Inspirational book would raise awareness of new service
Caudwell Children, one of the UK’s leading children’s charities, believes that a book written by a parent of one its beneficiaries would raise awareness of its services, if it was to be published.
Sally Wagter’s son, Tim, from Felpham, in West Sussex, was diagnosed with autism at an early age. The condition is a lifelong, developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them.
The condition left Tim nonverbal until he was three years old and when he did finally try to speak it was almost impossible to understand him. At the age of eight his Headteacher told Sally, and her husband, Erik, that her school was unable to teach her son anything academic.
But now, at the age of 17, Tim’s life has been completely turned around having secured the equivalent of 8 GCE’s, including a distinction for a music diploma, and he’s become a gifted pianist, even writing film scores and advertising his services for hire.
Sally, charted her son’s remarkable development through a series of diary’s written from when Tim was a baby, and now she’s used them to write an inspirational story about her life, following her son’s diagnosis with autism.
“Miracle in Slow Motion is a story which goes from the depths of despair to a miraculous outcome,” explained Sally. “It charts my life as a mother from being confronted with a diagnosis, to the amazing breakthroughs that have led to the person my son is today.
“I write about how at the age of two he was having daily meltdowns, screaming and running away from people, and unable to communicate his needs, to how at the age of eight his school said we should prepare for a future of assisted working.
“However, today, at the age of 17, he is a socially confident and academically capable young man with a number of qualifications who is fully able to articulate his thoughts and feelings.”
Sally says that the book describes how his lovely personality has brought him many friendships and it explains how he developed a wonderful talent for playing the piano.
“This is another miracle,” exclaimed Sally. “Considering as a small boy he would cry with pain every time he heard music.
“Now he can play the whole of the CATS musical faultlessly by ear, which lasts for an hour and a half.”
The book also details the support that Tim and the family received from Caudwell Children, and how the charity provided access to a range of interventions for their individual circumstances.
“Caudwell Children were amazing!” exclaimed Sally. “With their support we began to understand what Tim was going through and how his processing difficulties made it hard for him to be a part of things.
“As a result of their help we began to celebrate everything that he could do and we made him feel accepted.
“We tried to see life through his eyes and we used what motivated him to help him access learning.
“I don’t believe Tim would have been anywhere near this level without the charity’s help and we can’t than them enough.”
The book has been written in two parts with Part 1 recounting the story up to the age of Tim being 11, when his initial developments began and where Sally says: “I Saw hope for his future.”
Part 2 encompasses the years from 11-17 where his parents secured a bespoke, fully funded education, designed specifically to his profile.
“We know that autistic children are all different and respond in different ways, and some will have a different outcome,” continued Sally. “Tim’s overcome so many difficulties and gone from nonverbal and uncooperative, to singing and entertaining people in public.
“It’s wonderful to see and he’s exceeded our wildest dreams.”
Trudi Beswick, CEO of Caudwell Children, is hoping that Sally can find a publisher soon. As she explained: “It’s not only a fascinating and inspiring story, it would also be a fantastic opportunity for readers to find out about Caudwell Children and the work that we do.
“It only seems like yesterday when we agreed to support Tim, and he’s made remarkable progress over the years.”
Caudwell Children has recently opened the Caudwell International Children’s Centre, set within the grounds of Keele University, in Staffordshire.
The £18 million Centre is the UK’s first purpose built facility dedicated to providing assessment, support and research into neurodevelopmental conditions, including autism.
“I’d love to hear from any publishers who would be interested in reading the manuscript or synopsis,” concluded Sally. “Ours is a remarkable story and one that parents of autistic children need to know.”
You can contact Sally Wagters through her website here.
You can find out more about Caudwell Children and the charity’s new Caudwell Children Autism Service here,