Bacon and Juice Boxes Presents “Our Life with Autism”
There are few words in the English language better at grabbing someone’s attention than the word ‘bacon’. For Eric Turning, a young teen on the spectrum, this is especially true because it is his favorite food, especially when accompanied by a Capri juice box. His parents, Jerry and Jo-Ann Turning, along with sister Anna, had to learn to parent and support Eric, which eventually led to the family developing the website “Bacon and Juice Boxes: Our Life With Autism.” The website chronicles the Turnings’ journey, which they share through blog posts, podcasts, and articles.
On their website, the Turnings decided to adopt the pseudonyms “Mr. Bacon”, “Mrs. Bacon”, and “Sister Bacon” in order to pay tribute to Eric’s favorite food. As the “Bacon” Family, they are blessed to share their journey with their extended “family” whom they lovingly refer to as “Bacon Bits.”
Strengthening Relationships between Professionals & Parents
On March 15, 2019, Jo-Ann “Mrs. Bacon” Turning and Anna “Sister Bacon” gave a presentation at Harbor School titled “Strengthening Relationships between Professionals & Parents.” They spoke about the importance of professionals honing their interpersonal skills and getting to know the child not just as another student with autism, but rather to fully understand the small details that prove so important in managing, educating, and helping the child to be the best they can while struggling with the challenges of ASD. Both parents and professionals need to improve their communication and understanding at IEP meetings. Parents especially want to know that the professionals know their child for who they are.
Who are the Bacons?
Jerry Turning, Jr., AKA Mr. Bacon, a Police Captain in a local municipality, has spoken about the relationship between the police and individuals with autism and other special needs, in a presentation called “Bridging the Gap.” Despite being a self-described introvert, Eric’s father has spoken in many venues, to groups large and small. He created the Bacon and Juice Boxes site, as well as the community that has grown from it. He regularly shares his thoughts and feelings through writing on the site.
“Mrs. Bacon” (Jo-Ann) is a mom who works full-time, raising two teenagers, one who has autism. Her days are filled with chaos, stress and plenty of love. Her appearances on Bacon and Juice Boxes began as guest posts. Once she realized how therapeutic they could be, they began to appear on a regular basis.
Eric’s sister Anna is a super sibling and goes by the codename “Sister Bacon”. Wise and compassionate beyond her years, Anna followed in her father’s footsteps by creating the Special Wants: A Bacon and Juice Boxes Project in November 2015. This amazing community allows families who have loved ones with special needs to connect with other families searching for discontinued, or hard to find items
It is easy to see that Eric is the star of the show. Navigating his teenage years does not come easy to him, but have they ever come easy to anyone? Some days are rough. Other days he’s full of surprises. It is because of him that the Bacon family has grown into an extended family, the proverbial village it takes to raise a child. By sharing their journey, the Bacon family truly believe they have discovered the secret to staying strong and are especially thankful for all the families that have shared their lives with them.
Their life, and how they have found a niche to share their own personal experiences is a testament to the ongoing importance of parents and family sharing their personal experiences with others to better improve the understanding and the vision of hope as one raises a child on the spectrum.
You can contact the “Bacon” Family via e-mail on their website www.baconandjuiceboxes.com if you wish to have them speak at your event or write an article for your organization/website/publication.
Harbor School a private special education school in Monmouth County, New Jersey
Our mission at Harbor School is to help all of our special needs students with learning, social, language, behavioral, and other disabilities. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student reach their full potential.
We would be more than happy to discuss your child's specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.544.9394, or request a tour at Harbor School in Eatontown, NJ. We are located just minutes off of the Garden State Parkway at exit 105 and conveniently located off of Route 35 and Route 36 in Monmouth County, NJ.
Principal-Harbor School, Eatontown, NJ