Share a young High Functioning Autistic boy's journey.
Support your child to know that a diagnosis is not who they are...they are bigger, and more special than the Thing.
Children's Special Needs Education
||Ipswich, United Kingdom
||7 publishers interested
The boy was just a boy...but he had a Thing.
Journey with your own child beyond the maze of a High Functioning Autism diagnosis into the realities of living with HFA. Help your child to understand that HFA is not who they are...that they are bigger than that - they are special..and will always be so.
A short story with the flow of a poem, beautifully illustrated on every page with autism-friendly comic style pictures.
The text aims to bring to life the experience of HFA through the eyes of a child diagnosed with it - but to emphasise that HFA can mean amazing things...and need not overshadow the child.
This book is not a guide or a 'how to...' but a story to be shared between parent and child without the imperative to learn or be informed.
Parents of children aged from 5-12 who are experiencing High Functioning Autism or related conditions such as Sensory Processing Disorders, Aspergers, ODD or as yet undiagnosed behaviour issues in this field.
Schools - either mainstream or specialist looking to support children in managing their own sense of self either post or pre-diagnosis.
Professional - working with children who need support
Rachel has never published a book before...but has been writing in various guises for many years.
From a background studying Psychology, working as a Psychodynamic Counsellor, running a local pub whilst learning NLP - and then as a consultant for over 15 years. Rachel has used her days training, facilitating and coaching in leadership and emotional intelligence to hone her ability to put into words what others are struggling to understand or verbalise. She has written articles for professional publication (Selection and Development Review 2004), countless proposals and interpretative reports for her client and she has recently composed a comprehensive online learning platform for adult resilience development. Rachel writes an occasional blog on her reflections from consulting and life at https://racheljackson.wordpres...
As a traveller she has also captured her journey across Asia in a number of carefully crafted blog posts at https://racheljacksontravel.wo....
As a mother she continues to work as an independent consultant alongside a difficult journey self-teaching in Autism, Aspergers and Sensory Processing as a support to her son Leo who is now 7. Drawing on her own training to navigate through the maze of diagnosis, and currently grappling with the education system, Rachel has built up a broad knowledge and a far deeper wealth of personal experience in the very personal, at times painful and often amazing experience of bringing up not only a young boy with High Functioning Autism, but also a younger brother who loves him desperately and is struggling to understand why he is different.
I have already contacted two publishers directly with a submission - Hinton House and Jessica Kingsley who are specialists in this area.
I have joined and posted on a wide range of specialist ASD/HFA/Autism online Facebook groups of which I am a member to ask for recommendations, support and advice on moving this project forward as well as posting a similar request on my own profile page.
I have set up a Facebook page and post regularly and have over 600 likes in the page and a constant stream of post-likes and shares. Over time I would like to develop the Group attached to this with worksheets and exercises that I have used with my son.
I have also tapped into my own personal and professional connections to broaden my reach
My niche is relatively specialist and I have as a result also approached both the National Autistic Society and Chris Packham's agent to explore potential publishing options or endorsement from them.
As someone who has been consulting and training independently for nearly 10 years, I live already in a world of word of mouth sales, networking and connections. I intend to apply this same learning - plus some specialist expertise - to get this book into as many Autism homes as I can.
Kari-Dunn-Buron –When my Worries get too Big, Jul 2013. £13.50
A relaxation based book for children who suffer from anxiety – not ASD specific and providing useful techniques and exercises.
Matt Friedman - Dude – I’m an Aspie, Aug 2012, Price varies.
A cartoon based book providing a humourous ‘sideways’ look at Aspergers. This book again does not provide advice or a guide – it is fun and descriptive but without sentiment.
Tamar Levi & Gloria Dura-Vila -My Autism Book, Blackwell, Dec 2013. £9.99
A beautiful book that I have tried to read with my son – it is more focussed on explaining his diagnosis to him and helping him to identify some of his symptoms and strategies he might use to manage them.
Blythe Grossberg – Asperger’s Rules!: How to make sense of School and Friends, Jun 2012. £6.99
A fabulous book for older ASD kids with loads of examples, quizzed and exercises to help kids navigate social and behavioural issues.
My book is not a guide. It doesn’t deliver advice. It is the kind of book a parent and primary age child can read together a bedtime story with no pressure to DO anything or learn anything or understand anything. It comes from a space of caring acceptance and trust in time and growth – more like a poem. To me – it is very personal as all the examples come from real life and I think this, coupled with its story-based structure – makes it highly accessible and attractive to both parent and child.
'Once upon a not that long ago, there was a boy.
It could have been a girl…but it wasn’t. It was a boy.
This boy was special. Not more special than his brother. Not more special than other boys for that matter, but special nonetheless.
What, I hear you ask, was special about this boy? Well…
…this boy had a THING!!!
The thing was called ASD by the big people. But to the boy it was just a thing.
Sometimes he could forget completely that he had this thing…and so could the big people.
When they forgot, they would treat him just like any other boy.'
'Sometimes these things would go OK…or even really well. The big people would be really happy…and so would the boy.
But sometimes they didn’t go so well…because half way through doing them the THING would happen.
The boy couldn’t control the thing very easily at first.
It made him feel dizzy and want to spin…
It made his tummy go all bubbly inside…
….and his head go all busy and messy.
His ears would sound too loud…
…or everything would be too bright, or too fast, or too complicated.
When the THING happened the boy would sometimes do silly things he didn’t mean to.
He might flap about or bump into things…
He might make odd noises that other people said hurt their ears…
He might even run away – or hide…'
'Soon he would be so much bigger that he would be in charge of the thing. He would be able to choose whether he did the nice things …or the things that made him feel lonely or angry.
The thing would just be a THING
He would always be a boy…
…and he would always be special.'