Becoming Unique by James Charles
This year’s Autism Awareness Month of April is coming to a close. Did you spot how local landmarks were turned blue in the Light it Blue campaign? Are you now more aware of Autism. Do you have an understanding? If you don’t, you should because although there are no official statistics in Ireland of the number of people who have autism, studies suggest that the figures look to be one person in every 100. The UK’s figures are 1.1% of the population. So taking that into consideration, and as I try not to sound to stern – you should be Aware of Autism.
One man who is very aware is James Charles. He struggled for years with the disability or as he calls it a ‘diffability’ before he was diagnosed. A plight that was achingly hard. James Charles grew up in Aughavas, County Leitrim, but has lived most of his life in England. He trained and worked as a Mental Health Nurse and now manages his own Complementary Therapy and Coaching Practice. He is married, has two cats and now shares his story of Autism Awareness with you. Amazing.
Author diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at forty-two reveals in touching memoir how he was finally able to find beauty in adversity and come to terms with the behavioral difficulties he had endured his entire life.
Each year, one in sixty-eight children in the United States are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder – a range of neurodevelopmental challenges which can include cognitive, sensory and communicative delays. The majority of these children are diagnosed before the age of three, as modern parents have become increasingly aware of the signs to look out for and can take advantage of the strong support network now available for families effected by autism.
Diagnoses for author James Charles, however, was not so straightforward. Having struggled with social interaction and emotional development as a child, he was badly bullied, and found himself consumed with overwhelming feelings of fear and anxiety. It wasn’t until he entered his fifth decade that the diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder proved to be a revelation. It was only after he began to recognize the signs and symptoms of his patients in himself while he was working as a mental health practitioner, that he found the courage to seek out an official diagnosis. Suddenly released from the feelings of guilt, confusion and distress he had experienced since childhood, James Charles embraced life anew, began studying to become a life coach, and finally realized that his autism was, in fact, a gift.
Becoming Unique is a moving and informative account of one man’s journey towards Autism Spectrum Disorder. Whilst delivering practical and constructive advice for those living with autism, Charles also examines the positive attributes of the disorder, which he calls a diffability. Becoming Unique is also a story of faith, as Charles examined his relationship with God and how he made peace with his diagnosis. A rare and valuable first-person narrative about living with autism, James Charles’ story will stay with the reader forever.
Becoming Unique by James Charles was released on Autism Awareness Day, April 2nd 2015 and is now online at retailers including amazon.com and can be ordered from all good bookstores.
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