Your Life As I Knew It

By Anna Cosslett

The highs and lows of family life, as a mother pieces together the effects and possible causes of her son's fairly severe autism.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Why This Book is Important

Limited Edition High Quality Giclee print on 300gsm A3 Textured Paper.  Title: 'Sensory Overload' Maximum print run: 30  Each print signed and numbered, available for £60 including e book and paperback as well as shipping.  See RewardsSection. Additional notes:  The image itself is less than A3 in size: there will be blank space especially above and below.  This is not Huw's artwork.  It was created from a painting by Anna featured in one of the scenes from the book.  See the Update for 4th February 2020 (via Synopsis) about the effect of chocolate on Huw. 

Why back this book on Autism?

It is very readable.  It can be read by older siblings of children with autism as well as by any parent while juggling all that needs to be juggled while caring for a child with a diagnosis towards the severe end of the spectrum.

b.   It offers a vivid portrayal of family life with a young person who has ‘fairly severe autism’ at the centre of the action.  It is a memoir and all events in the book actually happened - it is a true account in the way that novels or TV dramas aren't - even though there is plenty of dialogue and a lot of drama at times!

c.   Notes at the back of the book give parents and professionals the scientific background to some of the strategies adopted to address the more difficult challenges of severe autism, such as sleeplessness, incontinence, destruction generally, communication problems, lack of specialist education and more.

d.   There is a lot of joy in the book as well as pain. Families who are going through similar experiences will feel less alone and possibly laugh in recognition at some of the adventures and catastrophes the family manages to survive.  The closing chapters will ring true for those who have faced the harsher aspects of caring and possibly bring hope for understanding among people in general.

e.   Government services, both local and national, need to know exactly how difficult caring for a child with severe autism can be, so that they offer more support and change certain policies that are unhelpful. For example, the book is a clear demonstration (without saying so directly) that the Bedroom Tax is entirely inappropriate where there is a severely autistic child in the house.

f.    This book gives professionals in the field a case study of a single child with a fairly severe form of the condition, and the behaviours that manifest, a book which is in an accessible form, but with published medical or biochemical references in the accompanying notes that point towards areas for further research.  

g.   Parents, too, may benefit from some of the insights gained over the years from another parent who has been where they are – on the front line of Autism, not in some academic or political ivory tower.  For those who are obsessed with what has caused their child’s condition, the book plots a single mother’s attempts to answer that question, putting the many answers she found into the context of her own experience, with due reference to reliable sources.

h.   While people with less severe forms of autism now have a voice, the children and adults who (often literally) don’t have a voice have been neglected in the media and hidden from public view, leaving many families feeling misunderstood and isolated.  This book is a step towards redressing that balance.

Please note, you can support 'Your Life as I Knew it' anonymously if you wish - please just choose this option when making your pledge.  Time is running out for reaching our target for publication; so please share information about 'Your Life as I Knew it' as widely as possible.  Many thanks!  Anna

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