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Sooke author shines light on autism in new children's book
Goldstream News Gazette - 4/9/2021
A Sooke woman is bringing awareness to autism through her newly published book.
The book, titled Greyson's shoes, is about a preschooler with autism and the expectations his father has of him. Author Beverley Elliott says the story is based off a silly incident with her grandson, Greyson, and ends in a heartwarming way.
"My grandson is autistic, and the goal is to eventually have this book become a tool for educators, parents, grandparents, caretakers and so forth, to use as a stepping stone to discuss the challenges these individuals have," said Elliott.
"And through awareness, become more accepting of people that have autism, and help make the world a better place."
Elliott, a retired pediatrician, said autism is very prevalent, affecting one in 66 people between the ages of five and 17 in Canada.
"Every one of us will come in to contact with autism at some point. I think for the most part, there is too much emphasis on the differences between neuro-typical and autistic people, and I want to have those differences appreciated and validated," said Elliott, who also writes a blog about autism on her website.
"There's been so much negativity around it, and I think it is good we are all different. These differences should be honoured, and I think with more understanding, we can better embrace people with autism."
Greyson, who is now 15, has read the book and "giggled the whole way through," Elliot said, adding he thought it was funny to see a book written about him.
"I wrote it many years ago with the intent of publishing, and had to find the perfect illustrator," said Elliott, noting her friend Anna Costello created the artwork for the book.
"The illustrations are dynamite. They are so good, that every time I look at a page and see all the tiny details – the expressions on the characters' faces – I smile and laugh."
This is the first book Elliott has published, but she intends to create more in the future. She said a second book, titled Grammy's Suitcase, is already being planned.
"I love books, I've been reading to my kids and grandkids since they were born," said Elliott. "I think funny little stories are a wonderful way to stimulate learning."
To read more about National Autism Awareness Month, go to goldstreamgazette.com/tag/autism-awareness-month.