Welcome to Adonya Wong’s fourth home visit the Virtual Book Tour, ‘Globe Trottin’ for Autism In My Mind : The World Through the Eyes of Autism by Adonya Wong running from January 19-January 29. Her book was released on January 6th and will open up many doors for Autism Awareness and helping others gain a further understanding for the way our Autie Angels view the world! She is the loving, caring mother of an Autistic boy by the name of Nicholas and wanted the share her experience with the world! Below you will find my 10 question interview on Autism with Adonya Wong.
Please feel free to comment! Click below to read the interview, be informed and enjoy…
1. Autistic children are often referred to as unique, creative, focused and sometimes even ingenious. Describe some of the beauties you have experienced in parenting Nicholas.
Like any individual, children with autism are just as unique and creative and focused and, even, ingenious. My son is no exception. He loves to draw, but he would not be considered a savant. I can’t show him a picture of Rome, ask him to commit it to memory, then recall it in its entirety and draw it on his Doodle Pro. However, he draws pretty well for a 7 year old, and this talent is amplified if he is passionate about the subject. Nicholas’s current passion is trains, and his attention to detail is quite remarkable.
2. Were there any particular challenges you had to face when publishing your book which you feel you may not have encountered if your book was of a more popular genre such as fiction?
To be honest with you, I had zero expectations when it came to even receiving a contract. During the week In My Mind was written, I wrote 12 additional stories. All of them were submitted to the same publisher at the same time, and I was actually quite surprised that In Mind Mind was selected because I didn’t think they would find the topic interesting. Also, Tate Publishing is not a traditional publisher, even though they only accepted 3.5% of the manuscripts submitted to them in 2007. I really couldn’t say whether or not I would have faced rejection or challenges had I gone the traditional route.
3. There are various levels of ranging anywhere from slight to severe. What is Nicholas’ level of Autism and which characteristics you feel distinguish the levels of severity.
Nicholas is considered high-functioning meaning he has language; he is an avid reader but lacks comprehension; he writes well; he’s able to complete simple math; he is ridiculously affectionate; he is able to complete daily tasks like bathroom tasks, getting himself dressed, and he does not have a problem picking up after himself; and his eye contact is strong. However, he is unable to hold a conversation… he can answer simple directives and WH questions, but maintaining dialogue is still difficult for him. He also doesn’t pick up on social cues.
4. Studies show that on average, minority children are diagnosed up to two years later than white children. What was the time line for Nicholas’ diagnosis and did you experience similar difficulties?
Oh, I just love HOT topics. I experienced A LOT of difficulty when it came to getting him evaluated, not for autism, but for speech since that was my major concern. I’ll admit, had we stayed in Rhode Island, where he was born, his pediatrician at the time, would’ve had him evaluated at 15 months. She, too, was concerned that he wasn’t saying a whole lot. The moment we left RI, getting a doctor to listen to me was reminiscent of a caveman trying to get a thorn out of a woolly mammoth’s hoof. Nicholas was finally evaluated 3 weeks before his 4th birthday. 15 months to 4 years. Do the math; there was a lot of time lost. I’ve since learned to let the anger go.
5. Has your insurance coverage ever posed any challenges or obstacles with your child’s treatment and ? Also which provider do you believe has the best coverage for Autistic children?
I’ve never had a problem with health insurance. There was only a short time when I paid for his Blue Cross Blue Shield of CA at the time. However, he’s been on Medicaid every since, and I haven’t paid out-of-pocket since. However, not all children are as fortunate. They are often denied by Medicaid for not being “autistic enough”. ; I was with What this means is more and more children are out there, in desperate need of services, and due to lack of resources or household funding, they’re not receiving it.
6. What tips can you give on how to acquire or improve upon their Autie Angel’s communication skills from the privacy of their own home?
