Hi I'm Ali, I live in Richmond, sunny Nelson, top of the South Island, New Zealand.
I emigrated here 8 years ago from England. I am 51 and into reading, yoga, qigong and am a nature and animal lover.
Walking on the beach with our dog Ollie the Goldie is my happy place.
My children are George who is 18 and Emilia who is nearly 14 and who were born in Auckland so are both Kiwis.
This book has been 'in my head' for about 7 years now and I made some journal entries over that time but mostly it was written over the last 4 months of this year. It was so wonderful to write and I gained so much pleasure being alone with my thoughts and allowing the words to flow out onto the pages that I lost all sense of space and time.
The creative process is all consuming so the housework had to wait.
The school day being very short and with all the commitments of running a family home, shopping and dog walking I'd then rush home to write and squeeze it into a short space of time feeling frustrated that I couldn't be just left alone to complete it in one go. Also access to the laptop was limited as Emilia thinks it is hers!
I have an English Degree which I suppose helped me with grammar and detail, but actually the content is shaped from my emotions and self actualisation during these interesting years of parenting a child with differing abilities. Writing about my personal story has not been easy, particularly having to revisit some of the most challenging moments. Parenting Emilia has helped me develop my own self by teaching me qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom: the gifts of autism.
My reason for writing was to share my experiences and to allow the readers of my book to understand more about autism as it is a fascinating disability, but more needs to be known about it. So in a sense it is an attempt to try to raise people's awareness and provide a transformative read which offers insights and hope for all readers.
Sharing our family’s story with others I hope will extend opportunities for compassion and sharing in others who are at different places along this path less travelled.
Parenting Emilia has helped me develop my own self by teaching me qualities of awareness, kindness and wisdom: the gifts of autism.