It began with a boy in a cape. He looks like any other boy but his brain is wired differently. So the kids at school and the people in his community treated him differently, and not in a good way. They were “aware” of autism, but they didn’t understand it. “Better to ignore him,” they thought. “Or make fun of him.” And the boy hid behind his cape and said, “I guess I just don’t matter.”
This was my son’s story but sadly it’s a universal experience when you are on the autism spectrum. Marginalized, stigmatized, bullied and isolated, so many grow up without an opportunity to show the world what they are capable of achieving.
I’m no longer willing to let this happen, how about you?
It won’t come as a surprise to you that my son’s life transformed when I found communities—people, clubs, organizations, schools—who only saw the boy, not a disability. Today, he’s thriving…sharing his gifts with the world and pursuing his dreams.
I asked myself, “What can I do to help empower others on the autism spectrum?”
Tell the stories of autism. What?
Yes, tell the stories of autism…using pop culture to engage and delight the public while leading them to a greater understanding and compassion for those with autism.
I got my family involved.
Our first story, an interactive autistic hero comic book released in the App stores, proved the idea could work. Our storybook app was the top download of ALL apps in iTunes on World Autism Awareness Day.
Parents, teachers, and even kids themselves, told us that the app made a difference. For some, it was the first time they had a character they could identify with and for others it was such a positive way to talk about autism.
We got the community involved.
We rallied our community and over 70 people (you may have been one of them) said, “Yes! We’ll fund your next interactive autism hero comic.” And that’s when it got REALLY exciting.
We became Geek Club Books, a nonprofit with a unique name and a bold mission: EDUCATE the public and EMPOWER autistic individuals and their families. Our heart and authenticity comes from having an awesome autistic team involved in everything we do—comics, articles, public awareness campaigns, essays, e-books and a children’s webisode series.
We amplify our mission through the power of collaboration.
We collaborate with educational specialists and clinical partners to create curriculum and activity guides so teachers can bring the topics of autism into their classrooms.
Our strong media partnerships with The Mighty, Care.com and popular parenting and educational blogs means that our content and resources get shared with millions.
Our impact soared by 207% in 2016.
As of mid-November, over 189,000 people read our blog. Our autism awareness educational tools have been downloaded 105,690 times. Last count, our children’s webisodes, Bluebee TeeVee: Autism Information station, have been viewed 112, 750 times. These numbers continue to grow each month.
We’re giving the world a new narrative about autism.
We’re tapping people into what connects each of us at our core. We all have dreams and life aspirations, even people with autism. Like us, they want to be valued and know they matter. Geek Club Books exists to ignite hearts and open minds to giving autistic individuals opportunities to reach their fullest potentials at every stage of their lives.
Come on the adventure! Join us on the road to change through a tax-deductible donation.
A.A. Milne wrote, “I knew when I met you an adventure was going to happen.” This is how I feel about my son and our family’s journey with autism. It also speaks to the excitement I feel about what we have started (and accomplished so far) at Geek Club Books.
In 2017, we want to expand our programming to include:
- Autism Awareness Assemblies (We already have a list of schools who want us!)
- Mighty League Ambassadors (Acceptance buddy program in schools)
- Mighty League Podcast (Stories to help people think differently about people who are different.)
My husband, Dave, and I believe that Geek Club Books has the power to change how the world sees autism. We cover all administration costs and I take no salary for my work. Every dollar you donate goes directly into Geek Club Books’ programs and paying our autistic team.
- $50 will empower an autistic writer
- $100 will sponsor a classroom visit
- $1,000 will sponsor an episode of the Autism Information Station
- $5,000 and up will help launch our new school ambassador program
In this season of gratitude and giving, I hope that you will include Geek Club Books as one of the charities you support.
Click HERE or the button below to make a donation:
Thank you in advance for giving generously,
Here’s a gift for you: Click here to download our boy in a cape illustration (by a former Disney Films animator) with the A.A. Milne quote. May it remind you that we are all on life’s journey together!