My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Back then I remember searching the bookshelves for happy, bright and colourful books on autism for children, I found nothing. The sales assistant said that they didn’t stock that sort of book.. but I could see she wasn’t aware of what I specifically needed, or possibly even why. Whilst up against many challenges of awareness along the way, my son began asking questions about his diagnosis in more detail. He was always aware of his diagnosis but as he grew older he of course wanted to know more. Having worked in a SEN school and previously I worked with adults with different learning abilities, I wrote, ‘My Awesome Autism.’ He laughed at my stick men and corrected my grammar! It can be daunting delivering all this information to your child and for them to relate to it personally too is a big ask. This is another reason why the book is not overwhelming in a wordy kind of way, with busy images too. It was such a success, my son felt relief, happiness and so proud too. We decided to help other children and their parents too. So I started social media platforms such as, ‘The Eddie Series Books’ on Facebook and over time the book has reached so many! I self published whilst hoping to find a publisher and we were luckily successful on this. So there you are, how I became an author and how I fell into the best job for me personally! Communicating with families and professionals globally has been and is incredible. I am extremely passionate about supporting those on the autistic spectrum!
I called my first book (I have 7 in the series now) ‘My Awesome Autism’- because my son is awesome and so is everything that is a part of him, his interests and humour for instance. Nothing changes when you have a diagnosis other than additional awareness and understanding, which is so important to not minimise any struggles and access support. Equally, you are you and that’s wonderful.
My aim is to raise awareness or should I say understanding. I want to support, empower and help children and families shine expressing themselves through whichever way they communicate, whether that is verbally, through signing or PECS/eye contact. We take shared interaction and communication for granted sometimes, we should never assume someone who is non verbal will not do this, because they certainly will!
The response, my goodness. I am bowled over time after time, I really am. Parents have messaged me their personal stories, then photos of their children or them as a family with one of my books. Teachers, carers and therapists are using them, it’s just endless. I had a beautiful email from a parent this week thanking me for writing my book and how it’s helped them as a family, he high fives his mum a lot now as that what Eddie does in this particular book. Every time I am interviewed or do a podcast and we talk about this, I feel I need to pinch myself! I still can’t believe it some days. I am extremely grateful, humbled and incredibly lucky to help others.
I’ve been crafting stories for as long as I can remember. I started the Eddie Series publicly in April 2019, which will always mark a very special time for us. Going forward, I plan to continue with The Eddie Series, releasing more of my social stories and resources. I have so many I can’t ever imagine stopping, it’s my absolute passion. I am grateful to my children for giving me the best job ever as their mum and secondly a passion with the best little tour guides I could ask for.