Joanna Keating-Velasco lives in Placentia in Orange County, California. She is married and has one daughter. Joanna has a degree in business administration from California State University, Fullerton where she graduated as a President's Scholar. She enjoys trying to understand the unique qualities of children with autism and has worked as an instructional aide (independence facilitator) for ten years in programs for children, teens and adults with autism.
Chelsea, an eleven year old girl, who just happens to have severe autism, welcomes us into her life. Seeing kids on the playground and at the park playing games, she expresses her desire to get to know some of them. However, she explains that social interaction can be tricky for her. She clarifies some of the behaviors and challenges that she faces while comparing them with issues all kids face.
While discussing sensory issues, she uses examples that are kid-friendly and might make a typical child think, “Hey, I experience that too!” She reveals the life of a visual thinker and discusses visual reminders that we all use. She explains that idioms are very confusing to people who think in pictures. In addition, Chelsea discusses issues of eye contact and explains echolalia. She helps readers see that she’s not so different after all and creates opportunities for other kids with autism.
Chelsea brings a fun and clear voice for those children who cannot articulate the challenges that autism presents. A is for Autism, F is for Friend provides an enjoyable discussion-oriented format for teaching our youth about autism. ISBN 978-1-931282-43-7