Callum's story

Navigate through each photo below by each chapter of the book to gain an insight into Callum's backstory and how his successful self-development journey has allowed him to accept his autism.

Chapter 2

Callum's Diagnosis and The Support He Received

Me as a toddler

Callum as a toddler

Callum's parents knew something was different about him from an early age. He wasn’t as aware of his surroundings as he should have been and he didn't speak until he was 4.

I was getting ready for a cricket match when I was playing in the junior team

Playing sports at a young age

A lot of people with Autism shy away from playing sports. However, Callum's dad encouraged him to get involved and Callum ended up playing Cricket along with Football and Rugby throughout his childhood.

Chapter 3

Childhood Experiences

Me and Nan on Bonfire Night

Nan

Callum with his grandma. However, she didn't like to be called grandma so Callum's family called her 'Nan' instead. She also didn't like people to know her age.

Pops playing cricket

Pops

Callum's grandad. His family referred to him as 'Pops', which fitted well with 'Nan'. He was a brilliant cricketer and there was the rumour that he once bowled out the great Geoffrey Boycott in a charity match.

Me, my dad and my sister on the sundeck of the ferry to Norway

Overnight ferry on the way to Norway

Callum and his family enjoying the sun as they sit on the ship's top deck. They took the ferry from Newcastle to Norway's Kristiansand. However, this particular route sadly closed and Callum has not been to Norway since 2008.

A view of the jetty, boats, hills and sea from our hut

Callum's view of the sea in Norway

Callum's destination was Tromøya, an island off the south coast of Norway. This was his view of the sea from his log cabin. He loved going fishing and barbecuing his catch for tea.

Me and my sister on the jetty with the boats in Norway

Callum's sister

Callum and his sister posing for the camera on the Jetty in front of the boats.

Me with Omi and Opi when I was very young

Omi and Opi

Callum's German grandparents. 'Omi' is German for grandma and 'Opi' is German for grandpa. Omi is still alive and well, but Opi died in 2017.

Me, my sister, my cousin and Santa in front of the Christmas tree in Germany

Christmas in Germany

It's a tradition in Germany for Santa to visit houses on Christmas Eve and hand out the presents. Opening presents the night before everyone in England was always something special for Callum.

My two guinea pigs that I had when I was younger

Callum's Guinea Pigs

The one on the right was Maxxie and the other one on the left was Toffee. Toffee was Callum's favourite as Maxxie always used to bully Toffee.

My Gerbil I had when I was younger

Callum's Gerbil

Callum's Gerbil, Bobby. He was truly a character.

Chapter 4

Specialist Interests and Making Conversation

My sister is Bob The Builder and I am in a Ferrari race suit supporting Michael Schumacher

Wearing a Ferrari race suit

Callum's neighbours lent him their son's old Ferrari race suit to watch his first ever F1 race in 2001. It started Callum's dream of becoming a racing driver and he's had a soft spot for Ferrari since.

I was sitting on the couch surrounded by boxing gloves and pretending to be knocked out

Out on the canvas

Callum used to playfully box with his dad and sister and he had the idea of pretending to be knocked out. It wasn't until a few years later that boxing became one of Callum's specialist interests.

My dad and I posing for a photo off the beach in Spain

Callum and his dad on a Spanish beach

Thanks to Callum's dad, he was lucky enough as a kid to travel to many different countries around the world. These opportunities along with hearing Pops' stories, started Callum's specialist interest in travelling.

Chapter 5

Choosing the Right School

I was getting ready for my first day at Fulneck School

Callum's first day at Fulneck School

Callum was dressed in his blazer and ready for his first day in high school in September 2008. He was so nervous.

Me getting to go on my Rugby trip to Barcelona. I was very nervous

Callum's Barcelona trip

Callum's school organised a Rugby trip to Barcelona in April 2010. He was nervously waiting outside for the coach, which took him to Liverpool airport.

Chapter 6

Following Dreams

My mum and I were standing at the side of the Renault RS25, the car that took Fernando Alonso to a first world title

Callum and his mum at the side of a championship-winning F1 car

They stand at the side of the legendary Renault RS25 that took Fernando Alonso to his first driver's title and Renault to their first constructor's championship in 2005. Callum did work experience with the Lotus F1 team factory in June 2012 and it was a treat for him on his last day.

I get ready to drive a Ginetta racing car at a testing day

Judgement day

Callum fastened his helmet and seat belt before taking to the track in a Ginetta race car in July 2012. It was the day he found out whether he was good enough to become a racing driver or not. It was an experience of a lifetime, and Callum knew then that racing was not for him. At least he tried and wouldn't have any 'what-ifs' in the future.

