Look who dropped in to celebrate her SECOND book release this year! My friend Carrie Dalby (AKA Wonderwegian) is always welcome here because I love her and her books so much, because she usually brings me some gluten-free cookies, and because she doesn't make me clean up for her visits! ;-) Carrie has written another wonderful, insightful guest post that I'm thrilled to share with you. Here's a little bit about Carrie and her new book.
Born and raised in California, Carrie Dalby has lived in Alabama for nearly two decades but still has trouble with the humidity of summer. When she’s not writing, Carrie homeschools her three kids and splits her time between family, reading, knitting, concert going, and volunteering. Sharing her love of literature for young adults and children is one of her favorite things to do, and her volunteer hours reflect that. Her local church congregation, the Mobile Writers Guild, SCBWI, and the Metro Mobile Reading Council are where she loves to spend her “free time.”
Fifteen-year-old Mary Lou Weber is suffocating in her sister's shadow. Though she struggles to break into the light and claim her own identity—and the attention of the cutest guy in school—something always seems to pull her right back down into the role of Barbara's little sister.
Down the street lives seventeen-year-old Ben Thomas, a lonely introvert who is captive to a sensory condition that makes it nearly impossible for him to stand in sunlight, much less talk to people whom he thinks could never understand his difficulties.
A new year kindles the friendship between a guy who pushes away a world and the girl who’s striving to find her place in it. Can the relationship help Mary and Ben find balance in a world that frequently seems too much to handle?
(Buy Corroded here)
Take it away, Carrie!
*Hands Carrie the sparkly blue microphone again.*
Hopefully you’ve heard by now, but April is Autism Awareness Month. As BLUE is the official color, Joyce Scarbrough is always a great sport in supporting the cause, whether by wearing a blue streak in her hair or dressing in blue—usually both. One of the goals of Autism Awareness is to spread acceptance for people living with autism. Since Corroded touches on some of the peculiarities of life on the Autism Spectrum, I’d like to share a few of the key points in main character Ben’s experience. *Note: Autism is called a spectrum disorder because each person is affected in a different way, to a different degree. Everyone is an individual, and no two journeys are exactly the same.
Sensory issues can be a big deal for people on the spectrum. Many experience heightened reactions to touch, sight, sound, taste, and hearing. While main character Ben Thomas has all of these issues, the main one is his sensitivity to light. Because of this, he doesn’t like to be in direct sunlight and chooses to venture out only at night. Light bulbs are also problematic. Harsh, bright lights like florescent and LED cause headache, eye fatigue, and emotional meltdowns. Avoiding these types of lights is part of Ben’s coping strategy.
In relation to sensory issues, therapeutic pressure and deep tissue massage are often used for calming reasons. Some people on the spectrum are in such an over-sensitive state that they need something strong/heavy to help them feel their own bodies and keep grounded. When Ben gets over-whelmed, he uses a weighted blanket to help calm his central nervous system. This is something we use in my family as well. It’s a simple, drug-free way to quickly relax your whole body.
Routines rule. Unexpected changes to the calendar, uninvited guests, and emergencies that alter the day can be catastrophic to someone with autism. When your senses are often over-loaded and you’re living with near constant stress from everyday situations that don’t bother neuro-typical people, routines are what keep you from falling apart. Ben has a set time he wakes up each day and has his day planned, right down to the nightly walk he takes on the beach. When he meets Mary, a whole new level of chaos enters his world. From deciding when to contact her, to choosing if he’s willing to switch his schedule to hang out with her, Mary is the catalyst for the next step in his self-acceptance and growth.
Chances are you know someone with autism. Reading is a great way to broaden your understanding of different lifestyles and experiences. Please keep Corroded in mind when looking for your next read. It may help you relate better to a peer, cousin, or neighbor. Thanks for hosting me today, Joyce. Catch you in the wild blue yonder!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Carrie!
For more stops on Carrie's tour, click here.
You can also find her all over the Web (She's everywhere! She's everywhere!)
Google +: https://plus.google.com/+CarrieDalbyCox/posts
~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!
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