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Hi from both of us,

Christopher, our second son, was born in November 1998 but it was not until early 2001 that he was diagnosed with severe autism. It was then that our lives changed, like a baptism of fire if you like. At that time, we didn’t know that it was a fire that we would never be able to put out, but one that we would need to learn, and learn quickly, how to contain it.

That is exactly what we have done, learnt so much more about autism so that we could be sure that we would help our son as much as possible to ensure that his life had meaning and that he was happy.

In order to help Chris and before he started school, he attended the Scamp Project, organised by Southampton University, aimed at proving to the government that ABA, Applied Behaviour Analysis, worked. Both of us had to attend Uni to train and become two of his eight or so tutors, that was a condition of Chris being accepted.   A very tough 6 ½ day a week course, lasting for two years lay ahead for our son, although we cut it short after eighteen months when the woman running it wanted to take over everything that we would normally do as parents.

It was three hours every morning and the same again in the afternoon and three hours on Sunday.  We are convinced that had we not pushed for this course, Chris may not have regained any speech. Scamp, so helpful but almost too much for a child of that age.  Chris had the better of the tutors some days. When he had had enough, he just put his head down on the desk and went to sleep.

About a year ago Tina took on an arduous course, called Autism Awareness. She passed the course and to ensure I learnt as well, I sat alongside her.

On the 1st and 2nd May this year we travelled to Wales to take a fantastic course, one provided by the Loddon, The Proact-SCIPr-UK. It was delivered by Sophie, the CEO of our care company. Boy was that enlightening. So much so, that we believe that all parents with children on the spectrum should be encouraged to take this course.

It was not just about learning more to help Chris.  Over the years we have chosen to work for others, for parents who, just like us had given birth to autism, to carers that they might understand what might come their way. We decided the best way to do this was to put our story in writing, in the hope that it may help to make a difference.

We have now written three books, two that are already published, Tell It As It Is -The Early Years and Tell It As it Is -The Sequel. The third, Tell It As It Is – My First Home, which is based mainly on supported living will be launched when we speak at the Loddon Conference in October. We feel proud of our efforts and the knowledge we have shared by opening up our lives to the world.

We said proud, but we are by no way satisfied.  We will never stop trying to help more people that find it hard to find the answers they need.  We are currently working hard on a series of smaller books that will help with what we believe is the most important thing for anyone in life. The ability to communicate.  We have developed a novel way, excuse the pun, to show those that need help on how to put together Social Stories that will be easily understood and therefore a real benefit.  To create real interest, we are using an imaginary figure called Ank, first drawn and invented by Christopher when at his very last school.

Ank came with us both when we took a holiday, the first for over 16 years.  The three of us, mum, dad and Chris’s mate Ank went to Australia for a month.  Chris loved being able to follow Ank on zoom, he has a kind of respect for Ank as you will find out when you read the books. That trip to Australia was to say thank you to a mum, a wife, who is so special to us all and will never give up on making life better for our family.

Before finishing this blog, the first we have ever done, we want you to know that there are two other books under way.   “Tell It As It Is- Understanding Autism”, written as parents not scientists and “Tell It As It Is- A Laugh Around The Sixties.” That is my autobiography and written to lighten things up.

To get our first two books and pre-order the third at a discount rate please visit www.tellitasitis.uk

Please honour us by joining our Facebook Group- Tell It As It Is-Charles Parker to stay up to date with Christopher and what we have planned.

Finally – Be Like Us   –   NEVER BE AFRAID TO TELL IT AS IT IS!

Thank you.

Charles and Tina Parker.