Proud South Shields mum pays tribute to 'beautiful and funny' son in new book about autism
A brave South Shields mum has paid tribute to the son she never thought she could have – by featuring him in a new book.
Lauren Davis, 29, has created a story about an autistic snail, and there are two characters in the book to represent both herself and her son Jesse-James Taylor, 2.
It’s her second publication and Lauren first became an author when she published The Scoliosaurus based on her life with a curvature of the spine (scoliosis).
Now Jesse-James is the inspiration for The Rainbow Snail. The book is described as a tale about a snail with autism who meets a friend along the way who helps him on his journey of self discovery.
Lauren said: “I have intentionally covered disabilities and disorders in both books because it means so much to me, and a lot of other people, families and children in the country and throughout the world to share awareness.
"Not only am I a mam of a toddler, I’m also a mam of a child who is undergoing assessment for autism (hopefully diagnosed by the end of this month).
“Jesse, is the most beautiful, funny and quirky little character in the world, but you can see what he has going on inside him, gets the better of him sometimes and it’s so hard for a mother to see.
“He struggles with over stimulation, he has sensory seeking behaviours.”
Lauren is hoping for an autism diagnosis later this month so that Jesse-James ‘can have some treatment (melatonin) to help him sleep as that is a nightmare at the moment.”
Lauren was only 10 years old when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. The condition was so severe, medics warned she would need to undergo an operation within days if she was to have any chance of surviving.
She went on to have a further six operations, including one on her stomach, in a bid to make life more bearable.
Her condition takes a toll on her back. She has pain and chronic fatigue and she said: “Credit to mothers with children with special needs as I know it is really hard work’.
Lauren is combining parent duties with launching her book and doing an official book reading.
She will be at Marsden Road Community Centre for the reading on August 25 where visitors can also buy copies.
Lauren was told she would never carry a baby because of all the ‘metal work’ she’d had on her spine.
But then came the sixth bout of surgery to re-curve her spine and, afterwards, she was given some amazing news. “They said I could carry a baby and I started crying. I was crying my eyes out. It was surreal.”
Jesse-James came into the world in 2020 after a pregnancy in which Lauren had 10 scans before giving birth by Cesarean section at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
The Rainbow Snail is available on Amazon at £6.50 in paperback or £8 in large print.