April is Autism Awareness Month, and I’m very honored to be a part of RJ Scott’s blog hop for this cause for the second year in a row. Anyone who uses their platform to try to make the world a better place deserves our respect, and I want help if I can.
Check out the master post on RJ Scott’s blog where she links to all the other participating authors. Make sure to visit them and read about this year’s theme “Childhood Toys.” If that’s not enough to persuade you, there will be giveaways!! 😀
Autism is a developmental disability. It’s a difference in how your brain works. Autistic people can have good mental health, or experience mental health problems, just like anyone else.
My mother was very sick when I was little. She had (and still has) severe asthma and allergies resulting in very low energy levels. Despite being on medication, she didn’t have the lung capacity to keep a lively toddler busy the traditional way. So she came up with other ways to keep me occupied.
For example, when she was unable to carry me up or down the stairs, she made into a game instead. We counted every step carefully which is how I learned to count, and which is why I’m still counting steps whenever I take the stairs, at age 46. She also taught me how to read at a very young age, and that changed my life forever.
I don’t really remember any of the toys I had. Oh, I know I had them, but I can’t tell you what my favorite toy was. What I do remember is the books. Mom read to me, and taught me how to read, and one of the strongest memories from my childhood is that immense pride that filled me when I read my first book out loud to her, instead of the other way around. It was Flap Your Wings by P.D. Eastman (Swedish title Flaxa med vingarna). I can’t say I remember much about the story itself, except that there was a crocodile egg in a bird’s nest. But that pure joy that filled me when I finished it and Mom told me I had done an excellent job will be with me for the rest of my life.
The books are what I remember most from my childhood and youth. The countless hours spent at the local library. Reading under the covers with a flashlight because Dad yelled Lights out an hour ago but I couldn’t put my book down. All the times my parents sighed and asked me “Why won’t you go outside and play with your friends?”
But why should I? I had everything I needed right there, in my hands. The access to magic and adventure. I had countless friends and got to experience other worlds and discover new things, and learn.
Books and stories are pure magic and can change your life. It changed mine. And now, you and I, and everyone else participating in this blog hop, help to raise awareness for people with autism. Who knows whose life we change by doing this?
If you want to help even more, consider donating to Lindengate, the charity RJ Scott herself supports.
My most treasured toys from my childhood.
Flaxa med vingarna (the first book I read by myself)
Ronja rövardotter (English title: Ronia the Robber’s Daughter. I’m Swedish and grew up on a diet consisting of Abba and Astrid Lindgren – the author of Pippi Longstocking!)
Anne of Green Gables (Anne with an E doesn’t really need an introduction, does she? Which little girl didn’t want to be like her?)
The Great Ghost Rescue (Humphrey the Horrible – a baby ghost – who’s nice and pink and tries to rescue the ghosts, pretty much anything but horrible)
Juliane & Jag (English translation of title: Juliane and Me – a Swedish book about two friends whose interests are vampires and witches. Yes please!)
The Neverending Story (I read it a gazillion times!)
Tell me what your favorite book was when you were a kid. I’ll pick a winner on Saturday May 4th, and the winner gets to choose two ebooks of their choice from my backlist. Don’t forget to leave your email address in the comment, so I can get a hold of you if you win.
Theo and Kieran have been together for five years. They’re very happy…behind closed doors. Theo accepted from the start that Kieran isn’t out to his conservative parents and has a lot to lose if they find out about his sexuality.
But a moment of sadness at a wedding changes things. Theo is faced with a decision: live the rest of his life in secret…or break it off.
Or is there a third alternative?
M/M Contemporary / 4633 words
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