I was with a few of the Lotus mechanics before the 2013 British Grand Prix

Photo with the Lotus F1 Team mechanics

Lotus invited Callum for a day trip to Silverstone before the 2013 British Grand Prix. He got tours of the paddock and pit lane before having lunch in the motorhome. He got chatting to a few of the mechanics in the afternoon and took the photo above. They were all great guys.

Chapter 7

School exams

I was posing for the camera on GCSE results

GCSE results

After a rollercoaster of emotions, Callum passed his GCSEs in August 2013 with 9 Bs and 2 Cs.

Me and Innocent Drinks co-founder, Richard Reed

Looking innocent

Callum met Innocent Drinks co-founder, Richard Reed, in January 2014 while attending his first ever networking event. Richard gave Callum the following advice: “use your business to promote autism. Make people aware of your condition.”

Me, my sister and dad posing for a photo in front of the Death Valley sign

Death Valley

Callum and his family did a California road trip in July 2014. One of their stops was at Death Valley, which was one of the most extraordinary places Callum had ever visited. The temperature was 50 degrees celsius (122 degrees fahrenheit) when this picture was taken.

Chapter 9

Early Stages of Adulthood

My first car - blue Ford Fiesta Style

Callum's first car

Callum bought his first car soon after passing his driving test in July 2015.

My sister and I in a cable car that took us to the top of the Alps in Austria

Callum's first holiday after becoming an adult

Callum turned 18 the month before, but he was still a naïve, scared boy at this time. His holiday in Austria in July 2015 helped him to be calm and relaxed. Callum gradually became more of an adult in the next few years.

Chapter 12

Good Transitions

My parents and I on my University graduation day

University graduation

Callum and his parents proudly smiling at the camera on Callum's University Graduation day in July 2019. He graduated with a first-class honours degree in Creative Media Technology at Leeds Beckett University.

Chapter 14

Rising From The Ashes

I was standing at the Lowes hairpin - the iconic corner around the Monte Carlo street circuit

The Lowes Hairpin

A special moment. Callum stood next to the most iconic corner on the Monaco street circuit in July 2019.

Me coding an accessible website in summer 2019

Coding a website

Callum was regaining the confidence he lost in his bad employment experience by working away on coding his first client websites during the summer of 2019.

I was about to be interviewed on the Stephanie Hirst Breakfast Show for BBC Radio Leeds

Callum's first radio interview

Callum was invited on the Stephanie Hirst Breakfast Show for BBC Radio Leeds in December 2019. He was super excited but nervous at the same time. Stephanie was great. She made it feel like Callum was only talking to her, which eased the pressure he was feeling. It wouldn't be the last time Callum would be on the radio, though, as he was invited again in early 2021.

I was doing a presentation about Autism for 4Networking

Presenting about autism

Callum was asked to present about living with autism for the networking group, 4Networking, in December 2019.

I was presenting to employers at the free workshop, Neuropool

Free employer workshop

Callum held a presentation in the following month as part of a free workshop he temporarily ran. The workshop had the purpose of helping employers to understand how they could support their autistic employees to perform at their best.

Chapter 19

Self-Development

Me and my mum have won a few awards in our time as business partners at KreativeInc Agency. This photo shows us holding the Digital City and Genius Within awards.

Winning awards at KreativeInc Agency

This picture was taken after Callum won the 2021 Digital City Young Leader of the Year award. His mum is also holding the Genius Within Neurominority Achiever of the Year award, which Callum won the month before. He was truly grateful to win both awards to help promote KreativeInc Agency.

Me and my mum having a KreativeInc Agency meeting.

Callum and his mum having a productive discussion

They were in the co-working space of the Northern Affinity while having their meeting and as you can see, they were enjoying themselves a lot.

Me and my mum wearing GAAD t-shirts for Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Callum and his mum were wearing t-shirts for Global Accessibility Awareness Day in 2021. It's an annual event that focusses on making websites easier to use for people with disabilities and impairments.

Me and my mum presenting about website accessibility at the Grove Hotel in Watford.

Callum's presentation at the Grove Hotel

In March 2022, Callum and his mum were invited to present at the prestigious Richmond Digital Marketing conference at the Grove Hotel in Watford. They discussed why website accessibility should not be a tickbox exercise but a crucial component of any business.

Chapter 20

Seeing the Light

My family and I taking a selfie in Central Park in New York

New York

Callum and his family went for a trip to New York in July 2022. They took one of many photos on their visit, but this one always sticks with Callum as he and his family were at their happiest.