Hello from sunny Southern California!
Since 2000 I have had the privilege of working with students with autism has opened my heart to their unique qualities. As an instructional aide, I am fortunate to spend valuable one-one-one time with students and learn their individual challenges, talents and personalities. I feel that it is my responsibility and honor to share the lessons these students have taught me.
Individuals with autism have so much to teach our young teen audience, however, many are nonverbal and have yet to find their voice. My book is an attempt to help connect the readers to these individuals by providing a new perspective on how an individual with autism might experience his first year transitioning from elementary to middle school.
Imagine spending a year in middle school without being able to talk with friends or even understanding the concept of “hanging out.” This book offers a rare glimpse at life with autism while also opening up opportunities for group discussion. We observe how those who get to know our main character, Nick, learn valuable lessons in acceptance and understanding.
In His Shoes provides a springboard for classrooms, community groups and families to promote discussions about autism and how each of us can support and encourage these individuals. By putting ourselves “in Nick’s shoes,” we will have a fresh perspective on autism which in turn will open doors in our communities for our peers on the autism spectrum.
I hope you will join me on this brief journey with Nicholas.
Joanna L. Keating-Velasco