Born in Warwickshire, I spent my first few years in Olton (outside Solihull). I remember
standing in a corridor with other “slow” learners as we struggled to read, although once I had
mastered that skill I read voraciously. I also suffered from terrible migraines and found some
music painful. My widowed mother remarried when I was eight, and we moved to a beautiful area of
Gloucestershire. While I enjoyed English and history I wasn’t so keen on other topics and when
I was offered a job working with staff children in a local Camphill school (which catered for
children with a range of learning disabilities) I jumped at it.
I met three intriguing children there, all of whom were totally different but shared the same
diagnosis. I went on to spend much of my career working as a teacher and caregiver before
becoming Deputy Principal of a residential community for autistic adults. It was there that I
realized how extremely anxious most of the residents were and so I began to write a leaflet about
the link between autism and anxiety.

 

 

 

Looking for the causes of that anxiety led me to investigate the sensory differences that are
commonplace in the world of neurodiversity, although the effects vary from mild to severe.
That was when my early experiences started to make sense. My hearing differences (though
mild) became clear when I read Sound of a Miracle by Annabel Stehli, and I corrected them using
the auditory programme her daughter had used with great success.
Meeting the late Donna Williams was a great help, as she was always willing to answer my
questions and taught me a great deal. Intriguingly, while her visual differences were very severe
they were alleviated by tinted lenses, so I tried them myself and found my migraines stopped.

I now live in a lovely and thriving village in West Dorset and am not too far from the Jurassic
coast. In my spare time, I enjoy walking my dogs, browsing in antique/junk shops and the
company of friends. I gave up watching the news during Covid as it was too depressing.
Nowadays I try to focus on the positive and tend to watch films/read books that have a feel-
good factor or make me laugh.
Books.

My books include a series of concise informative books for parents, plus longer books
which I’m expanding into a series called “Autism Decoded.” The first book “The Cracks in the
Code” is on Amazon and the 2 nd book “The Ciphers”, will be out later this year. My home site is
www.autismdecoded.com and offers a wide range of information + free resources.
Koloko Direct.

I spent much of lockdown developing a sensory-friendly holiday directory. A
FREE-to-use site that features holidays worldwide and includes a whole range of different places
from hotels to lodges to caravans + beaches, amusement parks, autism certified venues – and
much more. It enables you to book your holiday directly with the venue of your choice while
also offering you the option to contact one of our associates for a tailor-made holiday specifically
designed to suit your family’s needs. See www.kolokodirect.com for more information – or
Facebook.
Help needed.

Please use Koloko and share it with anyone who might find it useful. That will
help us continue to develop and add more holidays – and also to develop a Shop to support it.
It is a Community Interest Company so the profits will help us develop other sensory friendly
projects.

Kaiko Fidgets – Check out these quiet and discreet fidgets – https://kaikofidgets.com – Now on Ebay.co.uk

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