LIFE

Children’s book offers perspective on autism

Dr. Carol Cujec

Children’s book offers perspective on autism

By Nick Ng

“Real” is a book about Charity, a 13-year-old girl with autism who faces her biggest fears when her parents enroll her in a public middle school. She is a math savant and has a camcorder-like memory, but she is shunned since it is assumed that she is unable to learn because she cannot speak and has unpredictable movements.

This story is  based on the experience of a San Diego resident, Peyton Goddard, who co-authored “Real” with Scripps Ranch resident Dr. Carol Cujec. Sharing similartraits with Charity, Goddard was assumed to be “mentally challenged” until she was 22-years-old when she was able to communicate with supportive typing.

“[Peyton] was kicked out of public school at an early age and was forced into a private, special school where they didn’t bother to teach the children because they thought they were incapable of learning,” Cujec explained.

Once Goddard’s parents realized how their daughter was being treated, they got her out of special education and enrolled her back in public school, which is the start of Charity’s story in “Real.” Eventually, Goddard attended Cuyamaca College and graduated in 2002 as a valedictorian.

In 2007, Cujec met Goddard and her family when she was covering a story about Goddard’s life and autism for USD Magazine. She then helped Goddard and her mother, Dianne, write and publish their memoir “I Am Intelligent.”

“Once that was published, I felt that the story should be adapted to children because children are the ones who can make a difference in the way people are treated,” Cujec said. “If you give them that perspective of someone who is autistic, they can grow that empathy early on. We hope that they will see people not as labels but as human beings.”

The authors had to invent a lot of details and create characters in “Real” because of Goddard’s and Charity’s age difference when they were introduced to supportive typing.

“It’s a re-imagining of what Peyton’s life might have been like if she had this opportunity in middle school,” Cujec said. “We have some spunky, sassy characters in the story that are typical of middle school kids. The kids in the book realize that this girl is awesome. She’s really funny, has a lot of interesting things to say, and they become more comfortable to hang out with her. For the first time, Charity is able to develop new friends.”

Writing a children’s fiction book was a “whole new ballgame” for Cujec and Goddard because they have only written nonfiction before. It also took them several years to find the right publisher for “Real.”

“It was kind of slowly ‘killing’ me because we felt so strongly about this story,” Cujec said. “It wasn’t a hobby; it was a mission. This story needs to get out in the world because it can profoundly change the way you see people who are different from you.”

Cujec and Goddard hope that “Real” will teach children to be more inclusive to people who are different from them.

“If you did not speak for 13 years, what would be your first words to speak to let people know who you are?” Cujec said.

“Real” is available to purchase at any bookseller, including Amazon.

Peyton Goddard
25 thoughts on “Children’s book offers perspective on autism
  1. Pretty great post. I simply stumbled upon your
    weblog and wanted to mention that I have really loved browsing your weblog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing for your feed and I’m
    hoping you write again very soon!

  2. Helpful information. Lucky me I found your website by
    accident, and I am stunned why this accident didn’t happened in advance!
    I bookmarked it.

  3. Excellent weblog right here! Additionally your web
    site quite a bit up very fast! What host are you the use of?
    Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink on your host?
    I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

    Check out my website D-Fine8 Reviews

  4. Hello this is kind of of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG
    editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding skills so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience.
    Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  5. Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads
    up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two
    different browsers and both show the same outcome.

    My homepage :: bbs.yunweishidai.com

  6. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed!
    Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info much.
    I was looking for this particular info for a very long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

    Review my web site … Keto Fat Burn Pills

  7. I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter
    a blog that’s both equally educative and amusing, and let
    me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The issue is something
    which too few folks are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I stumbled across this
    during my hunt for something relating to this.

    Here is my homepage :: duna-anapa.net.ru

  8. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this
    subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out
    till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply?

    Here is my web blog :: Keto Speed Diet

  9. With havin so much content do you ever run into any issues
    of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself
    or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping
    it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any techniques
    to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate
    it.

    My web page … Xtreme Keto Slim

  10. I hardly drop comments, but i did some searching and wound up here
    Children’s book offers perspective on autism – Scripps Ranch News.
    And I actually do have a few questions for you if you tend not to mind.
    Could it be only me or does it appear like some of the responses look like
    they are written by brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are posting on other sites, I
    would like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post.

    Would you list of all of your public pages like your twitter feed,
    Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    Feel free to visit my web site: Maryjo

  11. Heya just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly.

    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same results.

    Feel free to visit my web page: Libido Build Rx Pills

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.