Aberystwyth’s Olivia Richards is hoping to help others with the release of a new book, and a support group.
The former Plascrug and Penglais school pupil went on to study 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 mother of three children, but despite her busy schedule, Olivia and husband, Chris set up a Facebook support group called Autism Aber.
Their eldest Son, Archie, received an Autism diagnosis at the age of 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.
With Archie happy and settled at Ysgol Llwyn yr Eos - where he received educational support - Olivia decided to document his progress to share with others.
“It can be a funny story, about a new word he’s picked up, or more serious matters regarding sleep and eating habits,” Olivia explained.
“Nevertheless, I feel it important to share, so none of us feel alone.
“As Archie has grown he’s become more confident, his vocabulary has grown and he’ll eat most foods.”
Olivia believes that sharing her family’s journey is what led her to write a book.
In the book, due to be released early next year, Olivia shares even more about her life. She herself suffers with endometriosis and Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), so her fertility journey is documented in the text.
Olivia also discusses Archie’s premature birth at just 27 weeks, and how she and Chris cope.
“The book is relatable to everyone, whether you’re a parent or not,” Olivia said.
“I wanted readers to feel the emotion in one sentence, but then go into a fit of laughter in the next. Everyone can see a part of themselves in this book, so I’m so grateful to L&R Price Publications for helping me bring it to life.
“Fertility, fertility treatment, pregnancy and how one experience can be very different one to another; miscarriage, mental health, educating an autistic child and what to do in certain situations relating to eating habits; sleep, behaviour, communication, transitioning from one school to another. This book has it all, so hopefully people will enjoy it!”
Olivia and Chris live in Abermagwr, Aberystwyth, with their three children Archie, now aged 14 ,and twin girls Roxie and Ivy age 11.
Despite her busy schedule, Olivia has already started her next book, and is available to speak in local schools to help educate learners and teachers in Autism and ADHD.
“I wants other parents/carers/educators to know where they can get her help and guidance,” Olivia added.
“Autism Aber is a thriving Facebook group, as is the newer Instagram group - autism.aberystwyth, so please feel free to join or follow.”