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Churchill promotes autism awareness with student's book

“A is for Autism.” That is the first line in Daniel Rosengard’s children’s book titled, “The ABC’s of Autism.” The Churchill High School senior wrote the book when he was just an eighth grader—that’s already amazing—and he got it published, which is more amazing.

Books are meant to be shared, so when it came time to take part in a community service project, Rosengard and his fellow FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) club members took the children’s book on the road April 29-30.

The students and their sponsor, Dawn Wales of Churchill, paid a visit to Oak Meadow and Harmony Hills elementary schools to read to KIN (Kids’ Involvement Network) students. The nearly 40 KIN students at Harmony Hills were broken up into groups as they learned what autism is all about, with each letter of the alphabet representing a different aspect of the neural development disorder.

“I thought because April is Autism Awareness Month, we could go out to local schools and our group can explain to kids what autism is,” said Rosengard who was inspired to write the book after meeting his best friend’s brother, Matthew, who had a severe case of autism. “I talk to him almost every day, through Facebook and social media. We talk all the time.”

Rosengard’s book doesn’t just describe aspects of autism, but also clears up social stigmas affiliated with the disorder by encouraging the reader to embrace our differences and not judge each other.

“It feels great to know that I can change someone’s view [of autism]. And the fact that it only takes one person to find a cure and that the one person I tell might be the individual who finds the cure,” said Rosengard.

The FCCLA students that took part in this event were: Macy Baumann, Katie Buckley, Carolina Calvillo, Zach Collier, Josie Jackson, Alyssa Robertson, Brianna Rocha, Kelianne Sanchez, Rachel Tingle and Alyssa Watson.

Daniel and his friends.Daniel (purple shirt) asks questions about the book to the students. Zach Collier (stripe shirt) also talked to the students about his experience with his brother who is autistic.

Posted on May 10, 2013