Columbus students with autism write book - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus students with autism write book

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COLUMBUS, GA -

Recent studies show 1 in 88 children are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

A group of Columbus students are not letting their diagnosis hold them down, and they can now say they are authors after penning the pages of a new book.

The short stories and pictures of animals in A is for Autism were all written and illustrated by students with autism, like 16-year-old Keveran McDonald.  Keveran's father, Mark, says it is overwhelming to see the pages A is for Autism.

"I'm very proud of his accomplishments.  Sometimes you don't think things like this would be possible, but they surprise you.  Just makes me really proud," said McDonald.

Rebecca Gristina, the President of the Board of Directors at Bridges Learning Center in Columbus, a school that focuses on helping autistic children, says this three-year project allowed a group of their students to channel their emotions.

"A lot of the kids struggle with building relationships and friendships with peers.  Traditionally developing peers, and these stories are mostly about friendship," said Gristina.

All of the proceeds from book sales will go back to the school where 75% of the students have some kind of financial aid.  That money will go to close that gap as well as help with therapy for the students.

"We involve our students in hypo-therapy which is horseback riding and water therapy.  We also have a computer program called brain jog which focuses the kids on their eye movement in order to build that eye contact," said Gristina

McDonald says because of this school, his son has a chance to thrive.

"They know how to address his problems and address his issues and best help him whereas other school systems they just can't do that," said McDonald.

"For just $25, you can have your own copy of A is for Autism.  You can purchase a copy at Bridges Learning Center, Kiddie Shoppe, and By Invitation in Columbus. 

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