I’m honoured and eager to take part again in this year’s blog hop for Autism Month, lovingly initiated by RJ Scott. Around 50 authors will be featuring a fact each day – which you may or may not know already – and sharing their own thoughts on the theme of childhood toys.
Please visit other posts this month, all links are hosted HERE.
And there are GIVEAWAYS too! For mine, comment on this post – or where it appears on my Facebook – and on Wed 10 April I’ll choose a winner for a FREE download of any of my ebooks.
Update 11 April: Congratulations to the winner Jennifer Shannon!
Today’s fact: Most children were still being diagnosed after age 4, though autism can be reliably diagnosed as early as age 2.
It’s in childhood that we first encounter toys – playing with them, sharing them, then one day choosing them for our own children or for friends/loved ones. But toys have a much longer lasting effect. They remind us of happy times, challenging times, frustrating times. The smell, sound, taste of occasions in our life. The touch of the item, the movement, the construction, the application of the parts – not always according to manufacturer’s expectations! And sensory response is tremendously important to many expressions of autism.
It wasn’t long after having each of my children I learned the lesson that a gifted toy should be what the child wants – not what the donor wants to give. And in some cases. that’s an experience rather than a possession. It’s often a struggle to share daily experiences with a child with autism. Their parameters and judgements and responses can be very different from children without autism.
I discovered recently on a visit to the V&A Museum in London an excellent initiative, where they offer the free hire of a backpack full of of various resources, to help a visiting child with autism to enjoy the experience from their own point of view.
They offer a pre-visit guidance booklet, a virtual tour to familiarise yourself with the layout of the Museum, guidance on quiet times to visit, and a Quiet Room to go if the child becomes distressed or tired.
Of course it won’t be suitable for all. But I find it heartening that a major tourist venue is considerate of a special section of its public, and how important it is for children to have opportunities to experience the world in a way that’s suitable for them.
Any way we can help promote and ease the awareness of autism, by formal or informal education, will help to familiarise and reassure people dealing with it.
I contribute to several childrens’ charities, and they’re always grateful for any and all support. I’m really happy to be able to recommend RJ’s chosen charity, Lindengate. This is a mental health charity that works with autistic children and can be found here: https://mydonate.bt.com/charities/lindengate
My New Release – WITH A KICK Collection #2
I had hoped to share with you today the link to the Brand New AUDIOBOOK for this collection, but it’s taking much longer to limp through ACX’s processing than usual, so it’s not there yet :(. I hope you’ll be tempted to look out for it later this month.
Meanwhile it’s available in ebook, in all the usual places.
This collection includes Clare London’s second two charming London-based novellas of the With A Kick series – Pluck and Play, and Double Scoop.
Read the enthusiastic reviews at the individual book pages!
WITH A KICK: A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?
Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout.
PLUCK AND PLAY: Curtis is a cheery young entrepreneur, secretly licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover. Handsome cowboy Riley is stranded in London without money. His consolation is his music, and his fascination is Curtis. Their music brings them together, Riley’s guitar and Curtis’ poetry. But when Curtis is threatened by his ex-lover, Riley intends to be the man to help.
DOUBLE SCOOP: A sudden disaster strikes the novelty ice cream shop, With A Kick, threatening the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, and also his assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick wants is to hurt Lee, but deeply-held insecurities prevent him from confessing his love. And how long will Lee wait to make his own move? Hopefully the disaster brings a new opportunity for them to make a go of things.
Collection No. 1 has also been released, featuring Clare London’s first two novellas, A Twist and Two Balls and Slap and Tickle, and also the two bonus short stories Nice and Snow and Smack Happy. Both Collections will also be available in audio in 2018.