Teen author with autism on Montreal's South Shore in high demand for readings
A high school student on the autism spectrum in Chateauguay on Montreal's South Shore has written and published a book and is promoting it at her school board.
Annabel Adewunmi is the 16-year-old author of "Our Brother Robin," a book about a five-year-old robot, who, like her, has autism.
"It talks about his struggles, what he likes to do, and how to cope with his emotions," said Adewunmi.
April is World Autism Month, and Adewunmi is touring the New Frontiers School Board reading her book to elementary school students.
They ask plenty of questions.
"It makes me feel comfortable," said the author. "It makes me feel like they really want to participate, and it makes me happy because they actually really want to listen to the story."
Students aren't the only ones impressed with Adewunmi's book and presentation.
"She's a very engaging speaker, and I think that it's also inspiring for our children to see that she's a writer, and that's something they can aspire to be too," said Mary Gardner Elementary School teacher Kimberly Hindle.
The author is in high demand, which is a proud moment for people who have worked with her for years.
"To see her grow... It's amazing to see her abilities and her strengths," said New Frontiers autism consultant Loretta Labrecque.
For Adewunmi, the eagerness of those to engage with her as an author is proof that with acceptance and support, people with autism can thrive.
"I want people to know that people who are autistic, just because they may struggle with a few things, it doesn't mean they're not people like us," she said. "And when people have autism, they're not alone. A lot of people have autism, and they can do great things that change the world for the better."