..different, isn’t that wonderful. Some differences are easy to see. For example, different hair colour, eye colour, height and skin colour.’ A quote from my very first book.. We need to celebrate differences visually and those that are ‘hidden‘ if you like. To some of us these needs are obvious, if you are empathetic and have been fortunate to live or work with anyone with a need - you really can see with your eyes. 💝
BLM - In 2020 many in the creative industry amongst everyone in any workplace certainly needed to have a long hard look at what can be achieved, to make the world a kinder place. I for one (whilst writing book 6 wanted to make my books even more inclusive) I had already mentioned a lot about inclusion and differences in book one and I will be carrying it on. Eddie has friends with their own needs too, a friend in a wheelchair who uses makaton to communicate, they understand each other well. Another kind friend here is Ben (pictured here with Eddie too.) There is a lot of meaning behind each character profile and I am so proud of them all. Ben and Eddie speak different languages, but between them they can play with no words! They watch each other, feel what each other need and laugh away. Kids can do this, it’s often a lost skill in some adults, we can learn the most from children.
The Eddie Series - are social stories and more, designed to help children on the autistic spectrum in new environments and different social situations that may have come as a challenge prior to any visual support. With my children only in mind initially, I wanted to raise understanding for them and make their world brighter if I could, but along the way we’ve grown to help celebrate all children and differences. I cannot stand the thought of a child feeling out of place, different or hurt by lack of representation in resources, or any contribution from myself. I know that I can’t make all the difference, but I will do my hardest to achieve that in what I’m sending out into the universe. It’s about being the best version of yourself, and helping others feel understood means the world to me. True empathy comes from feeling something yourself first or experiencing lack. We have certainly felt all of our stories.
From ‘Eddie’s Colourful Feelings‘ (a story about strategies to help with regulating emotions and highlighting that’s its okay to feel however you do) educates other readers in the process too, on how best to support children with SEN and relay an insight to some of the challenges experienced and how it feels for them. So, going forward I will continue to be more conscious with my characters supporting different ethnic backgrounds. As a parent, I have been very sensitive to the thought of my children feeling confused or left out and any child I had ever worked with. I wouldn’t want any child reading our journey to feel that due to a physical/visual/social/ethnic difference too. Kids deserve the best and the more of us to contribute, the better! What a gift 2020 has given us, yes it’s been tough in some ways, not minimising any struggles, but any lessons learned make me feel most grateful. ❤️📚🖊 #autism #autismawareness #specialeducationalneeds #representationmatters #kidlit #goodreads #autistic #autismbooks #inclusion #diversity #theeddieseries #weregrowing #letsgo2021 ❤️