books give us knowledge & power
Hello dear friend,
As you might know I am very passionate about autism awareness since I have am autistic son, and today I bring you a story that filled my heart with joy. I wrote my middle grade series Risho & Kaia based on my children in the hope that adults, teachers and children better understand what autism is. By the reader putting themselves in the main character’s shoes, it is a fun and engaging way of creating empathy for the character and learning more about it. A dear friend that read the book recently reached out to me and told me this story:
Aggie, I wanted to share a store with you because I immediately thought of you when it happened. As you know, I continue to work at the Black Canyon Visitors Center. This morning, because of Labor Day weekend, the store was unusually busy and crowded. In spite of the high noise volume, I could hear high, piercing noises being made by an eight year old child. You could tell visitors were getting irritated with the child and his persistent noise. The mother was allowing the child a lot of freedom in the store and was not in his close proximity. Along with the noise, he would often grab our stuffed animals and toss them into the air. I immediately knew the child was autistic. I overheard one of the older male visitors turn to his friend and say, "That kid needs his butt beat!" He didn't realize the youngster's mother was close by. She quickly informed the man, "My son is autistic". After the men left, I discreetly approached the woman. told her I was a retired teacher and apologized for the man's insensitivity and for not being aware of autism. Long story short, we had a delightful and long conversation. It made me more aware of how many families can often bear a burden having to explain things to absolute strangers. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned you, your children and your book and how you wrote this as an attempt to make adults and children more aware of how an autistic child views the world. She was very interested in the book. She said she will definitely be ordering your book online. It was a wonderful thing to know that "my friend Aggie'' has written something so important that other families can feel solidarity and strength in helping the world know more about what their children deal with. HUGS to you and the family!
Of course as I was reading I was wiping way from my cheeks tears that were rolling down. Not only because I could feel the pain from the little boy’s mother but I felt so proud in giving the tools and a sense of awareness to my dear friend in spotting the child and understanding that his “inappropriate” social behaviour had nothing to do with a lack of parenting but because of his condition.
This is a great book to read at home with your child, for homeschool or to read in a classroom. With discussion questions after each chapter it opens up communication on the subject.
Check out the books here Risho & Kaia book series