or afterschool activity for her son, Drew.
- They gave marital arts a try because their other son really
benefitted from it.
- For her other son, it taught him about focus and discipline and
he was physically training his body to move in different ways.
- She thought Drew could benefit from this too. The great thing
about the martial arts program is that it can be tailored to meet
- It is a repetitive routine, which is great. Lots of peer
modeling, listening to instructions, and physical motor movement
that helps with processing.
- They started Drew with private lessons and then moved him into
the group lessons.
- Drew doesn’t have the intrinsic motivation to want to move up
and earn his belt colors, but he likes doing it and that is
- Jennifer loved it so much that she began to take classes and
she is now a black belt.
- Her entire family loved it so much that Jennifer and her
husband became business partners with the owner of their martial
arts facility called Tiger Rock.
- The whole family is apart of it.
- In the beginning they were students and now they are part
- Martial Arts is so beneficial because it connects mind and body
and teaches calm and focus. It also increases the motor
- Currently, Tiger Rock is trying to partner with other companies
and doing a lot of outreach.
- Another thing Tiger Rock is doing is branching off and offering
classes to children with needs.
- There are children that have come in with the visible
struggles, but there are a lot of students that have internal
- The classes help with self-esteem, confidence, and feeling good
about themselves and their accomplishments.
- It is not only great for kids, but adults as well.
- Jennifer is so inspirational because she did not let the
diagnosis hinder her from living life and doing things to help her
- Jennifer shares that there are definitely challenges that she
has had to overcome.
- When things look bleak you question, "How are we going to get
- Jennifer says, "You just do and tomorrow comes and you keep
pushing along and before you know it you are in a different
- What Jennifer struggled with early on was comparing herself to
another parent and what they are doing and how their child is
- Everyone is on his or her own journey... you’re walking your
- You know yourself... you know your child... find support in all
areas of life. For example, if your family isn't supportive, there
are a lot of other families out there to share stories and vent to
and not be judged.
- Find your Tribe!
Tiger Rock web: tigerrockacademy.com