Palo Alto, CA — A senior from Gunn High School who was diagnosed with autism has successfully published her own children’s book. Inspired by Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, and an English class assignment based on it, Emily Nelson decided to create a book to channel her struggles from having autism.
The book, entitled “Autism+Awesome=Autisome”, reflects on the many struggles an individual with autism has to deal with– including bullying, insecurity, as well as the hardships that come with autism therapy. The book revolves around a superhero named Justin Quinton, whom Emily named after her boyfriend, Justin Quigley, who also struggles with autism himself.
In the book, the superhero Justin possesses super powers that allows him to calm people down through a rainbow-colored glow that emerges from the palm of his hand. Justin also helps people with autism become higher functioning, and helps organize fundraisers and charities for those who can’t afford autism therapy.
Emily dedicates her book to Quigley, saying,
“He showed me that having Autism doesn’t make me less of a person, it makes me special instead”.
“Autism+Awesome=Awesome” just had a book launch Sept. 20, and is already available on Amazon.
Emily hopes to attend the University of Nevada next fall despite the drawback she experiences with Gunn High’s academically competitive environment which she said limits her from taking more advanced classes.
The original article by Elena Kadvany on the Palo Alto Online website can be read here