LOS ANGELES - April is National Autism Awareness Month and a young author is hoping to spread awareness through a new book.
"The Color Orange," written by Me'Chele Sevanesian explores the world of Robbie, a young boy navigating through school with autism. It's a coming of age story in which Robbie tries to understand how he can be confident in himself, like his other friends with disabilities or neurodiversities.
Robbie uses color therapy to understand emotions and feelings. Each color represents an emotion... red is anger, dark red is a certain level of anger and for Robbie, orange is the color he relates to the most that explains anxiety.
"For example with him sound sensory was a big thing. When the sounds become to overwhelming the color orange exhibited that level of anxiety he felt when everything in the room became too much. And by the end of the novel the color orange becomes the color of content because he understands himself enough that it isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s just who he is," Sevanesian said.
As a speech therapy aid, Sevanesian said she was encouraged by her students to write to book. Her goal is to contribute to the narrative in the disability community and make sure people living with disabilities are included in the conversations.
"I wanted the disability or neurodiversity to come secondary to the person going through there coming of age. Just wanting to fit in, or get along with different types of people and there disability be secondary to that."
Sevanesian included antidotes from Armenia to help further the conversation of living with disabilities.
"I think it was important when I was considering my duties in my culture to make the commentary on disabilities, because my culture isn’t the only one and I feel as if though many people from other cultures can relate to it as being taboo," she explained.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 44 children identified with autism spectrum disorder. Statics show that autism is more common in boys than among girls.
A study conducted between 2009-2017, shows that one in 6 (17%) children aged 3–17 years were diagnosed with a developmental disability, CDC data shows. The disabilities included autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, blindness, and cerebral palsy, among others.
‘The Color Orange" is available for eBook and paperback on Amazon.
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