An Aberystwyth woman who was inspired by her son to write a book and set up support groups for parents of children with autism has taken her services one step further.

Olivia Richards now hopes to help others by adding additional support when it comes to the education of children with autism.

The former Plascrug and Penglais School pupil studied hairdressing at the local college and gained her qualifications whilst working in Hair by Terry Batchelor, and Thatch, owned by Richard Williams.

She went on to run her own mobile hairdressing business whilst being a busy wife and a mother to three children, but despite having a full-on schedule, Olivia and husband, Chris set up a Facebook support group called Autism Aber.

This was inspired by their eldest son, Archie, who was diagnosed with autism when he was four. He was also diagnosed with ADHD. Olivia and Chris wanted to reach out to other parents, especially in the local area, to support each other.

The journey with autism led Olivia to write a book, and now, as well as running two online support groups - Autism Aber via Facebook and Autism Aberystwyth via Instagram - Olivia has added another string to her bow.

It was whilst writing her next self-help book about autism that Olivia saw a gap that was vitally needed within the Ceredigion area.

After her own son Archie missed weeks of schooling due to staffing levels and finding staff that are trained to support children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Olivia has devised Autism Aber Educational Services.

She said: “I offer a specialised supply teaching service, so if schools are finding it difficult to find the right support, they'll know via my online service and experience, that I won't be phased. With raising Archie and working in education it's my passion to find a way to help an individual reach their goals in life.

“It's also important to spread awareness. One person on the spectrum will be completely different to another, so delivering motivational speaking/training within schools to both learners, staff and parents is vital. What you can learn from a parent is invaluable.”

If anyone would like to contact Olivia, please visit her website:

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