Welcome to Starlight and Stories. Set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, the focus of Starlight and Stories is empowering families of children with Autism.
An autism diagnosis can feel scary at first, like stepping into an unknown world. Not only are you battling emotions and wondering what the future will bring. But you’re also suddenly confronted with a system full of acronyms, strategies and conflicting advice.
I feel lucky, that when we went through the process, Autism was already a big part of my world.
My emotions were in turmoil, but my head knew what I needed to do. I often wonder how different our lives would have been if I hadn’t had that knowledge. Because it really did feel like there was nowhere to turn.
This blog is my way of passing on the knowledge I have learnt both as a parent and as a teacher. But I hope that through the blog, and through the Facebook support group I run for parents and teachers of children on the spectrum, I also make parents feel a little less alone.
Some of the strategies you will find are aimed at parents and others at teachers.
For me, at the root of that is the fact that we are stronger together. When parents and teachers truly collaborate magic can happen, and better outcomes for children are far more likely than if we work alone.
In the real world I’m an Autism Specialist Teacher, with a Cambridge degree in English and Education. Autism has been my passion since university. I’ve completed two dissertations with it as my focus, and over the years have been lucky enough to both witness and be a part of many different interventions with children and young people from two right up to nineteen. I do not advocate one particular philosophy. But I do think looking at the individual and what they need should be at the heart of any teaching strategy.
In my personal life, I have a wonderful partner and am mum to two fantastic children. All three of whom you’ll meet through the blog.
After all, Autism doesn’t occur in isolation. It is part of our real life as a real family:
The Bear, is now ten, passionate about reading and a hater of change. She loves order, predictability and photography. And I’m incredibly proud of the young lady she is fast becoming.
The Lion, now almost two is a chaos creator, who turned all of our lives upside down from the moment he landed in them. He is his sister’s biggest hero, and a lover of animals. Getting him to eat… well that’s a different story, but fingers crossed at long last we are now getting there.
As for Daddy, he’s a scientist who’s originally from Spain, which means we’re raising the children bilingual…. which is definitely a challenge for Mummy!
We are not perfect, and I’m the first to admit that my strategies work better at school than at home. But in a way, that is why I write.
Because none of us live in a box of ideals. We’re all just walking through life, winging it as we go.
If you’re a parent trying to get to grips with a new diagnosis, a teacher trying to help a child in your class but not sure what to try next, or a brand who’s looking to reach out and share your product with some incredible families and inspirational teachers then I’d love to hear from you.
Please do get in touch. I promise I will respond.
Lots of love