A STONEHAVEN dad will shortly have a children’s story published using illustrations designed to help calm youngsters with autism.
Ross Fraser knows all about the difficulties presented by autism.
He said: ”There is joy and struggle in being autistic coming from the way sensory information is processed. We do not filter sensory input in the way non-autistic people do. We can experience the wonder of sensorial bliss but it also means we can experience the torment of sensory overload.”
Ross said people with autism could have different sensory needs, but often shared triggers. So he has worked with his publishers, Pretty Pug Publishing, to find the right balance in the illustrations.
And it would appear he could be helping fill a gap in the market for parents and children who would enjoy calmer bedtime story sessions.
He said: ”I assumed there would be a range of visually accessible picture books available. What I didn’t realise at the time is that we seem to creating the first – but hopefully the first of many.”
Ross said he believed adjusting the illustrations would reduce anxiety and and help make bedtimes more settled.
”After all, I think we need to be more supportive of autistic children,” he said.
”The truth is they often don’t understand yet what they are reacting to. As an adult with autism, I can avoid triggers, manage my life knowing what is impacting me. When we’re younger we are acting from instinct and that’s why this is so important.”
Calmer bedtimes and a boost for a local autism charity
As well as helping children enjoy reading books, Ross aims to use some of the proceeds of his book to help a local autism charity.
He said: ”I am passionate about supporting autism charities and will be donating £1 to Triple A’s autistic-led autism charity in Aberdeen for every copy sold. Incredibly I have already raised £500 for them in a recent community cashback competition run by Spar Scotland.”
Kaleidoscope by Ross Fraser is due to be published on August 11.