This is a personal account of Naomi, told by her mother Vicky Warren and reproduced with permission from the Bookfiends Kingdom website

Please note that it is a personal view and does not necessarily represent our views.

I haven't talked about my daughter Naomi who was diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder in 2000 aged 28. Many people have asked why did it take so long - the reason is Naomi had very good survival skills and coped with school very well and got her GCSEs and 2 A levels.

She left school at 18 and worked as a fish monger in our local Tesco's (and can still gut a fish!) and loved writing radio scripts and read voraciously but at 21 years old she had her 1st breakdown and there began her problems.

She had several psychiatrists and a million and one diagnoses, but a chance meeting my husband David had with a mum looking after an autistic friend at the Bluebell Railway, in September 1999 was to change ours and Naomi's lives. Florica worked with autistic people of all ages and has an autistic son. Her work was very cutting edge but we listened to her and changed Naomi's then psychiatrist to a very compassionate one who immediately referred Naomi for an assessment and after a 9 month wait she was finally diagnosed as being autistic.

Shortly after social services advised us to contact the Disabilities Trust where Naomi was again assessed to see if she was suitable for their autism specific residential home. The answer was a magnificent YES but we had to fight and threaten the local services for funding which we eventually got and Naomi has been there since 2000.

Her life has changed completely from being on 4 psychotropic drugs and thyroxine, shrieking like a banshee, rocking backward and forward on her heels with her eyes rolling to the top of her head to a young lady who loves to have her hair brushed by the carers and her hands and feet massaged!! She loves walking,dancing, knitting, housework!!and cooking all of which has been done with the help of the staff.

It took a whole year for the autism specific trained staff with the help of the local psychiatrist to get Naomi off the psychotropic drugs and on to a very small dose of one plus her thyroxine. Both her thyroid and pancreas have been severely affected by these drugs so she is now diabetic with an under-active thyroid.

But there is heaven on earth and the Disabilities Trust provided it - the way they treat their clients is the way to go for them to have good quality of life.

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03 May 2022