Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I Am Proud of Puddle Jumping, by Alec Frazier and Autistic Reality

The front and back covers to Puddle Jumping, laid out as a sheet. The back cover is on the left, and the front cover is on the right.
My advocacy firm, Autistic Reality, does many things for many people. We do public relations, advocacy, events management, public speaking, editing, and endorsement. Today, I wish to speak to you about endorsement.

It is often said by more radical autism advocates that only an autistic person should be able to write the story of an autistic person. As an autistic advocate, I respectfully disagree. I believe that as long as a person is well-informed, knows right from wrong, and is sensitive to the subject matter, that they may write on that subject. Amber Johnson is one of these people. Myself and my advocacy firm, Autistic Reality, wholeheartedly endorse her book, Puddle Jumping. In fact, you will see our logo on the back of her book, as well as on a special endorsement page within the book.

Amber is the mother of an autistic boy with a great deal of potential. Of course, being the mother of an autistic person does not immediately make you well suited to writing about an autistic person. Amber wanted an autistic persons point of view while writing her book. I had a number of lengthy conversations with her, both online and over the phone. Amber is willing to learn, understand, grow, and change. She embraces new viewpoints, and is quite open-minded. She also has a great sense of humor, which is a must when living on this crazy planet.

Of course, I did not always know this. In fact, I was initially skeptical, believing at first that she was one of the condescending parents who believed that the neurotypical should act in lieu of the neurodiverse. She quickly put those fears to rest. She wanted to know what it was like growing up as an autistic individual. What was my education like? How do I live? Do I approve of her text? Is there anything she could do better? The result was that we both became fast friends, and I not only approved of her book, but I agreed to endorse it.

There are a few radical autistic individuals who have already started trying to tear Amber apart for her book. I have not corresponded with those individuals, so I can't make a judgment myself. However, it seems to me that any complaints about wrongful depiction of Colton Neely as an autistic individual are baseless. There are many types of human being. Within that, there are many, many, many types of autistic individual. Each individual person is unique. I have grown up as an autistic individual. It is my firm opinion that Ambers depiction of living with autism is very realistic. Of course, not all autistic individuals would have a life similar to Coltons. But there is such difference between the various places on the autism spectrum, that I believe there is a place for him on that spectrum. There are over 6 billion individuals on this planet. It is very possible that one of them is living the life of Colton Neely.

And now, a formal press release announcing the book:

We are so excited to be able to announce the arrival of the newest book by Amber L. Johnson, PUDDLE JUMPING.  It is available in both e-book and paperback.

When it comes to love there’s no such thing as conventional.

Everyone thinks Colton Neely is special.

Lilly Evans just thinks he’s fascinating.

Once friends when they were younger, their bond is cut short due to her accident prone nature and they go their separate ways. Years later, they meet again and Lilly learns that there is something special about the boy she once knew, but she has no idea what it all means. And she’s not sure if she’s ready to find out.

When he walks through the corridor of her school the first day of her senior year, she knows that it’s time to get to know the real Colton Neely. The more she learns, the deeper she falls.

Their friendship grows into love, even as Colton does not express it in words. But one decision threatens to break down the world that Lilly has tried so hard to integrate into and she must figure out if the relationship can survive if they are apart.

Amber is a full  time mom, full time wife, is employed full time, and writes when she can. She believes  in Happily Ever Afters that occur every day - despite the obstacles that real life serves up on a regular basis. Or perhaps they're sweeter simply because of them. She always has 2 rubber bands on her wrist, a song in her head, and too much creamer in her coffee cup that reads 'Cocoa' - because she's a rebel. If she's not at her desk, with her boys, or behind the computer, she's supporting live music with her arms raised above her head and eyes closed, waiting for the drop.

Amber's musical suggestion for this book is Ten Feel Tall by Afrojack (ft. Wrabel)

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