1. Marian November 1, 2012 at 7:57 pm .

    Hello Ruth,
    I found this post very moving and salute your courage and energy. Inspiring! (I can’t imagine writing a book with young children around, let alone with a full time job and one child needing the intensive care J needs.) I’m very much looking forward to reading Swimming Upstream. And to reading more posts! I’d love to read more stories about specifics of how you manage your life from day-to-day, what (and who!) helps and what doesn’t, where you find space to regenerate, your triumphs and disasters. Lovely to read that Mumsnet helps.

    1. Ruth Mancini November 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm .

      Hi Marian. Thanks so much for the comment. I think it’s feedback like that – the support and encouragement of others – that has kept me going when things have been really tough. I can specifically remember times when the words of a stranger on Mumsnet lifted me out of a fog and inspired me to see things in a more positive light. And there are definitely more posts coming soon along the lines you mentioned!

  2. Anna November 3, 2012 at 7:36 pm .


    I honestly cried when read it.Such a moving story,probably because it’s real… I do admire your strength, both mental and physical! As a new mother I can barely manage my life now,can’t even imagine how you do it all! I can’t wait to read the book,always wanted to write one myself,maybe yours will inspire me;) Will follow your blog to learn more about your life as its extraordinary!


    1. Ruth Mancini November 4, 2012 at 3:12 pm .

      Hi Anna. Thanks so much – I am glad my blog post meant something to you. Being a new mum is hard, whatever your child’s abilities. More posts coming very soon… xx

  3. Helen November 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm .

    Hi Ruth, it was a pleasure in getting to know ‘J’ & his brother, I have some lovely memories of taking ‘J’ swimming, it took a while for him to enjoy it, but when I stopped seeing you all he thoughly enjoyed it!! I hope things are going well for you all, thanks for the updates.

    1. Ruth Mancini November 4, 2012 at 3:13 pm .

      Thanks Helen. You were a huge support to us at a very difficult time … x

  4. Maja Pawinska Sims November 13, 2012 at 9:13 am .

    You’re amazing, lovely lady. I am in total awe of you and this post brought tears to my eyes. You’ve got yourself a rather special family there. Can’t believe you’ve managed to write a novel too – respect!
    Maja x

  5. Sharron Roberts November 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm .

    Hi Ruth,
    I’ve just finished reading you book that Helen lent me. It was a great read and story throughout I really enjoyed it. Keep up the good work and best of luck with it. Really hope it works out for you. You deserve it as it sounds you really work hard for everything.
    Sharron Roberts.

  6. Ruth Mancini November 27, 2012 at 9:20 pm .

    Thank you Sharron, and I’m glad you enjoyed Swimming Upstream!

  7. karen marquick December 28, 2012 at 7:36 pm .

    Thank you for sending me the link to your blog. I was unaware of my sons disability for 4years. This post made me shed a tear, my son is just about to turn 10. Reading your story is a reminder of how far ive come with my son, Samuel. Xxx

  8. wendy February 14, 2013 at 9:24 pm .

    Hi Ruth I think were incredible to write a book with young children about. I also admire the way you help raise awareness of J . I think sometimes you just know that a child is on the spectrum without the offical diagnosis. I am pleased you have found solace online . I know my online friends help me get through some very tough times xx

    1. Ruth Mancini February 15, 2013 at 8:54 am .

      Thanks Wendy. To be honest, all the assessments we had for J were hell on earth. He cried all the way through, and I made a decision not to put either of us through any more. He’s getting the help he needs and a further diagnosis won’t change anything.

  9. Tandy | Lavender and Lime August 12, 2013 at 8:20 am .

    Thank you for sharing your story with us!

    1. Ruth Mancini August 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm .

      You’re welcome! Thanks for reading it.

  10. Joanne August 16, 2013 at 8:28 pm .

    Hi Ruth, I really enjoyed reading Swimming Upstream and look forward to a sequel. My oldest son is on the Autism spectrum, diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at age 16. He is now 18. He had many other diagnoses over the years, Anxiety, social phobia, depression, executive function delays, and sensory dysfunction. I was sure he was on the spectrum by the time he was 7 or 8, but didn’t get the actual diagnosis until he was 16. He is doing well and will hopefully be able to live on his own. Asperger’s is high functioning Autism and while it has it’s challenges, especially socially, he is verbal and quite independent and smart. We will send him off to college in a couple of weeks. It will be his first experience away from home and he is nervous, I am terrified. But at the same time I am proud and excited for him to begin this new chapter in his life. He was awarded a nice scholarship to an engineering program and hopes to become a computer engineer. I know how difficult it is to raise a child who has difficulties like this. My heart breaks for him every day because everything is so much more difficult for him. I also know there is a lot of joy in raising a special child like this.

  11. Ruth Mancini August 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm .

    Thanks for your comment Joanne. The sequel to Swimming Upstream is on its way! I’m sorry to hear about your son’s difficulties but, as you say, there is a lot of joy to be had too. J brings something special to our lives that we wouldn’t have otherwise had. I wish your son the best of luck in his new chapter.

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