Adonya Wong Interview: In My Mind

In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism
In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism

From the moment that you open the book In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism, you are a step closer to understanding classical autism and related pervasive developmental disorders. This touching children's book about autism is written by Adonya Wong, the mother of a boy diagnosed on the spectrum. The book opens with a beautiful sentiment that is deeply moving for people who have loved ones with similar conditions.

  • "To my precious prince, Nicholas.
  • His unspoken words resonate in my mind
  • like a beautiful song."

Adonya has granted us the opportunity to step into the pages of her book, offering her inspiring philosophy, inspiration, and dedication to autism awareness.

Philosophy

What are the positive aspects of autism and related pervasive developmental disorders?

As with any "different ability", ASD encourages people to alter their own misconceptions, misnomers, and misunderstandings about the "unfamiliar" or "unknown". It invites the observer to see and interact with the world as if they themselves had a "different ability", therefore, eliciting more compassion and empathy.

How can parents and caretakers empower themselves and their children on the spectrum?

Stay informed as well as educated! Know your rights and don't ever take no for an answer. With so many autism resources available, there isn't any reason why someone shouldn't or wouldn't know what their rights.

Most importantly, remain calm. I learned long ago that pointing fingers and blaming the medical profession got me nowhere fast. What those actions do is cause the recipient of your wrath to shut down, and that is not the reaction you want from someone whose assistance you are seeking.

Additionally, people on the spectrum are highly sensitive to the energies around them. What I mean is if you react with anger that energy could have a negative impact your child(ren) causing them to act out as well.

Keeping the peace is best for all involved and more can be accomplished when the mood is peaceful.

What have you learned through your experiences with autism?

I've learned that patience truly is a virtue, and that "my way" isn't better than the highway. My upbringing was one of stern discipline often to the tune of a few butt whoopin's if I didn't act right, and it has taken a lot for me to break that cycle. Please don't misunderstand...my parents were not cruel or abusive people. They were just raised a certain way and often followed in the footsteps of their parents.

I believe I was blessed with my son to help me break the discipline cycle, and to make me a more grounded, patient, tolerant, compassionate, and empathetic person.

Today, I am helping people, not only through my book and my blog, but through day-to-day advocating for autism through my face-to-face interactions with strangers (y'know those folks who look at you sideways whenever your child does something "odd"? Even them.)

In My Mind

When did you decide to write "In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism"?

The decision was made for me because being a writer was not my life's dream. My fiance, now my husband, came to me on October 25, 2007, and simply stated, "You should write children's stories". My response was a look of agitation because I thought the suggestion was so ridiculous. Five minutes later, IMM was typed, and 12 more stories followed during the course of that fateful week.I didn't realize in 2005 that autism would be my calling.

Why was it important to write a children's book about autism?

Apparently, I had a story to share, and a children's picture book is the format it chose. I truly wish I could provide a better answer, but IMM was Divinely delivered.

What do you want children and adults to take with them after reading the book?

I will allow the comments of those who have read it to answer this one for me:

(Black Author Showcase features book endorsements of In My Mind that give insight into the significant impact this children's book has on its readers.)

What is the Tulsa Autism Foundation?

Autism Center of Tulsa (formerly the Tulsa Autism Foundation) was founded in 2005 with the mission of helping families and individuals affected by autism and related disorders. The Autism Center of Tulsa provides programs that supports its mission in a variety of ways. Community outreach and awareness, early identification and intervention, safety issues, parent and professional training and information are among the many services provided by the Autism Center of Tulsa. The nonprofit has on-site resources and family support programs as well. As a first-time author, I am doing something deemed "unusual" in that I am donating a portion of my proceeds to ACT. You see I didn't write IMM to "get rich"; I wrote it to raise awareness and "give back" as much as I can to our community.

More Information

Adonya Wong is a positive force in the autism community who offers guidance and support for families affected by autism and related pervasive developmental disorders and those [Dealing with a Diagnosis of Autism|dealing with a new diagnosis]. Her blog Healing...Through the Eyes of Autism provides information about autism as well as insight into the world of autism through her experience and optimistic perception.

Adonya Wong Interview: In My Mind