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 When Charles was still quite young we bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a long time in our local supermarket. Charles began to talk excessively about robot wars, which was something he had started to do and to anyone who would listen. She stared at him and asked how he was doing now, while commenting on how differently he talked. ‘Different; from what?’ I asked.

‘I mean, he speaks so precisely, his words…’ Now she looked uncomfortable and her voice trailed off.

‘Probably because he has speech therapy,’ I said. She glanced down to watch Charles wriggling all over the floor, pretending to swim. Again I found myself excusing him, telling her he’s autistic. Instantly I felt annoyed with myself for feeling the need to explain to everyone. I asked Charles to get up, and for once he did as he was told. He then lurched forward and wrapped his arms around her legs. She stepped back, alarmed. Her eyes were as large as saucers, jaw wide open. ‘Well, we must be going,’ I s…
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Chapter Two

 I was on tenterhooks while waiting for a decision from the local authorities as to whether Charles would be able to have a place at The Pines, school. The news came on the last day of term and to hear he had been accepted into a special school was such a relief. I’d been to visit the school and felt it would be the best thing for Charles. I didn’t even have to get him there myself; it was arranged he would be picked up and dropped off by mini bus to and from school on a daily basis. What more could I ask! At least now I wouldn’t have to worry about him trying to escape from the car!
This first report from The Pines describes Charles well: ‘Charles has significant difficulties with expressive and receptive language, age appropriate learning skills, interpersonal, listening and attention skills. Charles is an impulsive child who finds it difficult to listen to adult instructions and process what is being asked of him. He also has difficulty in clearly ex…
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Mother's Worries

Chapter One


After my third child was born he never made a sound; the nurses and the other moms on the ward commented how good he was to sleep the whole night through. I just thought I’d been given reprieve, due to my first child being still born and my second coming out and continued for much of his life screaming and crying, whereas Charles always had to be woken up for feeds. It was when he was approaching his third birthday that I became concerned about him.
His - speech or in his case, - lack of it was definitely beyond most three-year-olds. He would use grunting sounds to get my attention, or use words like “ju, ju” for juice while thrusting his cup in my hand, or “bye” whether you were coming or going, but that was about it.
He was a ‘late walker’ but once started he began racing from room to room; from toy to toy; and making loud excitable noises whilst removing any clothes I had just put on him.
The baby clinic I took him to put us in touch with…

2017 New beginning.

This book covers my journey as the mother of an autistic child from pre-diagnosis, through infant, junior and senior school, culminating with her son taking his GCSE exams and progressing onto university, with examples and anecdotes. It shares the journey we took from my child not speaking until he was 5 and a half years to a gregarious 18-year-old who enjoys performing on stage, rock climbing, camping and canoeing. His positive attitude, embracing of life and him fulfilling his potential will bring a source of inspiration to those making a similar journey.
The book seeks to cover the emotions, the fear and devastation felt from the diagnosis, progressing through the almost overwhelming obstacles, to the joy at each achievement, helping us to become the people we are now.