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No Matter What

£14.99

SKU paperback Category

180 in stock

Description

By Sandy Howarth

ISBN: 9781847477491
Published: 2009
Pages: 280
Key Themes: Autism, mother’s story, education, emotional and behavioural issues and coping teaching strategies and research

Description

I am a mother of a fifteen year old Autistic boy. My child Steven was diagnosed as being severely Autistic with a severe receptive language disorder at two and a half years of age.
My book outlines the first hand experience that has been gained from my son Steven. The book has been written to assist and offer support to families, to create awareness of the subject of Autism and to demonstrate the complexities in brain development by comparing ‘typical’ development with ‘Autistic’ development.

The book covers the diagnostic process, concerns of parents, coping strategies, teaching methods, behaviour strategies, research being carried out on the subject, recognising educational needs, my child’s developmental history and my approach to Autism. It also talks of finding an appropriate educational environment and offers practical guidance in this area. It offers guidance in teaching body awareness, developing life skills, building an understanding of the environment and everyday situations.

I gave up my career as an Interior Designer in Dubai to devote my time to Steven and used my creative skills to produce materials to further encourage his learning. I educated myself on the various strategies and the subject of Autism.

About the Author

Sandy was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to Buddhist parents who were involved in a family owned furniture business. She was the youngest in a family of four children and attended an all girls school. She had a privileged lifestyle where she was completely isolated from any of life’s hardships. Sandy is a descendent of the Anagarika Dharmapala who dedicated his life to spreading Buddhism throughout the world. She was a competitive swimmer and an artist and enjoyed every aspect of growing up in a tropical land.

Sandy worked in the family furniture factory prior to studying Art & Design at Derby Lonsdale College. The family business influence led her to further her studies in Interior Design at The Inchbald School of Design, London. Following her education in the UK she returned to Sri Lanka for a practical training year on a hotel project where she met her future husband. At the end of her training year she moved to New York to further her studies where she graduated with honours from Parsons School of Design. At the completion of her education she returned to Sri Lanka and got married later that year. Following her marriage she moved to London where she lived and worked for three years in hotel design and moved to Dubai for ten years.

Sandy continued her work in Interior Design in Dubai and spent some time in Oman during that time. In April 1994 her first child was born. She thought life was perfect until at two and a half years of age her son Steven was diagnosed Autistic. Her priorities changed where her life became Steven. She abandoned any thoughts of returning to work and decided to teach Steven instead. In March 1999 her daughter Riana was born.

Dubai didn’t have any specialist teaching to help Steven and she decided in July 2000 to return to the UK. Having made many sacrifices to find what she hoped would be a good special needs school provision it soon became evident that his special educational needs were not being met. Following such a let down, she chose to withdraw Steven from the school and educate him at home following a strict home based programme which she delivered herself.

Sandy suffered health issues which took her energy away from focusing on Steven’s education. Having suffered for three years she finally had her health sorted in August 2004 after which she felt that she had been given a new lease of life. She now feels that she has regained her energy to do what is best for Steven and the family.
Steven is now fifteen years old. After continuous struggles trying to obtain the best provision for Steven, Sandy has once again decided to teach Steven herself. She hopes that once Steven makes progress with his learning at home and when she is able to hire extra help to teach him that she will find time to pursue her passion for art and painting.

Book Extract


This has been written to enlighten the public of the immense struggles that individuals and families of Autism and related disorders are faced with. In explaining mental development Autism is observed alongside typical development to further demonstrate the bizarre nature of the condition. Research suggests that the human mind and nervous system remain plastic for a longer period than previously believed and that individuals with Autism are known to develop cognitively throughout their lives.

To manage Autism, learn to first accept Autism, think positively and act positively. Learn to love your child unconditionally, ‘No matter what’ the diagnosis is. This is your child. A positive outlook will gain you the strength, to assist your child in every way. In recognising your acceptance your child will seek assurance from you, which will in turn help create a greater bond between you and your child.

Suggestions are offered to parent(s) who need to find time for themselves too. This will be a hard task at first which can be achieved through patience and perseverance. To bring about achieving any form of progress it is essential to make every obstacle a challenge and treat each step forward as a milestone. Your efforts will offer you the comfort of knowing that you have given your child a chance to reach their maximum potential. Autistic children vary in their behaviour, their level of intelligence and their ability to communicate. Nevertheless, they all fit into the broad Autistic spectrum and they all need help and support.

In the event that your child does not reach the level that you had expected, you can still be assured that you have done the best for your child. It is extremely difficult, almost impossible to predict the future of our children, but what you can do is to work on it now. It is never too late.


