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A Bowler Hat and Bow Tie in the Bath by Valerie Simpson

About the author

Valerie Simpson recently retired as Vice Principal of Cambridge Tutors College in Croydon, where she was a senior manager for 17 years. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and her previous post was Head of Chemistry and Careers at Old Palace School in Croydon. She is also a Member of the Association for Science Education, an Associate of the Institute of Educational Assessors, a school governor with responsibility for education and Child Protection, an Inspector with the British Accreditation Council for Independent Further and Higher Education and a member of both the Association of School and College Leaders and of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. For 12 years she was a Senior Examiner and Principal Moderator in A-level chemistry with the examination board Edexcel and now works on a casual basis as Principal Scrutineer and Script Reviewer for the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, the UK education watchdog.

Her career in education spans four decades and yet it was only two years ago that she realised she had an autistic husband and had also probably taught a large number of autistic pupils during the last 40 years. Mike's eccentric, obsessive and ritualistic behaviour had been intriguing, frustrating and irritating at various times but neither he nor she knew that he had Asperger's Syndrome. That revelation has been life-changing and having joined the National Autistic Society and researched the condition, Valerie has written this book in an attempt to raise public awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Since Mike's diagnosis and the declaration of his condition to his employer, he has been treated with respect and valued for what he can do rather than ridiculed for what he cannot do. How many other adults are out there without a diagnosis and not knowing why they find life so difficult? Valerie wants to open people's eyes so that they might see in their friends or family (or even in themselves) the patterns of behaviour that indicate an ASD and seek appropriate support.

Her book is available to download and you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this on your computer, please use our advice page.