A beautiful, bright and sensory adventure for little ones.Mum creates character with autism to help normalise diversity in children’s books
A beautiful, bright and sensory adventure for little ones.Mum creates character with autism to help normalise diversity in children’s books
My son was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Back then I remember searching the bookshelves for happy, bright and colourful books on autism for children, I found nothing. The sales assistant said that they didn’t stock that sort of book.. but I could see she wasn’t aware of what I specifically needed, or possibly even why. Whilst up against many challenges of awareness along the way, my son began asking questions about his diagnosis in more detail. He was always aware of his diagnosis but as he grew older he of course wanted to know more. Having worked in a SEN school and previously I worked with adults with different learning abilities, I wrote, ‘My Awesome Autism.’ He laughed at my stick men and corrected my grammar! It can be daunting delivering all this information to your child and for them to relate to it personally too is a big ask. This is another reason why the book is not overwhelming in a wordy kind of way, with busy images too. It was such a success, my son felt relief, happiness and so proud too. We decided to help other children and their parents too. So I started social media platforms such as, ‘The Eddie Series Books’ on Facebook and over time the book has reached so many! I self published whilst hoping to find a publisher and we were luckily successful on this. So there you are, how I became an author and how I fell into the best job for me personally! Communicating with families and professionals globally has been and is incredible. I am extremely passionate about supporting those on the autistic spectrum!
Awesome Autism’- because my son is awesome and so is everything that is a part of him, his interests and humour for instance. Nothing changes when you have a diagnosis other than additional awareness and understanding, which is so important to not minimise any struggles and access support. Equally, you are you and that’s wonderful.
I called my first book (I have 7 in the series now) ‘My
My aim is to raise awareness or should I say understanding. I want to support, empower and help children and families shine expressing themselves through whichever way they communicate, whether that is verbally, through signing or PECS/eye contact. We take shared interaction and communication for granted sometimes, we should never assume that someone who is non verbal will not do this, because they certainly will!
The response, my goodness. I am bowled over time after time, I really am. Parents have messaged me their personal stories, then photos of their children or them as a family with one of my books. Teachers, carers and therapists are using them, it’s just endless. I had a beautiful email from a parent this week thanking me for writing my book and how it’s helped them as a family, he high fives his mum a lot now as that what Eddie does in this particular book. Every time I am interviewed or do a podcast and we talk about this, I feel I need to pinch myself! I still can’t believe it some days. I am extremely grateful, humbled and incredibly lucky to help others. I’ve been crafting stories for as long as I can remember. I started the Eddie Series publicly in April 2019, which will always mark a very special time for us. Going forward, I plan to continue with The Eddie Series, releasing more of my social stories and resources. I have so many I can’t ever imagine stopping, it’s my absolute passion. I am grateful to my children for giving me the best job ever as their mum and secondly a passion with the best little tour guides I could ask for. 💖💖📚💙 #autism #autismbooks #autismawareness #podcasts #interviews #theeddieseries #autismunderstanding #mumblog #mumlife #autismblog #autismauthor #authorlife #empathy #gratitude #bekind #positivity #journorequest #kindnessmatters #helpingothers #youreamazing #whatis2020
To view my twitter interview click here: https://twitter.com/nrsaundersbooks?lang=en
@nrsaundersbooks on Twitter
Today I was interviewed by AutismTalk on twitter via hashtag #askmiss! A very interesting way of doing it and it was really fun! Their questions made me think on Friday morning post school run!
