When writing a children’s book based on one of his own childhood experiences, Grant Harrison (@fetchtheswell_autism) didn’t expect his work to have much of an impact on others. Yet in reality, his 2022 book, Will You Be My Friend? Based On A True Story Through The Eyes And Ears Of Autism, has been inspiring others and spreading hope to those facing similar challenges.
“It always makes me really happy that my story is able to connect with people,” Grant says.
Will You Be My Friend? is inspired by Grant’s experience navigating anxiety and Asperger’s Syndrome while in elementary school. The narrative follows a protagonist based on Grant himself as he participates in a talent show, with supporting characters based on his mother, fourth grade teacher and best friend.
“Doing that talent show was one of the biggest things that helped me break out of that social anxiety shell,” Grant says. “The best part about it, not only being able to be myself on stage, was the fact that it led into a lot more things in my life. It’s the catalyst that helped me become who I am today.”
Grant says he is proud of the impact his book has had in his community. He shares, “A lot of people have been very happy with the book, have been very inspired by it. And I’m very happy that something that I like doing is able to inspire people to do great things.”
He hopes that his book continues to spread awareness about autism and show people that it’s possible to achieve great things with autism.
“The other impact I think it has on the world is helping families with autism realize that there is hope. If they get the right support, if they get the right people helping, then people with autism can still easily thrive and succeed.”
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