Through the eyes of me was written to capture our beautiful daughter’s development after being diagnosed with autism at the age of three.
After the initial shock of Kya’s diagnosis, and our worries of what this all means to her future had sunk in, we sought advice from professionals to see how we could help make her life better. We went to many autism awareness courses and started to alter our family lives to best suit Kya, and soon we began to see changes in her behaviour and her personality started to shine.
What was once a quiet and subdued little girl, now started to sing along to nursery rhymes at bath time and loved echoing snippets of her favourite cartoons, sometimes repeating whole scenes word for word. She developed an interest in collecting things, such as acorns in the park, and lining them up on the picnic blanket. She developed a fascination with the things she found and would spend ages studying them closely, spinning them around in the palm of her hands, but it didn’t take long for her to pop them in her mouth. We were always telling her to ‘spit it out’.
Kya has lot of energy and finds it difficult to sit still. It’s hard for us to keep up with her sometimes, particularly when we are out shopping and we forget her rucksack with reins. Luckily, we live near some long, sandy beaches and open spaces where Kya can run around in a relatively safe environment, but we still have to keep our eye on her all the time! She doesn’t understand danger so she’s always climbing stairs, railings and on top of kitchen work tops. She is very busy and keeping up with her can be very tiring, but we wouldn’t change her for the world. She is an amazing little girl and this is why I wanted to capture all of her quirks and her beautiful personality so we could remember this stage in her life in years to come.
The book started life as a list of bullet points written down on Kya’s Kindle. It was quite a long list of points, all very positive but lacking interest. So, as Kya didn’t talk I thought that it would be lovely to write it as if Kya was talking about herself.
I showed this to my wife Sarah and we both agreed that it would be wonderful to get the words illustrated and I soon found Hannah Rounding. Hannah instantly understood what the book was about and created lots of beautiful art work which captured Kya perfectly.
Teachers and SEN professionals have told me the book would make a great learning and teaching resource to help towards gaining more autism awareness.
You can watch a video of me talking about Through the Eyes of Me here
Through the Eyes of Me by Jon Roberts, illustrated by Hannah Rounding, is published by Graffeg. For more information about the book visit https://www.graffeg.com/product/eyes-jon-roberts/
You can follow Jon Roberts on Twitter @StrawberryAsd
This guest blog was provided by Jon Roberts. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Federation of Children’s Book Groups.