19 reviews for No Matter What

  1. Simon Whittaker … (verified owner)

    Loads of insights on the medical aspects of autism and on how to help an autistic child develop to their full potential. The highlight is the section describing Sandy’s own experiences with her son Steven – the traumas, the hopes, the frustrations the love and the fun. Simon Whittaker

  2. Simon Whittaker … (verified owner)

    Loads of insights on the medical aspects of autism and on how to help an autistic child develop to their full potential. The highlight is the section describing Sandy’s own experiences with her son Steven – the traumas, the hopes, the frustrations the love and the fun. Simon Whittaker

  3. Osamu Yano … (verified owner)

    I enjoyed learning the whole subject of Autism and experiences of living with an autistic child.
    Sandy’s personal journey and stories added an indepth understanding into all the issues related to the subject. Great read!! Osamu Yano

  4. Margaret … (verified owner)

    This book is full of advice and helpful information for parents seeking to enrich their Autistic child’s life.An uplifting, inspirational book. I feel that this book is written from the view of not only the writer, but gives one insight into an Autistic child’s world as an Autistic child’s world is a lonely world. The writer has given advice and meaning to help the child interact with others. Without this interaction, the child would stay in their own world unable to let people in. The writer has given personal accounts of battles she has endured to ensure the best care for her child, medically and educationally, and also with coping with the diagnosis of Autism. Margaret

  5. Patrick Weston … (verified owner)

    This is a passionate book outlining the frustrations, difficulties and, ultimately, the joys of having an Autistic child. It illustrates the trials and tribulations that parents unexpectedly have to face.

    On a practical note, it gives a step guide to the UK statementing process and gives good guidance to help ensure that a child’s needs are fully described and met. On the human side, it demonstrates the sacrifices, love and care that the author has lavished to get the best possible future for her son, Steven.

    As the parent of an Autistic child, I wish that a book like this had been available to help guide my family. It is, at times, a very moving book and is one that I would highly recommend to any parent of an Autistic child. Patrick Weston

  6. Andrea Riding … (verified owner)

    “No Matter What by Sandy Howarth gives a vivid account of the journey a
    mother makes from the time when she recognises her child is different from
    others of the same age, through to him being diagnosed with autism – and
    her love, courage and determination as she battles through the bureaucratic
    minefield and overcomes hurdles.”

    No Matter What mixes practical advice with recognised research – but
    overall its inspiration comes from Sandy herself as she honestly portrays
    her drive to ensure the best possible support for her son Steven. Andrea Riding

  7. Andrea Riding … (verified owner)

    “No Matter What by Sandy Howarth gives a vivid account of the journey a
    mother makes from the time when she recognises her child is different from
    others of the same age, through to him being diagnosed with autism – and
    her love, courage and determination as she battles through the bureaucratic
    minefield and overcomes hurdles.”

    No Matter What mixes practical advice with recognised research – but
    overall its inspiration comes from Sandy herself as she honestly portrays
    her drive to ensure the best possible support for her son Steven. Andrea Riding

  8. Ruwini … (verified owner)

    I didn’t know much about autism at all and the insight into ‘their’ world through the authors eyes was helpful to understand the subject. I was humbled and at the same time inspired having read the book. The essence of the book is so captured in the title of the book itself. Ruwini

  9. David Williams … (verified owner)

    It’s instructive and a good insight into living with young people who don’t communicate in the conventional ways and I think the professionals have a great deal to learn from parents and parents should be involved in professional development of all professionals. David Williams (Former Deputy for Education)

  10. Helene Lavenir … (verified owner)

    This book give parents facing the difficulties of caring for an autistic child, hope, courage and the knowledge that there are ways of helping your child. To be positive for you are facing a great challenge but to know you are doing your best for your child. I would definitely recommend this book for all the advice: medical and educational. Helene Lavenir

  11. Gaille Hopkinson … (verified owner)

    I have just finished reading “No Matter What”. I could not stop reading it – it was truly absorbing reading. What an amazing lady Sandy Howarth is. Steven is very lucky to have a mum like her, who wants to help him reach is full potential. I realise how ignorant I was about what parents go through when they find out their child has a disability. It is hard to even imagine actually. I did know that it would be a very difficult and emotional time for parents, but reading Sandy’s book made me really see how much they have had to give up of what we call our “normal life” and take on the full time care-giving of a person with Steven’s challenges. They have my absolute admiration.
    The books full of information that will help parents encourage their child to communicate with others, and I am sure that parents with autistic children will find it an enormous help. Sandy has kept a very good record of all her challenges with Steven and this will give parents facing similar circumstances huge confidence to start on the road to helping their child. Gaille Hopkinson

