Tuesday 19 April 2016


Girls and autism

I often get messages from mums wanting any information I may have about girls and autism. So I have pulled together some useful links to support groups/ books/ videos and resources here in this blog.

Useful books

Parenting girls on the spectrum             
Girls under the umbrella...
There are many useful books that can be found to help you navigate the minefield of advice. Here are a small selection, please do let me know if you have found a really insightful book and I will add it.


(This channel has many topics that are worth watching relating to most aspects of autism).


                                                             Autism in pink documentary

                                                                   Tony Attwood

My story CBBC

Girls with autism ITV

Useful resources

Social media / blogs to follow 

Autistic females .com

Carly's Voice

(Autism acceptance month A-Z)

Saturday 16 April 2016

Friends and family

Friends and Family

So this can be a tricky one for us parents I have to be honest folks.

Most people in your family circle and friendship groups will be wonderful, open to seeing things from your child's perspective and want to help you in any way that they can.

But sadly there will always be someone that just doesn't 'get it'.

No matter how hard you try they just see your child as naughty or that you should be tougher on them. That your child will grow out of it, or they could do a better job than you if "you just give him to me for the day and I'll soon sort him out". Ever heard that one?

I have to be honest and say that as hard as it is to be on the receiving end of this, so often it does comes from a place of love. I know, I know it doesn't make what they say and do any easier to take, but it could just be that they simply just don't understand.

Or sometimes the driving factor could be that they feel helpless and out of their depth with it all, and not knowing what to do can be pretty daunting. Especially for grandparents that could feel they may have missed out on a relationship with their grandchild if they don't like giving hugs, or going to nannies for tea. And then if you add into the mix the fact that they just don't really know what autism means, well you can see how family tension can rise and friendships can simply drift apart.

"He talks, he laughs he looks you in the eye, how can he be autistic I don't understand"
How many of you have ever come across this from someone in your family or from a friend? That's what Joe's Grandad says in the 'A word,' a series that is currently showing here in the UK.

And despite its flaws I think a programme like this on mainstream TV can only be a good thing really. If it gets families talking, gets aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents thinking about autism and the impact that it has on family life, then I think that has to be a positive step in the right direction.

But for those that don't make the effort to understand, well I have learned over the years that if people can’t take the time to get to know my son, then it’s not worth me stressing over... it’s truly their loss not mine!

Because he has so much to offer.

Yes living with autism can be tough, but that's not my sons fault. Autism puts incredible strains on families but usually because parents like us have to fight for services, and deal with a world that sees autism as a burden.

And sadly I have drifted apart from so many of my close friends over the years because I couldn't go out like them. I was either tied to being in by a certain time, not able to get a sitter, or I had no money. Not to mention the battle with depression I have had (which can be a bit of a party pooper at times I have to say).

And so much of my focus has been on fighting for services for my son over these last few years that its easy to forget how important it is to have fun occasionally. And those friends that have stuck by me through thick and thin are so precious to me. What makes them all unique is that they accept me unconditionally despite all the baggage I come with. They have taken the time to understand what it means to have a child with autism, and we work around the limitations and challenges of my life with no judgement or pressure at all. When you find people like that it can make even the darker days a little brighter.

So what can we do to help our family and friends understand our child better? Here are some things I have learned along the way..

Tell them information on a need to know basis, too much information all at once could overload the

Point them in the direction of some organisations that can help

Remind them that you want them to accept your child for who he is, no ‘cures’ or ‘treatments’ they need to learn to accept your child for all that they are, autism included

Talk about the spectrum, using a visual comparison like a rainbow can help them understand this concept

You will probably need to talk about eye contact and how your child feels about hugs as some family members could think our child is simply being rude if they don’t want to kiss the goodbye

Let them know how they can help you. It may not be possible for them to take your child with autism out and about, but they could help by taking your other children out for the day to give them some respite

Tell them no question is too silly, they may have a burning question they want to ask but may be worried about offending you

They may feel you treat your child differently or let them get away with things that your other kids can’t do. Explain to them why this is. How many of your child challenges are hidden, and how you have to be flexible with your parenting. Your child’s needs are unique and this has to reflect in your parenting, so they need not to interfere and support your decision

Explaining behaviour in terms of panic attacks can sometimes help people understand what is making your child upset or causing what they may view as 'unacceptable behaviour' such as swearing, meltdowns and refusal. If they can try and understand what is causing your child's distress it may help them see beyond the behaviour that they don't understand, and be less likely to criticise or pass comment.

