Awesome About Autism – Guest Blog

Awesome About Autism by Jude Lennon

Two years ago I met Jane Hawkes at a Business Networking event. Jane’s son Will is Autistic and she had founded an online business Seashore No 4 which could offer Will a job once he left school. She was passionate and enthusiastically determined for Will to have a chance to reach his full potential.

Will was also passionate, but in another area – drawing. Jane, Will and I embarked on a project which would allow Will’s passion to develop. Together, we have created a series of children’s books with an autistic main character. Hal was born from Will’s imagination and by careful questioning, I was able to build up a character profile not just of him but of his entire family. The first book Hal and the End Street features Hal as a thirteen year old living with autism in 1974. The book takes the readers through social situations that Hal finds himself in and shows how using strategies can help him to cope with them.
Will 1Hal and the End Street launched on World Autism Awareness Day (April 2nd) 2018. It became an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller in its category and has received great feedback from children, teachers and parents alike.

Although Hal has enjoyed success, the best thing has been the effect on Will. From a shy teenager who avoided eye contact, Will has grown in confidence. Initially Will said he wanted nothing to do with the promotion of the book. He didn’t want to have his photograph taken, be interviewed, talk to people about it. He certainly didn’t want to go on Radio or be filmed for television and there was no way at all he’d be speaking at the launch events. Will has achieved all of these things!Will 2And now we are celebrating the launch of Book Two ‘Hal and the Parties’. Set in 1977, Hal is now leaving school, embarking on a college career and dealing with new friendships as well as a host of celebrations and parties. Will’s illustrations have developed in style and texture and this time he took promotional events in his stride.

Jane came up with the tag line Awesome About Autism because she really wanted to show that Autism needn’t be a barrier to achieving dreams, holding down a job, making friends or being part of society. Will 3Will is studying Art at college (just like Hal) and is hoping to have a career in illustration ahead of him. He has already been commissioned for work. Being the author who had the chance to work with him on this is a real privilege. And we are already looking ahead to Book Three!

For more information about Hal’s Books please visit https://halsbooks.co.uk/
Seashore No 4 is still going and now employs another young person who is Autistic.

Taunton Library

My lovely rep spent this afternoon at Taunton Library, who are showcasing me and my book as part of Autism Awareness Month.  There were bookmarks and word searches to hand to children which helps to catch the parents eye, and the patter goes something like this:

“Hello, I’m the rep for today’s children’s author, Elizabeth Jade, and I’m sharing her book ‘Akea’ with people. It’s a husky/wolf story told through the eyes of the animals. The target age is 7-12, but younger children enjoy having it read to them, and it makes a great light read for anyone who has a thing for huskies or wolves.”

For those without children with them, it was leaflet first and a minor adjustment to the patter.  With older ones, its handy to be able to say that this book makes a great gift for the grandchildren.

Hopefully, there will be some book sale benefits from today at a later date.

taunton library    img002 AKEA HARD WORDSEARCH JPEG

 

 

Awesome About Autism & Mental Health

Here’s a heads up to watch out for my April News which will be out soon. I am excited to have a guest author with an autism connection that I find inspiring, and I hope you will to.

If you aren’t already receiving my monthly news update, then click on the free download tab and register to receive Chapter 1 from my second book which is due out this year.  You will also get to see all the illustrations we have ready so far. I’m getting really excited about this.

I’ve also started sharing #autismquotes and working on improving my #mentalhealth by establishing a veggie patch in my garden to get me out in the fresh air more. I’m looking forward to sharing more on both these topics.

57311575_1707454209399957_7475012608681050112_n   56580500_1700446006767444_3353451155513409536_n   Copy of Autism Quotes

 

 

Autism Awareness Day/Week/Month?

World Autism Day is April 2nd, World Autism Awareness Week is 1st – 7th April, and World Autism Month is just simply in April. Whichever way you look at it, April holds a significance for anyone connected to autism. I guess that’s what comes of being the earliest month to start with the same letter.

April is the month in which people endeavour to raise awareness of autism and to increase global understanding and acceptance of people with autism. It’s also an opportunity for those with autism to share their achievements.

For me it’s being a published children’s author, and in honour of my achievement, my local library are giving me access to a notice board for the whole month of April. This poster forms the top part of my display. It’s a chance to share information from my media kit and to inspire others on the spectrum to reach for their goals.

Autism Awareness Poster

In a way, my main character’s journey echoes my own search for a place in this world, and like me, she finds that standing out as different is exactly what she is meant to do.

I wish every success to all those on the autistic spectrum.

New Posters and Schedule

chard author poster - CopyThe new poster for the author event is out now, and I can’t decide if I like seeing my face on it or not. It is a step up to be included in something like this, but an hours slot for a newbie is quite scary.  At least I’m not the only author for whom this will be a first author event.

My slot is from 1pm till 1:45pm, so please pop along and find out about me as ‘The Aspie Author’, and get the chance to win a copy of ‘Akea’.

schedule

My First Author Event

image

I am pleased to report that I have my first literary event coming up in April. I confess that the thought of it sends me spiraling into a state of panic, so it’s fortunate that I won’t be attending personally.

Between my Aspergers and social anxiety, leaving the house on a normal basis is somewhat traumatic and takes a few days to recover from. So it makes sense that the baton be passed to my mother who will be taking along a Wordsearch and my dramatic readings. At least people can hear what I sound like…

Wish her luck!