A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chicken Boy!

"I have a superhero inside my head. I call him Chicken Boy"

You might remember back in February when I dared to ask the question "what does the Easter Bunny have to do with special needs?"  Well, my friend Lisa didn't win the contest, but they're publishing her book anyway!! Cool, huh?! The winner of the contest was Greg Allen whose book is called Chicken Boy: The Amazing Adventures of a Superhero With Autism.

I reached out to Greg, hoping he'd share his experience being affected by someone's Autism and writing such a great story to share with the world. 

"The story was based on my ten year old godson who I spend every Wed. night with going to his favorite restaurant with his mother and sister. Because of him, I became much more aware of autism over the years. His sister and I started making up a story one night about our little 'superhero' and that grew into this book. It was important for me to tell it from the child's perspective and I'm so aware this is but one story (one small story) on the large line that is autism. A friend told me about the MeeGenius author challenge and I joined 400 other manuscripts that were entered last fall.

By no means am I saying this is how all children react, but this is how the one in my life does and he means the world to me. I've received wonderful comments all through the voting process with the MeeGenius Author Challenge from people in the autism community that read the story. It was sometimes overwhelming and yet humbling to hear how the story was touching people. 

Winning the People's Choice Award came with publication of the digital book by MeeGenius, a $1500 prize and a library of the MeeGenius books being donated to my godson's school in New Jersey. So many people were asking me if they could get the book in print, I knew it was important to do just that. So I went to an indie publisher (who has published my adult books), took my prize money and used it to get the illustrations and layout design fixed to create a 32 page picture book that I could hand over to this publisher (as they had yet to go down the road of publishing children's books). But now I can give readers the choice between digital and print. And I'm so grateful to MeeGenius for the platform they gave me during the voting to come in contact with so many autism organizations. #TeamChickenBoy took to social media and were able to make contact with so many. 

People can go directly to the MeeGenius site to download the book here: http://meegenius.com/challenge/winners/
And the print book will be available later in April from ASD Publishing: http://asdpublishing.com/childrens-titles.htm

Thank you so much, Greg, for writing this story and reminding people that those with Autism aren't to be feared just because they're a little bit different; and that inside every kiddo with ASD is a superhero!!

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