Be honest. There have been times when I have been too stubborn to ask for help, or admit that I wasn't feeling right myself. I have tried to be superwoman and prove that I can cope. Most people want to help if you just let them in. It doesn't mean I'm weak or a bad parent. It just means I am human

And finally for those that don't want to learn to 'get it,'  just walk away. Let them go and move on knowing that your probably better off without them anyway . Remember they're the ones missing out. And you have too many other things to be worrying I am sure. Pick and choose your battles and listen to Queen Elsa when she belts out......

                           "Let it go, let it go"

(A-Z of Autism Acceptance Month April 2016)

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Expectations - A letter to the mother I thought I would become


To the mother I thought I would become,

I am hoping that this letter reaches you on which other parallel universe you’re living on. Do you remember me? I hope you do as you are often in my thoughts.

As a young woman you and I were inseparable. You could say we were one and the same. We had the same hopes and dreams.

The same expectations.

Mr Darcy would sweep us off our feet in a nightclub and then after a whirlwind romance we would live happily ever after.

We would go to our high powered jobs every day and make our mark on the world. With a sushi salad in our lunch bag, and a spring in our step. We were going to have it all.

Do you remember?

We were going to live in a large 30’s semi in the suburbs with all the original features and our very own double garage. Our house would be clean and homely, and we would own a dishwasher.

We would skip go to the gym 3 times a week to work out, and then we would drink rose wine from an oversized glass with our friends at that wine bar on the high street.

We had such expectations…

We would have 2.5 children and become a mother earth. Wearing floral skirts and having endless patience with our kids.

Our long locks of luscious hair would be a) clean and b) not grey!

Juggling work and home life would be easy for us, doing serious grown up stuff on a part time permanent contract, then finger painting and baking chocolate chip cookies with the kids in our lovely clean semi for the rest of the week.

And our tired little bunnies would snuggle tight in our arms as we padded up the stairs for bedtime adventures of castles, princesses and dinosaurs every night.

But, somewhere in my mid- twenties, in-between leaving college and the birth of my third child. I’m sad to say that we drifted apart old friend.

You see my expectations were blown out of the water when my hubby came along.

Because it turns out that Mr Darcy wasn’t really my ideal man after all. Don’t get me wrong I hope you’re happy together, I truly do. But I met a man who makes me laugh, knocks up a mean lemon drizzle cake, and brings me a cuppa every morning to ease the day in gently.

Truth be told I knew Mr Darcy was no longer the man for me when I had no money back in 1994 and my man shared his cold chips with me sat on a bin in the village! I mean who needs brooding good lucks when you can have soggy chips on a wet Friday evening outside the youth club?

And I'm so sorry to make light of your eating habits, but nowadays the thought of chomping on a salad every day for lunch just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I have discovered I love food too much. Chocolate, bread, crisps, cake… you name it I love it. And I was never one for self-sacrifice anyway.

I am also happy to say that despite not living in a 3 bed semi with traditional features, our little council house has truly become our home. From the tissue splats on the bathroom ceiling (don’t ask) to my little vegetable patch in my front yard. Every crack and speck of dirt in my house is testimony to a happy crazy family life that we have shared here with our friends and family.

And I hope your 2.5 children are as bonkers and full of life as my three little peeps are. My kids quickly became my world when they were born.

And my son has taught me more about myself than I care to admit. He is autistic you see and he has turned my world upside down.

He may not want piggy backs up the stairs, or want bedtime stories all about dinosaurs and fairies. But he is incredible, they are all incredible. I wish you could meet them.

My son is taking me on a journey I never expected to be taking, and to be honest at first I was a little unsure of how to react. But now, well I wouldn’t change him for the world. Instead my world has changed because of him. Work, home, family I mean he teaches me what's truly important.

And I was never very good at the whole work life balance thing anyway. I think I cared too much you see, and that meant I made myself ill trying to be everything to everybody. But my son, hubby and my girls needed me more. So for them I had to leave my job.

That means I may not be changing the world like you are old friend. But I can live with that for now. Who knows what the future holds eh?