  12. Patricia Owen …… (verified owner)

    Sandy Howarth author of ‘No Matter What’ is a Mother in a million. Not only has she dedicated her life to bringing up Steven and her daughter Riana, Sandy has established herself as an authority on what Autistic children and their families have ahead of them.
    Since Steven was diagnosed with Autism Sandy has fought tirelessly to achieve maximum input in improving Steven’s ongoing quality of life from baby, to child, to now a teenager to improve his ongoing quality of life both educationally and socially.
    This book is a hugely informative template for all families faced with Autism, and will be able to draw help and strength from Sandy’s own experiences and invaluable research which has culminated in being able to put ”No Matter What” to print.
    This book is a tremendous accolade to her determination and visionary outlook.
    “Patricia Owen”

  13. Tammy Wright …… (verified owner)

    Reading Sandy Howarth’s book No Matter What really highlighted the need for research into Autism and help and support for those whose children are diagnosed with Autism. The struggle Sandy had to initially get a definitive diagnosis and then to get the information and support to help her cope with a child with Autism is heartbreaking. Then the battle to get good schooling and care for Steven simply continued, which goes to show how under equipped the system is to deal with anyone who deviates from what we call normal. This book, I think will be a Godsend for anyone whose child is diagnosed with autism. It has the story of how Sandy and her family have battled and survived Autism and not just survived but come out victorious in many ways and learned to be a happy family with an autistic child. As well as that though it has years of research carefully recorded so that anyone starting this journey has a ready made guide to help them navigate the many different theories, diets and teaching tools that can be used to open up the world of an autistic child and make life easier for their families. I would recommend that everyone should read this book so that we can all gain a bit more understanding of the enigma that is Autism. Tammy Wright

  14. Maria Dias …… (verified owner)

    “No matter What” is an amazing story of a mother’s belief and a powerful message to others in a similar situation. It’s a message to “Love your child and accept them for who they are”, as this is so important for the child’s self-esteem. Sandy is a strong and determined lady and has showed her skills at being a naturally good teacher and a successful parent, by being there for Steven and at the same time a fulltime mum to Riana. “No Matter What” brings hope to parents to be positive and give them confidence to move forward.
    Maria Dias

  15. Orlene M …… (verified owner)

    “No matter what”it is truly a book well worth reading. Sandy is doing all it takes to help Steven reach his heights besideher going through all the tribulations. I have highly recommended this book to the head of the school I work for in Sweden, so that we all can learn from this book which is full of first hand information, to help other children with Autism and their parents in their journey through life. “Orlene M”

  16. Ricky …… (verified owner)

    Fresh energetic insight into Autism “NO MATTER WHAT is an inspiring book that offers a fresh, energetic insight to Autism. The author, Sandy Howarth offers an uplifting detailed account of the challenges she faces in her day to day life. As a teacher the information within “No matter what” gave me an insightful explanation of the condition and offered genuine ideas and understanding to help me within my occupation. The author brings her daily struggles to life as a mother tackles adversity, offering understanding, hope and optimism. Her sincere writing approach helped me realise some of life’s realities and casts a humbling approach to putting “things into perspective” I would recommend the book to all readers. Ricky”

  17. Bruce Daly …… (verified owner)

    “No Matter What” is an owner’s manual to autism. You get the medical and scientific definition and probable cause. You get all the aid and support that the system has available; sadly this will never be enough. Most importantly, you get a whole bunch of good advice and encouragement from a mother who is fiercely determined and focused to help and teach her autistic son to reach his full potential. Sandy’s determination and resolve are steadfast. She is a mother with great courage. She loves Steven as only a mother can love a child who is helpless without her. Autism is becoming more recognised to the world now. It is a problem that needs assistance and understanding. “No Matter What” is well worth reading. Bruce Daly

  18. Karim G …… (verified owner)

    “No Matter Want” gives the reader unprecedented insight into the challenges of caring for a child with Autism. You will feel the author’s determination and intensity as she discovers, challenges and resolves the myriad of problems in raising a child with Autism today. This insight is interconnected with both self-taught and traditional autism teaching methods to give the reader both inspiration and the tools needed to help them understand and support autistic children as they grow. I found my reading experience allowed me to shine a new and powerful light on my understanding of Autism. “Karim G”

  19. Mona …… (verified owner)

    I really enjoyed reading No Matter What. Knowing only a little bit about Autism it gave a great insight to a family who had to come to terms with their son’s Autism and how they coped. Despite all the struggles it goes to show that you can create a supportive and nurturing environment. The book tells you of a story of how one mother has dealt with it all with a positive attitude despite what at times must feel like a constant up hill struggle. It was an easy read and very informative. “Mona”

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