FOR Denise Silva and her daughter Natalie, life has been far from straight forward.

When Natalie was a little girl, her mum was worried about her development and, as time went on, it became apparent that something was very wrong.

Denise’s attempts to convince medical professionals were overlooked and, only after insisting on a second option, did Natalie receive a long-awaited diagnosis.

Little did the family know what was to lie ahead.

In a self-published book, Denise has written about her experiences of life caring for Natalie, and her struggle to be heard by the medical community.

Denise, from Ammanford, said her daughter had developed a hyperactive disorder, which led to many hours in A&E, before she started to display Autistic Spectrum Disorder traits, such as inappropriate comments and opinions she felt necessary to share.

Denise merrily recalls many embarrassing moments in her book, including the day Natalie walked up to a total stranger and asked them if they had been ugly as a baby because they were ugly now.

Denise has chronicled her life with Natalie in a book called, ‘Natalie: A Complicated Jigsaw’.

Denise said: “The aim of the book is to inspire other parents, and to offer an insight into the complex issues faced by young people on the Autistic Spectrum.

Denise and Natalie are holding a launch and signing for the book at Ammanford Library on Saturday, August 12.

Jonathan Edwards MP, who will be attending the book launch, said:

“I’m looking forward to attending the book launch and learning more about inspirational journey that Natalie and her family have been on.

“It is difficult to truly understand the challenges faced by those on the spectrum and the families who support and look after their loved ones with some of the struggles they can face.”