How son's autism diagnosis brought a family together
Following their son's autism diagnosis the family dynamic had changed forever, but a determined mum, with the help of a small market stall, has found a way to bring the family closer together
Raquel Strange and Tom Cornwell, together with their five-year-old son Aiden, spend their Saturday mornings up before the sun, so they can pop up their My Little Market Stall tent and settle in for a day's trade at the Airlie Beach Markets.
In only its third market appearance, My Little Market Stall sells decorated items such as picture frames, water bottles and coolers, as well as bows and headbands from So Bella Bow and small bouquets of flowers from The Little Bunch.
It's a team effort and a new venture for the young family, with the artwork and craft mastered by Mrs Strange and Mr Cornwell and Aiden helping with the market stall process.
"After our son was diagnosed this year with autism, it has changed a lot for us as a family," Mrs Strange said.
"I wanted to be able to stay home to support Aiden because this is a pretty big thing to take on."
Originally from Proserpine, the couple were living and working in Bowen when they found out the news of Aiden's diagnosis so decided to make the move back home just months ago.
Computer technician Mr Cornwell found work with Mick's Mobile Computer Services and Mrs Strange has started her from-home business, which now includes So Bella Bows, featuring an autism awareness bow, and The Little Bunch.
Not normally the creative type, Mrs Strange said she wanted something to bring her family together and create a project they could all be a part of.
"Our market stall is a way for us to send time together as a family and Aiden helps out too because we want him to be able to learn from this experience of being out there with the community," Mrs Strange said.
"We aren't the outdoor type either, so this allows us as a family to get out and about.
"I also have the All My Heart bow, our autism awareness bow, which was named after Aiden always telling us he loves us with all his heart, and he is on the spectrum so we get to include that as well."
The newest addition to her range under The Little Bunch name, is small bunches of flowers in hessian vases for $10 a bunch, making them the perfect gift.
All of Mrs Strange's creations can be found on Facebook at either So Bella Bows, The Little Bunch and My Little Market Stall and Personalised Creations.