Join in the Conversation in World Autism Awareness Week

A couple from Walmley whose son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) earlier this year have launched a blog to help increase understanding of autism – and they are encouraging other local parents to join the conversation for World Autism Awareness Week.

Marie and Pete Hitchman with their sons Ted (left) and Jeffrey (right)

Marie and Pete Hitchman with their sons Ted (left) and Jeffrey (right)

Schools and businesses across Sutton Coldfield are marking World Autism Awareness Week (27th March – 2nd April), as part of the global initiative to drive awareness of autism.

Pete and Marie Hitchman are also getting involved through the power of social media, thanks to their blog ‘Jeff and the Neurotypicals’, which is already attracting the interest of autism parents, childcare agencies and charities across the country by explaining autism in a way that everyone can understand.

Marie said:

“Our son Jeffrey was diagnosed with ASD and Sensory Processing Disorder in January and whilst it wasn’t a surprise, we’ve had to learn so much in a short space of time to make sure he gets the support he needs.

“We quickly learnt there is only so much support available from the NHS. Instead, the onus is on the parents after diagnosis – but not every family has the time, knowledge or facilities to be able to do that.

“We’re writers by trade so we wanted to put that to good use and do something that will help others. Our blog isn’t a journal of Jeffrey’s life; it’s aimed at those who are at arm’s reach from autism, like parents of neurotypical (non-autistic) children, or friends and relatives of a child with autism who aren’t close enough to learn first-hand. It is intended to be a resource tool to help turn autism awareness into autism understanding, in a candid, relatable and easy-to-understand way.

“We’ve already had some great feedback from all over the country and we’re delighted with the response so far. Now we want to make sure other local families can get involved.”

You can find the blog and join the conversation by searching Jeff and the Neurotypicals on Facebook or visit