Local mum turns author to help fellow parents in dealing with autism

IF only we had had this book to hand when we first realised there was a problem with autism in the family!

That was the reaction of one reviewer to Nicola Maybury’s book, Faithfully Parenting Autism.

It was exactly the response that Nicola, who lives with her husband Andy and three children near Page Park, had been hoping for since she decided to write the book.

“I thought it would be helpful for other people to know what I had found out from courses and talking to medical professionals. I tried to make it an easily readable guide,” she said.

Nicola and Andy noticed early on that their first child, Sam, was displaying behaviour difficulties. He was delayed in walking and speaking and by the age of three found it difficult to cope with any changes in routine.

The family GP referred him to a paediatrician and after Sam attended the assessment nursery at Frenchay Hospital experts diagnosed him with autism.

He was given a statement of special educational needs and assigned a support worker for 17 and a half hours a week when he started Christ Church Infant School. Sam is now nine and has moved on to Christ Church Junior School.

“We were lucky. The support we have received is fantastic. I know that is not always the case,” said Nicola.

A key factor in writing the book was her Christian faith. The family are members of Grace Church Bristol, which used to meet in Downend but now meets at Bristol Metropolitan Academy. Nicola did not feel that the books she had read about autism took God or the Bible into account.

“They excuse bad behaviour, putting everything down to the autism. They do not seem to recognise that children with autism are also capable of doing things that are naughty,” she said.

“Although aimed at Christian parents, the advice in my book is very practical and would help any parent struggling to understand their child with autism.”

Nicola, a trained animator, is originally from the north east and moved to Bristol after studying in south Wales, where she met Andy, a photographer.

The couple have two other children, Archie, six, and Elizabeth, three.

“The children all get on really well. The younger two just accept Sam and the way he is. I don’t see the autism as a problem. It is just the way God created Sam. He is still perfect,” said Nicola.

The book is available in paperback (from Amazon or lulu) or as an ebook and is also available at the iBookstore and on Kindle.

Nicola also has a blog, nicnacs59.blogspot.co.uk, and the book has a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FaithfullyParentingAutism

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