My son has a good friend who has autism. The boys meet once a month or so to visit museums, eat out, attend concerts or play at the park. They don’t talk very much when they see each other, but when they do, they make moments to remember. Maybe that’s why they ask for each other.
Shoreham mother Lyn Fontinell says she wishes such relationships between typical children and those on the spectrum would blossom more often. It is one reason she has written a book, “Hi, My Name Is Frankie.”
The new, illustrated, self-published 29-page book, available for $12.99 through Amazon.com, is about her son, now 10, who sometimes has trouble making new friends with other children. “I really wanted them to see Frankie for who he is, which is a typical kid underneath,” says Fontinell, 47, a stay-at-home mother who used to work in retail. “Besides the rocking back and forth, the stimming and waving his arms around, he loves video games, and cheeseburgers, and to hang out.”
The book is meant to be interactive. “I do OK in math and writing, but my favorite subjects are reading, gym, music and art,” says Frankie in the book. On the opposite page, the book asks, “What are you favorite subjects at school?”
With so many children being diagnosed with autism, “I really found that there was a need for kids to start to understand what they’re seeing,” Fontinell says.