Autism Awareness Month 2017: Blog Hop and Giveaway
I’m hopping in at the end of Autism Awareness Month as part of RJ Scott’s blog hop.
There are a lot of facts and myths about autism, but the one truth I come back to again and again as the mother of an autistic son is that no two autistic people are the same. Autism is a spectrum, and that means the reality for two people diagnosed with autism can be very different.
It also means understanding and working with autistic children — or adults — is that much more challenging. I’ve lived with my son Camren for 11 years, and there are things I still don’t understand about his interpretations of the world around him.
I decided that because this blog hop has an “animal theme” and in my effort to continue spreading awareness of the fact that no two autistic people are the same — something I have to constantly remind educators about as a parent — I’d like to give away a copy of my book, Hard Press.
Hard Press is a m/m romance, and it has a lot of funny, sexy parts. It also includes a younger brother with autism. As an author, I worked to capture the concept that not all autistic children are alike. The book brings in a few children who all attend a boarding school for autism, particularly during a field trip to the zoo.
In the book, I believe you can see the ways in which each child is unique. The school is very loosely based on my experiences with Heartspring in Wichita, where my son received outpatient therapy. Heartspring does run a school for autistic people in need of a higher level of care, but I don’t have firsthand knowledge of how it operates.
Therapists who are specialized to work with autistic children and offer early intervention provide an amazing service. My son was completely nonverbal the first time we attended Heartspring, when he was 2 and a half. Within two weeks, his therapist had him speaking words, largely by using picture exchange communication. He no longer needs the visual aid, but it was key when he was developing language. The progress was amazing and we’ve turned to his therapist and Heartspring time and again for guidance because it’s a journey when you live with someone with autism. Every time you think you have the answer to one challenge, another pops up.
It’s important to embrace the special, wonderful attributes every autistic person brings to the world. My son is not a disorder. He sees and interacts with people differently than I do. But most importantly, I try to let Camren be Camren.
Enter to win a copy of Hard Press
Hard Press is hardly an educational literary piece. It’s a fun enemies to lovers romance. But I hope its few scenes about autistic children will help spread awareness just a little bit farther.
Comment on my post to enter a drawing for Hard Press! This book is part of a series, but it can work as a standalone.