#autism #autismawareness #autismunderstanding #theeddieseriesbooks #nikkisaunders #authorblog #autismblog #podcast #authorlife #autismbooks
It’s Global Handwashing Day! Stay safe & wash your hands 🧼 🖐
GlobalHandwashingDay #staysafe #healthyhappy #welcomebackeddieafterlockdown #theeddieseriesbooks 📚
In 2009 believe it or not a psychic told me (another bit about me I’ll touch on one day) I was about to have a career change for a very special reason. At that time, I thought nothing of it I worked as a Marketing Exec and didn’t plan on any changes anytime soon. Monday came, there was a letter on my desk, to find out, due to the current climate at the time, our office was closing and we were all being made redundant. So, admittedly between speaking to customers, I was emailing recruiters about jobs and applying for whatever I could. I shortly heard back regarding a support worker role and was invited to interview. Following this, I got the job on the spot working with adults with autism in the community. Quite a career change I might add! I met some truly amazing people along the way and the people I cared for taught me so much, for which I’m very grateful. I then fell pregnant with my eldest and night shifts/weekends became tiring towards the end but little did I know why I was meant to fall into that job! Road to diagnosis It’s a long road….with an unwritten destination. For any parent who has fought through the hoops, repeated themselves a million times to try and teach some understanding, will know exactly what I mean. Muddling through a backward system is not for the week-kneed. First we see a doctor, then have a hearing test..light years later which you know is fine.. then to SLT. A few more months later..a speech therapist who told me “I’m under qualified for this.” That wasn’t the most reassuring thing I’d heard all week!! After all that wait then why am I here?! I remember the waiting area was like a library and I felt so grateful he loved books & my boy was managing in there with other kids running around and parents chatting away, although a few times dashing for the automatic doors! I watched other mums chatting away with no worry about their children running off or becoming distressed at lights or noise. I remember how grateful I felt just to be in the building as long as I had been! Although I couldn’t join in with chat with the other parents, before darting for the door, I remember thinking, wow they have no idea, but it wasn’t their fault they were just unaware. I was too taken up in the fact that I was nailing it and kind of ‘queueing up’ in that moment to feel upset that it was harder for us, which is a real gift in itself. I didn’t take anything for granted, that’s a real gift that shows itself sometimes, harder days can be outweighed with gratitude for their happiness and the smallest but massive achievements! After her unhelpful comment, I have to say I managed to hold it together because my son was itching to leave her tiny room….so was I to be fair. “Can you put the red envelope in the post box?”. No love, he just wants to take your posters off the wall to make you laugh and engage in his play😂..I wanted educate her, and show her how much fun you can have when you join their world! But I decided she had no awareness of autism which made me feel sad and I was lucky to find anyone that did, but when I did it was great. Online groups were so small in the ASD group back then I found some lovely ladies at other play/sensory groups too. I’m pleased the world has come on a little bit, however, awareness and understanding are two different things. I’d like to say professionals know more these days but we really do have a long way to go, so does the government in funding these opportunities so parents don’t have such a long wait for diagnosis just so they can be taken seriously. I never did find any bright, positive and happy children’s books to celebrate their differences either – which is one little change I did make in the world. When I asked the lady in the book shop in 2013 she said “sorry we don’t stock that sort of book..”others would say “No sorry” without having to look on their computer. so I created “My Awesome Autism” When we needed it. By this time I wasn’t the only parent who had became an author for this reason, the more of us the better. I will carry on adding as much positivity about autism into the world, celebrating their differences, individual talents and eye opening way of thinking. Celebrating autism in a positive light daily. Press at the moment…It’s highlighted in the press right now about the wait for a diagnosis, there are so many people in the same boat as I was, paddling against a tsunami. Months maybe years of waiting & explaining to different people signs and little ways you’ve spotted, mentioning it’s completely fine but you need the diagnosis to access any understanding going forward. For people to tell you ”there’s nothing wrong with your child”… “yes I know that thanks very much”…All that wait and then when you finally receive a diagnosis, mum guilt, waves of upset and a wonder about the future kick in, some relief too. Slowly but surely in the process you become that mum, you find a strength you didn’t know you had within you, you can flip from being superhero to mary poppins in seconds, multitask like you’ve ever done in any job, suck up the tears and walk away from a meeting thinking “jeez did I really say that..”