A Quick Look at the Year Ahead

It’s all a bit exciting here at the moment. It isn’t very often I enter a New Year with a list of certainties but that’s probably pretty much the same for most people.
     I’ll run through a few things so sit tight and welcome to my pages.
     Firstly, it looks as though 2020 is going to be pretty busy with speaking and training events, which is great. Last year was my busiest to date so I hope this year will surpass it in style.

Book news
     I also have a publishing contract and my book, “Travelling by Train – the journey of an autistic mother” will be out around April. I’m hoping to do some kind of book tour but it’s currently just in the thought processing stage. I’ve got some fabulous people to write cover endorsements and have the permission of one of them to reproduce what he said about my book:
“An eye opener; a ‘must read’ for any social worker or professional proclaiming ‘children first’.
A heart breaking true testimony to a parent’s love and dedication that takes them on a journey not chosen, but leading to an outcome that explains so much.”
Dr. Wenn B. Lawson Psychologist AFBPsS; MAPs

As I said to Wenn, it’s a beautiful poetry that he has written an endorsement for my book. His book, “Life Behind Glass” was one of the first books I’d read by an autistic author and it helped me to recognise my own autism.
     This all ties in very nicely with a keynote talk I give called “The Diagnosis that Changed my Life”. I often think about everything I have done since my diagnosis 14 years ago. Would I have done any of them if I hadn’t known I was autistic? Quite probably not. I would never have had the opportunity to shake hands with the person I was made to be and get to know them.

Life Since my Diagnosis
     How have I changed? I’m much more confident and outgoing. I have also grown to resist trying to imitate others. I have found my calling. This is to help other people, from parents and carers to different kinds of professionals to gain a deeper understanding of autism. This isn’t just based on my own experience but that of other autistic people I’ve met and grown to know. I realise I am unique but my experiences are ones shared with many others who are different by default. If my story helps others to realise that, behind the more clinical presentations of autism, there are human beings and we’re not so different. Like most, we have huge hearts and souls, we care deeply, fall in love and have a deep understanding of hurt. Many of us are angry at injustice, especially towards our own kind.
     I don’t claim to raise autism awareness. You’re all aware of autism but maybe I’m taking that too literally. Building dialogues between the autistic community and wider society is vital. Learning to appreciate the value of difference is essential. I present autism as a culture, which makes it easier and more accessible to others. In short, we all have value and, by looking at life differently, we can all learn so much from each other.
     A very happy 2020 to all of you.
Oh, and look out for my book.

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