I can relate.
I'm happy to have today's Tuesday Truth provided by Diane Christiansen:
When I was younger, I knew what I wanted out of life: four kids, a dog, and possibly the gift of sleeping in every other Saturday morning. Well, I got the dog and one great boy, my son, Jackie. I’m still waiting for the sleep. One of my strongest memories early on is sitting at the park with my son as he played in the sandbox. He had to be five or six. The neighborhood park was his favorite haunt back then. I could hear a siren coming from a mile away and I reacted immediately, jumping from the bench, racing to the sandbox where he stood with a shovel gripped in his fist, pain and confusion in those blue eyes. As the fire truck raced by, he lost it. He was running and screaming and flapping his arms, trampling over the other two boys standing by the slide in the wood chips. The other mothers looked at me and I could read it all over their faces. How could I possibly allow my child to act like a maniac? Why hadn't I grabbed him and given him a lengthy time-out.
This was the beginning of our journey with Autism Spectrum Disorder. From the start, I was very open about what we were facing, both with Jackie and everyone around me. We made the decision to celebrate it, the good, the bad, and the ugly, and to let it empower us. The one thorn in the rose was the lack of understanding from Jackie’s peers, as well as educators and parents of typical kids, and rightly so. ASD is not always an obvious, in-your-face kind of difference.
Through all of this, SNUB CLUB was born. SNUB CLUB is a book designed for typical elementary school-aged children. It is a way to give them a glimpse into what things like ASD and ADHD might look like on a daily basis. But it’s also a fast-paced story that will keep them engaged. I’ve always loved the idea of teaching kids something on the sly, but the real objective is to introduce the idea of neurological differences to a young audience. The sooner we can get words like autism out to the masses, the sooner they can learn things like tolerance and acceptance.
According to the latest CDC study, autism rates are soaring. Now as many as 1:55 children are diagnosed each year. Chances are you or your children will meet someone on the spectrum. For other children with ASD, SNUB CLUB can be a book that celebrates them and their super-power strengths. For typical children it is a learning tool. For educators, the book is a way to begin a conversation about diversity. I think it’s important to give our kids the information and let them make their own behavioral choices. I find, more often than not, they choose inclusion.
Diane Mayer Christiansen graduated with a Biology degree despite her struggles with dyslexia. She worked at both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University doing genetic research. Christiansen is now a published author writing young adult fantasy and middle school chapter books. Her characters are based around children with special needs such as dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder. She speaks to parents and teachers about learning to celebrate those things that make our children different and her journey with her son and his ASD.
You can find out more about her and SNUB Club at: http://www.jackiejournal.com.
You can purchase SNUB Club on Amazon
~Thank you Diane!