. Starting school was another milestone of matters and that’s when book 4 was born .. I’m eternally grateful for the person my children have made me, which only they would ever have had the power to do. The reason behind My Awesome AutismI join many others in saying I want nothing more than to raise understanding of autism and for people to see it positively as a difference in which the brain works & how we all view things just like in our visual appearances. We celebrate so many other differences.. It’s great for children to be in a book shop and visually see books on autism, this is so heartwarming! Books with smiley faces on the front, reassuring them to celebrate who they are enhancing children’s confidence, more so for the public who do not experience it within their family to normalise this understanding too. Autism is a truly beautiful gift to humanity teaching the world to celebrate who you are, help and be kind to one another. Their lens can be amazing to try and look through spotting things you may not have done before. 💙📚😍#autismawareness #autismunderstanding #truthfulblogpost #childrensbooks #roadtodiagnosis #beautifulautism #mumblog #autismblog #authorlife #autism #amazonbooks #waterstones #podcasts #kindnessmatters #empowerothers #ourjourney #autismlove #luckymum #keepingitreal #wellbeing #journorequest
If you’d have asked me a year ago, whether I would do a podcast or be interviewed by a celebrity, I’m not sure I’d have given you the same response as I would today! I never intended to grow as big as the series has now. However, I also strived to reach as many families and professionals as possible.
I had a couple of invites during lockdown, one with Lauren Pope in the Mumspace group LIVE and The Sue Atkins podcast show, not long after. I was so excited but felt like it was out of my comfort zone! I think the live knocked all of the nerves out of me…the video producer from Yahoo said “you’re live in 3-2-1.” Yep, deep end! Not a bad thing though mind! As soon as I was talking about our life, our journey and the reason I created my first book, well…the words just flew out and my passion did all the talking! I had to remember to let other people talk too! 🙋🏻♀️🙊 Discussing my journey, was and is the most grounding experience. It’s so special to me and I’m proud of every experience, hardship, hurdle jumps, tears and small wins! 💪🏼(Small wins are huge by the way). You can live something everyday as your norm, take on challenges in your daily stride, but when I explained, how The Eddie Series began, the hurdles we went through, how I built up social media platforms, thousands of followers, made friends worldwide, felt what other mums felt, self published because I would find a way to reach other families, dealt with my own EHCPs and autism assessment and speech therapy appointments, whilst working in education back then too…well, I think I had the same reaction as the listeners! I’ve given the Eddie Series every part of my free time (she laughs) and I give it so much of me, from the heart. They say passion does not feel like work, and it’s true! It is an absolute pleasure. Ask me to go jogging with you tomorrow, I might say I don’t have time 😉. Supporting other parents and their children, is massively important to me, all of the time, I want to be everyone’s friend/strength who is seen to be struggling, tell them it will all be okay, or just stand with them if they feel alone in the playground. I’m very much for empowering people and like to give them a good talk up (hence the name of my book for my son, ‘My Awesome Autism’, because he is awesome and I tell him that everyday.) It lifts me, being an empath, knowing that I can help and support at least 1 person as I go about my day and it happens to be a really big bonus, that I love writing ✍️. In the next couple of weeks, I’m due to be interviewed by, Autism Talk & The Rob Gorski Podcast too! I love writing and talking, so I guess I’m in the right place 😂 🎧 Moral of a long ramble – 👆🏼The only paragraph I set out to write!
When you “assume” (you‘ve just said it in your head 😉) that something is out of your comfort zone.. ask yourself, is it really?! For every wish or desire, opportunities DO show up for a reason & you need to take them. I saw a quote earlier in my Facebook newsfeed, it said “I would rather be a stranger to others than a stranger to myself.” 💖📚
Twitter @nrsaundersbooksFB – The Eddie Series Books Instagram – @nrsaundersbooks #autism #autismblog #autismblogger #mumlife #authorlife #mumpreneur #podcast #podcasts #journorequest #autismawareness #theeddieseries #myawesomeautism #writingcommunity #amwriting #representationmatters #amazon #amazonbooks
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton