When Tahni Cullen saw what her 7-year-old son had typed on his iPad, she was absolutely stunned.“I thought maybe I was on candid camera or I was losing it or something,” she recently told in an interview. The line of text that had her so flummoxed? “God is a good gift-giver.”
And that was only the beginning, as Cullen said that Josiah, who is now 10 years old, has typed a plethora of complex and deeply theological proclamations since; she believes many of these messages have been inspired by God.
Cullen shared her family’s harrowing experience navigating autism, explaining that Josiah was “a healthy, happy baby” after he was born in 2005, but eventually something changed. Around 22 months, he began to regress, losing eye contact, speech and play skills.
What followed was a diagnosis and a concerted quest by Cullen and her husband, Joe, to try to help their son navigate uncharted territory.
“We had done everything we could, therapies and all sorts of things … to try and help him,” she said.
It was after Cullen saw a documentary about a woman who taught nonverbal children to communicate by pointing at letters that she decided to take Josiah to learn the same method in hopes that he, too, would be able to communicate.