But this I do know-

My hair may not long and luscious like yours (in fact it’s short and pretty grey at the moment). And I may drink too much rose wine from that big old glass (not in a wine bar sadly more like slumped in front of the TV trying to stay awake).
But I’m happy, and I hope that wherever you are…you are too!

Life may not have work out for me as I had planned, for a while bad luck and challenges seemed to be the only certainty in my life. And so for a long time I struggled to accept that my lot in life hadn’t lived up to yours.

It appears that my Sat Nav has taken me off the smooth dual carriageway we were cruising along together, onto a wilder bumpy road in the middle of god knows where.

But I have accepted that now. And no matter where I go, you will always be a part of me. When I look back on our time together it’s truly with fondness. But I think now the time is right for me now to move on.

To move on along my new road alone without holding onto your memory. It may be more isolated, and uncertain than I had imagined way back then when we were dreaming of our futures, but I can honestly say that I’m finally enjoying the ride.

Yes the uphill climbs are hard going, but it is so exhilarating when I take my feet off the pedals and whizz down the other side with the wind in my hair, and the views that take my breath away (despite the sore arse it gives me the very next day, its worth every second!)

I truly hope that your journey has allowed you to experience the love and loss, joy and despair, deep emotion and pride that my journey has given me.

And so to the mother that I thought I would become, it’s time for me to say goodbye.

I hope that wherever you are you may be completely, and perfectly and incandescently happy.

(A-Z of Autism acceptance month April 2016)

Saturday 9 April 2016

The long road to diagnosis


I vividly remember all those years ago when I first became a mother in my early twenties, nervously holding this new little life in my arms. So vulnerable she was that I became completely overawed at how dependent on me she was. I was meant to have all the answers. I was meant to know what her cries meant, what to do when she wouldn’t settle and how to relieve her colic. I was overwhelmed with it all in those early days settling in at home.

However there was one thing I knew for certain back then; that I loved my little baby more than life itself, and so instinctively I learnt to know what she needed. I needed no guidebook or lessons to tell me what to do, it just happened naturally.

Then in my late twenties, we were blessed with another daughter and a son. Life had become full, crazy and yes at times a little chaotic - but we had such hope and dreams for the future.

My girls were happy carefree little things, full of laughter and smiles. However my little man worried me. Because even though he was hitting most of his developmental milestones he was hard work. Many aspects of his behaviour didn’t fit any checklists or tick boxes for kids of his age. He was a handful as a toddler and ran rings around me at times I have to say. And initially I dismissed my worries, thinking he would soon grow out of it.

However I was soon to realise that it was far more than just your typical boisterous behaviour that was testing my skills as a young mum.  I didn’t know it all those years ago, but I was at the start of a new phase of motherhood. One that would turn our whole family life upside down, and my role as a mum would take a whole new road completely.

So fast forward to now - Here I am, older and wiser. I’m now in my mid (to late)-thirties and my son was diagnosed with Autism last year at the age of 10. After all those years.

Altogether it took almost 5 years on the waiting list for him to be assessed.

So I think that’s what makes my journey, and many other mums like me up and down the country kind of unique really. Because I can’t think of any other condition where parents have to wait so long to get the help and answers they need. And I certainly found that my relationship with not only myself, but with my son and my family was pushed to the limit because of it. Because I feel like my early thirties flew past in a blur of stress and uncertainty. I got lost somewhere in between there and now. Let me explain-

I doubted myself constantly because I knew deep down that my son had so many hidden challenges and for years I felt like no one believed me. I knew it was more than the terrible twos, threes or fours. And it certainly wasn’t middle child syndrome. I could see that my son was increasingly struggling with so many aspects of his life, but he wasn’t able to express what was happening to him inside. So instead he would play up, resist, fight or become upset at the smallest of things.

And eventually I began to feel like every instinct I was having as his mum was wrong because I felt like I couldn’t help him and people were judging me as a bad parent that couldn’t control her kid. So many thoughts were swirling around my mind-

Why didn’t people believe me?

Why did they think he was just naughty?

Why could he be good all day at school then the minute I walk in the room he would lash out?

Was it me, were they right, and was I too soft on him… Is that what the problem was?

And this went on year after year after year. I became exhausted, confused and tired. There are even occasions I can remember when I had been on the receiving end of one of his meltdowns after school, and I would keep it to myself because I felt so alone and just couldn’t face the criticism from people who thought he was just naughty. I felt ignored as all I ever seemed to do was make excuses for him, desperately trying to make people see what I saw.