Autie Angels… that’s cute. Parents should stop and observe their children. Find out what they like then encourage play through that activity. Nicholas loves trains, so we get him to talk to us by asking questions about the engines in his calendar or on the pages of his new magazine. Nicholas also loves music, and Bob Marley has played an integral part in the development of his recent spontaneous and unscripted speech. Learning is supposed to be fun, so make a game out of daily tasks. Make up your own silly songs, and just have a good time.
7. Reflect on a time during your motherhood journey with Nicholas that has been difficult and how you overcame it.
I harbored a lot of resentment when it dawned on my that I was going to be a . Here I was thinking I was “in love”, but the feelings weren’t being reciprocated. I began smoking again and my drinking was no longer “social”; my recycling bin filled up twice as fast as my trash bin. I was angry at the world, but not really angry for being a parent. Partly because I was old enough to “prevent” that moment in time from happening, but I opted against it. I discovered early on that I was repeating parental habits from my childhood when it came to how I reacted to situations. So, I embarked on spiritual journey to help me break that cycle. It has been an uphill climb, but I know it’s pain I need to release. Let’s just say, I am a work in progress…
8. In what ways has Nicholas’ condition affected your marriage (if at all) and how were you able to triumph?
Autism wasn’t the catalyst that ended my relationship with Nicholas’s father. That relationship ended because one of us did the right thing for all involved while the other did only right by them. I am newly married. The bond between Nicholas and my husband is very strong. You’d never know they weren’t related.
9. The gluten and casein free (GFCF) diet seems to be the most popular specialized diet for Autistic children. Is this applicable in your home for Nicholas? If not, what is your opinion on the effectiveness of “GFCF diets”? If so, how do you suggest parents start their children on the regimen?
We tried the GFCF for 3 months with zero change in behavior (which was never a problem) and speech (no marked improvement). Not every therapy works for every person. Parents should seek medical advice before they make any radical changes to their child’s diet. I also only offer feedback for any therapies or diets that I’ve tried. My stance is if you’ve tried everything and nothing’s changed, perhaps it’s time for a lifestyle change. I am often extremely surprised when I learn that children on the spectrum are still consuming processed food and drinks. Whenever parents cry out over toxic overload from vaccines, they should also take their food choices into consideration.
10. Tell us what we can expect in the future from the author Adonya Wong.
! The sky is truly the limit. I don’t have any sneak peeks for you, but I’m looking for my next book to come out in the spring of next year.
Book purchasing info for:
“In My Mind The World Through the Eyes of Autism”
by Adonya Wong
““In my mind, I see many colors, bright like a rainbow,
shooting about like comets in a night sky.”
Take a closer look… What do you see?
In My Mind explores the inner world of an autistic child —
the world that no one else can see.
From exciting adventures to silly games and conversations with friends,
look closely and see how a child with autism sees the world…and how the
world sees him. ”
28 pages – $9.99 (Tate Publishing, paperback) includes audio version
ISBN – 10: 1-60696-601-4
ISBN – 13: 978-1-60696-601-3
Available for purchase online at:
Adonya’s Full Book Tour Itinerary:
Monday, January 19: Host: Bonnie Sayers, Autism Family Adventures
Tuesday, January 20: Host: Matt Gilbert, Doctorious.org
Wednesday, January 21: Host: MaryTara Wurmser, The Bon Bon Gazette
Thursday, January 22: Host: Katrina Shanks, The Queen’s Pen
Friday, January 23: Host: Sunshine Boatright, Rawtism
Saturday, January 24: Host: Andrea S., My Autism Insights
Sunday, January 25: Host: Lori Guthrie, Rainbow Mum Forum
Monday, January 26: Host: Tim Welsh, Tanner’s Dad’s Blog
Tuesday, January 27: Host: Kari Wolfe, Imperfect Clarity
Wednesday, January 28: Host: Tammy Lessick, Autism Learning Felt
Thursday, January 29: Host: Adonya Wong, Healing… Through the Eyes of Autism
Other Resources for Adonya Wong: