Wellbeing & Health

New series of books for children with autism from inspiring college student

AN INSPIRING student has written a series of books for children with autism.

Amy Le Dain, from Buckley, created Autism and Sea following her own experiences with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and wants to help young people to better understand the condition.

The 27 year-old is currently studying Sound Engineering and Music Production and has put together a short, animated book based on her first offering – The Adventures of Finn, Ollie and Astrid – for staff and students at Coleg Cambria Yale in Wrexham to enjoy from 1pm-5pm on Friday May 21.

She plans to write more tales in the future having also released a second, I Shine Differently.

“I spent many years feeling different and not really fitting in anywhere,” said Amy.

“Then I received my autism diagnosis and for the first time I understood, I understood why I reacted differently to other people and did the things I did.

“I want to help other people in that position and came up with these characters to portray the challenges autistic people – especially children – face every day. There wasn’t a book like this when I was a kid, and I wish there had been.”

She added: “Sometimes everyday life is an adventure and being seen as different should be celebrated. I hope the books help children to understand themselves, and for non-autistic children to understand better what it means to be autistic – it’s for everybody to enjoy and learn from.

“The characters Finn, Ollie and Astrid all experience autism differently; we explain how and why – for example, one of them is non-verbal – and issues like gender stereotypes are also addressed.

“The stories are about real life, going to the school or the shops can be hard, and it’s ok to feel different. If the stories can help people to understand that I’ll be so happy.

“The response has been amazing, so I’m really pleased and thankful to everyone for their support.”

The animated version of the book will be shown at the new theatre at Yale, produced with voiceover artists.

“The whole idea came to me during lockdown, and the characters came before the concept,” she said.

“At the time it was a way to keep busy and active, so to get to this point, having sold hundreds of copies – with more books in the pipeline – is just incredible.”

Josh Roberts, an ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder) and Support Mentor at Cambria, praised Amy for the imagination and effort she has gone to in helping other people with autism.

“Amy is such an inspiration, the books are amazing and will be a valuable resource for families and I’m sure primary schools and children for many years to come,” he said.

Visit www.autismandsea.com or follow @autism_sea on social media for more on Autism and Sea.

For more on the wide range of courses available at Coleg Cambria, visit www.cambria.ac.uk

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