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Autism Children’s Book Inspired by 7-Year-Old Nonverbal Boy

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The Waiting Song” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book that gives readers a small look into the world of a child with autism that is set in an inclusive preschool setting.

“The Waiting Song” was inspired by my autistic son, Joshua.

When Joshua was 6 years old he started ABA therapy, and at that time, he didn’t know how to wait for things he wanted. During therapy, we introduced a “waiting” program to teach Joshua that skill. While he was learning to wait, he developed a little song that would help him cope.

It was such an adorable little song I wanted to know where he learned it from. I asked his therapist and teachers if they taught him the song which they all said, “no we think he made it up.” I googled the song to see if it was something he learned off of YouTube and found no results.

Joshua’s love for singing and dancing helped him and gave him a coping mechanism for not getting his electronics while inventing his own little jingle. I wrote the song down so I wouldn’t forget it.

Later that summer, Joshua’s therapist told us her pet hedgehog Nigel died. I thought it would be awesome to remember Nigel and have Joshua as the inspiration for a book character since Joshua and his therapist, Abby, had such a close bond.

I texted my illustrator and asked if she was interested in creating a new series with me where the main character, Nigel, was an autistic hedgehog.

We used animals that are unique and not seen in many children’s books, such as zebras, boars, etc. to show diversity and disability.

The book was picked up by “Future Horizons” and was officially released November 1st, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel.

My hope is that by capturing my son’s song in a children’s book, it will help teach toddlers autism awareness and encourage understanding and acceptance of other children with autism. I also hope the song helps other children with autism cope when they are frustrated.

My goal is to raise awareness for children with disabilities such as autism, one book at a time!

I have received amazing feedback on the book such as:

“The book held Morgan’s attention from beginning to end and that right there is amazing. By the middle of the book she was singing you gotta wait wait wait for it. Amazing job on the book it was spot on, I thought Nigel was Morgan for a minute. Awesome job on the book momma bear and awesome job on the song Joshua” – Jennifer P

Learn more or get your copy at The Waiting Song.

Banner image via YouTube

Originally published: March 30, 2018
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