Because you see I knew.

I just knew that when the day came for him to be assessed that everyone else would finally see what I had known all along. That my son was Autistic.

And then when that day did finally arrive I felt such a mixture of emotions that I just didn’t know what to think. I was relieved on the one hand but deeply saddened on the other as there was so much finality in those words – Autism.  All I could think about was that it’s a lifelong condition, and the future seemed so uncertain for him at that point.

But in the months that followed his diagnosis I came to see that there was truly no need for me to be saddened by the label that he got that day. Because it hasn’t changed him, rather its changed how others think of him and that the key to his happiness.

Yes he has a label now, but it’s the right label. Not the ‘naughty’ label, or the ‘spoilt child’ label. And it has freed me of the shackles I felt for years too. I felt like I walked around with a ‘bad parent’ neon sign flashing above my head half the time as people stared at us in the supermarket. Or I was the ‘pushy parent’ when he refused to go to school and I had to fight for accommodations to be made for him.

But you see now the world can understand my son due to his ‘label’ of being Autistic, he is so much happier as a result. It opened doors that allowed us to get the right support for him. Thanks to his diagnosis now other people can now see how much he has to offer the world too. And that is why a diagnosis is so important for children like my son. Because otherwise he would have continued being misunderstood and labelled in all the wrong ways.

So the bottom line is that the long wait not only affected my son, but it affected me deeply, and there is no easy answer I’m afraid to say, it sucks! The waiting lists in the UK are appallingly long and I wish I could tell you otherwise but I can’t.

But mums what I can tell you is this - please believe me when I say that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I learnt that I had to believe in myself, and you will learn that too I promise! You are a good mum and your gut instincts are always right, just like we instinctively know what to do with our babies, nothing has changed just because they have grown up a bit. And please know that your opinions as a mum are 100% valid and worthy of being heard, no matter what labels your child has been given or how long you are waiting for answers.

And if there are any professionals reading this, please try and see beyond the labels, both my child’s and mine as a mum.

That mum may be labelled as a pushy parent, or come across as defensive in meetings. But it’s probably because inside she’s feel intimidated by you all sat at the table like you’re ready to interview her.  She may have had years fighting a system that struggles to view things from her child’s point of view. She may have sat at meeting after meeting having to listen to all the things her child can’t do when she knows how much he is capable of if they could only see it. Maybe she’s worn down by judgements and feeling like her opinion isn’t valid. And maybe all she actually needs is for someone to say to her that they don’t have a magic wand to make it all better, but that they hold value in what she has to say and  that they are really listening to her.

Because after all she is just a mother. A mother doing her best. A mother who held her baby in her arms all those years ago with such hope and dreams for the future. And no matter what labels her child is given she loves him all the more, more than life itself.
This blog has previously been published as a guest post on Kathy Brodie.com

Autism acceptance month A-Z ( April 2016)

Thursday 7 April 2016

Don't compare me to others, its called a spectrum for a reason


Comparing children on the spectrum can prove very tricky. Have you ever heard the saying 'once you have met one child with autism, you've met one child with autism'.

The thing with autism is that its a spectrum of conditions for a reason. Each and every person is an individual.

So that means that the label children are given to describe their level of functioning can prove somewhat deceptive. As children like my son, who was labelled as 'high functioning,' can have symptoms like anxiety that cripple him and make his ability to function very hard.

And his ability to cope fluctuates from day to day too. So I choose not to focus on the labels he was given at the time of his diagnosis, and focus on his individual needs.

In this video, Amethyst who is an autistic adult explains functioning labels from her point of view...

So just remember-

Your child is unique and will grow and develop in their own way just like any child does. 

Yes there are markers, and milestones that can be similar but all children are different and unique.

I try to never take things for granted with my son. And when I make assumptions about what he can and cant do, he always ends up surprising me anyway. 

That's the wonder that is the autism spectrum!

Autism acceptance month A-Z (April 2016)

Monday 4 April 2016

Seeing beyond the behaviour


Having autism means that I can find it difficult to express myself. I am on high alert most of the time because the world I live in can be very confusing for me. So my emotions can consume me and I can appear to go from 0-60 very quickly.

