Thursday 29 April 2021

Autism Awareness Month with Pablo

[AD/Gifted - We received the books mentioned in this post in exchange for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

April is Autism Awareness Month and it is one that is close to my heart. My eldest child, C, is autistic and when he was first diagnosed. We had a lot of mixed emotions. 

Not long after C got his diagnosis, we heard that a new TV show called Pablo was due to air on CBeebies and not only is the main character an autistic boy, but the production company, Paper Owl Films, are based in my home city of Belfast. Double excitement for us.

Pablo really quickly became a favourite children's show for us because we were eager to show C someone who represented him. We have always been open with C about his autism and at the age of 8, he is well aware of it and understands what that means.

When we received these two books in the post - Pablo Picks His Shoes and Pablo's Feelings - C was delighted. He said "Pablo is autistic and I am autistic. He goes on adventures in his head and maybe that is why I can't turn my brain off at night." He then went off to read them straight away.

Upon reading Pablo's Feelings, he shouted to me, "Oh, Pablo's face sometimes forgets to show what he's feeling. Maybe that is what happens to me!" It was like a light had switched on in his head. He completely understood that and resonated with it.

I knew exactly what Pablo Picks His Shoes was going to be about before we'd even opened it as it is something that C has trouble with himself - making decisions. Pablo is choosing which shoes to wear but is afraid he will hurt his other shoes' feelings. For us, C is always afraid that he will make the "wrong" decision, no matter how many times we tell him that there is no wrong choice. He is worried that the choice that he doesn't make will be better and he will have no way of knowing what would have happened. I think it was nice for him to read about someone else having this issue too.

These books are fantastic to read with any child, not only autistic ones, to help them understand a bit more about how autistic brains work.

You can purchase these Pablo books from Penguin.

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