LOS ANGELES – April is National Autism Awareness Month and a young author hopes to raise awareness through a new book.
“The Color Orange”, written by Me’Chele Sevanesian explores the world of Robbie, a young boy with autism who navigates school. It’s a coming-of-age story in which Robbie tries to figure out how he can be confident like his other friends with disabilities or neurodiversity.
Robbie uses color therapy to understand emotions and feelings. Each color represents an emotion…red is anger, dark red is some level of anger and for Robbie, orange is the color he most relates to and explains anxiety.
“For example, with him, sensory sound was a big thing. When the sounds got too overwhelming, the orange color showed that level of anxiety he felt when everything in the room got too much. And by the end of the novel, the orange color becomes the content color because he understands himself enough that it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s just who he is,” Sevanesian said.
As a speech therapy aide, Sevanesian said she was encouraged by her students to write to book. Its goal is to contribute to the narrative in the disability community and ensure that people living with disabilities are included in conversations.
“I wanted the disability or neurodiversity to come after the majority of the person. Just wanting to fit in or get along with different types of people and the disability to be secondary.”
Sevanesian has included antidotes from Armenia to help deepen the conversation about living with a disability.
“I think it was important, when I was considering my duties in my culture, to make the comment about disabilities, because my culture is not the only one and I feel like many people from other cultures may consider it taboo,” she explained.
According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in 44 children identified as having an autism spectrum disorder. Statistics show that autism is more common in boys than in girls.
A study conducted between 2009 and 2017 shows that one in six (17%) children between the ages of 3 and 17 have been diagnosed with an intellectual disability, according to CDC data. Disabilities included autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, blindness, and cerebral palsy, among others.
“The Color Orange” is available in eBook and paperback at Amazon.
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