But think of my behaviour it as if it was an iceberg.

There is so much happening inside me that you cant see, that it can appear to you like I explode out of nowhere. But my behaviour is often my way to communicate to you that something is wrong.

I cant always tell you how I feel when I feel overwhelmed. If you look for clues and try to understand what is happening in my world you can usually work out what could be causing my distress....

If I am crying at the school gates and my mum can’t get me in through the school door Maybe I don’t know what’s happening at school today. Maybe all I need is for someone to tell me step by step what my day will look like.

If I am pacing up and down the room It might be my way of calming myself down. I am probably stressed and anxious and the adrenalin in my body is building higher and higher. If you push me at this point I may lash out or run away so give me time and space

If I am chewing on my sleeve Chewing on things can help me concentrate and focus. So that’s why I do it. Don’t tell me off, give me an alternative such as a chew bracelet or gum.

If I scribble all over my work I could have really low self-esteem or find the interaction that comes with praise difficult to handle. I don’t know what to say or do in response.

If I run down the corridor I could feel trapped and panic, so my natural instinct is to run away or lash out and I don’t want to hurt anyone so running away to escape the situation is my only option.

If I lash out I probably feel backed into a corner with no escape, I didn’t mean to hurt you but I need you to give me some space.

If I look at the work in front of me or refuse to do something It’s probably because I don’t understand it, I am afraid to have a go or it’s not clear enough. I need to see a clear beginning, middle and end. If it is too vague, open ended or difficult to make sense of my immediate reaction could be to just not do it and refuse.

If I wriggle and fidget on the carpet I could be keeping myself regulated and focussed as the language could be too fast or complex for me to follow and I am starting to switch off. A fiddle toy, reduced language and visual support could help me when I need to focus.

If I put my hands over my ears I am not being rude. It could be my way of shutting out all the distractions that are distressing me.

If I push into someone It could be that I have sensory processing difficulties and I don’t realise how hard I actually pushed, I may have thought I only tapped them.

If I interrupt or don’t answer your question I am not rude, I may not understand the social rules of conversation and don't understand that I have to wait and listen when others are speaking. Make sure you say my name first so I know you are talking to me.

If I take over during games It can mean that I don't know the rules, I can find it hard to see things from your point of view and I can struggle with the concept of losing.

                                                      You can help me by-

  • Keeping your language clear, slow and concise
  • You can give me some space
  • Acknowledge and respect how I am feeling
  • Provide me with an escape from the situation
  • Make sure I know what is happening and what to expect
  • Not seeing my behaviour as naughty and avoiding negative language
  • Seeing things from my perspective

    Autism acceptance month A-Z (April 2016)

Saturday 2 April 2016

Autism acceptance



For me April is a great way to raise awareness, but to be honest running a page and having a child on the spectrum means that autism doesn't just simply begin and end in April for us.

We live it day in day out.

And awareness is great, don't get me wrong I am all for autism awareness... but what's even more important to me and my son, what will make more of an impact on our lives day to day, is true acceptance.

Acceptance of his needs, acceptance of  his challenges, acceptance of our family and most importantly acceptance of him!

But what does that really mean? Why isn't awareness enough? Well on its own awareness just means that for a few days a year people change their profile pictures and the words 'autism awareness' pop up on Facebook... then its gone.

But we are still here.
Facing the daily battles of living in a world that can see autism as a challenge.

So what then for us?

Yes people may now be more aware of the word autism from awareness month, but do they truly understand anymore about autism? Will it have made an impact on my sons life at all?

To me acceptance means much more than simply raising awareness... It means educating myself on what being autistic feels like by listening to adults on the spectrum. Learning from them and respecting their needs and wishes.

It means taking the time to understand the world through my sons eyes. Looking beyond his behaviour to see what he's is telling me.

It means not trying to change him into something that he's isn't. Embracing his differences and never seeing him as less.

It means accommodating his needs, being flexible and seeing what he can do instead of what he cant.

It means supporting other families who are new to autism and letting them know that its not all as bad as it may seem at first.

It means celebrating achievements and diversity within the autism community.

Acceptance means fighting for an education system that isn't one size fits all. A system that understands autism, and embraces our children's talents.

Its about providing adequate access to services and facilities for children and their families.

It means being there for a new mum who is worried about her child, being a listening ear or simply a word of encouragement.

