Our mission is to provide a realistic story about autism that school children can relate to, with the goal of spreading awareness and acceptance toward individuals with ASD.
The doorbell rings and three friends — Linda, Sue and Bella — arrive for a night of movies and popcorn at Kylie and Jenna’s sleep-over party, all of them excited to kick off their April vacation. After greeting each other with hugs and giggles, Linda watches as Chase — Kylie and Jenna’s brother — fidgets with his hands, shaking them back and forth. Chase is also having trouble making eye contact with everyone, making Linda ask, “What’s wrong with your brother?” Kylie stops in her tracks. “There’s nothing wrong with my brother,” she says defensively, “he’s perfect!”
For the rest of the fun-filled night, Linda, Sue and Bella are invited behind the curtain to get a look into the world of autism. With the help of Kylie and Jenna’s parents, they quickly learn that Chase is more similar to them than he is different and — to their surprise — that he’s able to teach them the invaluable lessons of true friendship, empathy and unconditional love.
Steven Manchester is the author of four #1 national bestsellers: Twelve Months, The Rockin’ Chair, Pressed Pennies and Gooseberry Island. His long-anticipated, critically-acclaimed novel, The Changing Season, has just been released. Steve is also the author of the award-winning novel, Goodnight, Brian. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Three of Steven’s short stories were selected “101 Best” for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and he is the produced playwright of Three Shoeboxes. When not spending time with his beautiful wife, Paula, or their four children, this Massachusetts author is promoting his works or writing.
This article was featured in Issue 53 – Working Toward The Future