It means recognising the impact autism has on families and supporting them through the minefield of red tape and politics.

It means more than just acceptance that autism exists.
So that is why  throughout April I will be doing my bit to raise awareness like everyone else, but I will also be challenging you to do more than simply change your profile picture. I will be asking you to think in ways you may not have before, and asking you to see things from a new perspective.

I will be sharing the voices of adults on the spectrum, and encouraging you to really begin to understand what living with autism really means by sharing my A-Z of autism acceptance.

Autism acceptance month A-Z (April 2016)

Friday 1 April 2016

The Tribe

Guest Blog


Lottie Parish founder of 'Autism, a jug of coffee and a Dinosaur'

Finding people that you can relate to on this journey is so important, and in this guest blog written by my good friend Lottie from over at  'Autism, a jug of coffee and a Dinosaur'  she talks about how she found comfort in the friends she found online. Lottie is a buy mum two boys, and I love how she writes with such honesty, that's why I asked her to share a story for you all.... and I know you will love her too!

The Tribe

I was once told that only special people get chosen to be special needs parents.  In my opinion that is crap.  We become special needs parents because it is something that happens randomly; it nothing we do and nothing that a higher power decides.  Its life and it’s something as a parent we have to come to terms with, deal with and then get on with. 

Some people find it easier than others to except that their gorgeous bundle has extra needs.  It is an extremely hard and emotional rollercoaster.  But your child is your child.  By letting yourself fall apart isn’t going to change your child.  It is not going to make the diagnosis go away and at the end of the day, falling apart will not help you or your bundle. 

This may sound really harsh and unkind, I promise I don’t mean it to.  But for every day that we don’t accept things as a parent is another day we are not truly supporting our child.  A diagnosis is by no means the end of the world.  It is a signpost to help point us in the right direction, to begin to start to understand the road we are on.  I will never say the road is easy.  It’s bloody hard and most of the time it’s up hill, bendy and bumpy but it can also be amazing.

I never cried or fell apart when I found out that my son was autistic; I already knew and I think I was just glad that finally we had an official diagnoses so we could start getting the help and support both my son and our family needed.  However I would be lying if I said, I had never shed tears; I have shed many, many tears.  It’s bloody hard having a child with autism.  You fight battles that you never dreamed you would have to fight.  You fight for help, support and just to keep yourself and family together.  It is never ending, totally consuming and completely exhausting.

Friends and family really do try and get it but it’s impossible for them; you can only truly get it, if you are living it.   I survive the shit and heartache by being able to share it with people who just understand it.  This is The Tribe. We all need one and the special needs Tribe is a tribe that just cannot be beaten. 

It is not always easy to find your tribe.  But it’s so important that you.  It is all too easy to let yourself get lost in the thick mist of parenting your child and focusing all your energy on everyone else but yourself.  I have found that I spend little, to no time on myself anymore.  I rarely see my old friends and find it much easier to stay at home than risk going out, which can all too easily turn into a horrendous nightmare of survival and wishing I had never bothered leaving the house.

But I have discovered The Tribe and it is amazing.  You don’t need to look far for it.  They are there on Facebook, blogging away, setting up get togethers and running support groups.  We are not alone, and we don’t need to do this alone.  If you haven’t found The Tribe yet, go and look.  They are all there, waiting to lend an ear, have a chat and share their crazy life with you. 

I had not realised until very recently that I was part of The Tribe.  It had never really occurred to me there was one.   It took a friend to point it out to me.  And I am so glad she did.  We all feel alone at times, especially at the beginning of our long rollercoaster of a ride, but we aren’t.  If you share the good, bad and ugly with someone else who truly understands, you will stop worrying quite so much and start believing that you aren’t going mad, and most importantly that you are doing a pretty amazing job rising your crazy bundle of joy!

Lottie Parish Founder of -Autism, a jug of coffee and a Dinosaur

Lottie Parish is a fulltime mum to her two gorgeous boys, one of which is on the Autism Spectrum and has Sensory Processing Disorder.  Lottie spends her time looking after her slightly wild and crazy family whilst trying to remain sane.  She is on a consent mission to help raise awareness of autism; writing her blog and running her Facebook page.  When time allows she loves to design and weave fabric on her much loved loom. 

Follow Lottie's story on https://familylifeandautism.wordpress.com/