Jodi Murphy, Geek Club Books
The key to opening the door to our children’s future is to capture the hearts and minds of those outside the autism community. We must move them past ‘awareness’ into a deeper understanding and human connection to those on the autism spectrum. When we can create a compassionate environment, our children will have opportunities to contribute their talents and abilities to the world.
I am a mother of an adult son on the autism spectrum—more specifically he is diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. When he was growing up, there were very few programs and support services for children like him. As a family, we used our own creativity to pioneer solutions for his particular needs. Today he is thriving and working with me to help other autism families.
We’re from the Bay Area, where innovative, out-of-the-box thinking is de rigueur. So when we decided to put our energy into our unique brand of advocacy, Geek Club Books, an autism nonprofit was born. We seek to change perceptions about autism by giving the public authentic views of life on the spectrum. We’re doing it in entertaining and engaging ways. Think of us as a creative studio. We produce interactive children’s stories as apps, curriculum, inspirational e-books, blog articles and soon, video shorts. We’re using digital media, app technology, and social media to reach people where they spend their time. Our hope is to start the conversations—at the dinner table, in classrooms, on the playground, in the workplace—that will ultimately lead to more compassionate, open and welcoming communities for our children.
Here’s a quick snapshot of some of the work we’ve been doing:
• The Mighty League, Vol. 1: The Terrible Taunting (available on all app markets) and The Mighty League, Vol. 2: The Horrible Hug (coming soon). Based on true stories, these are the only children’s story apps with autistic protagonists. We’ve also developed curriculum and activity guides for both apps.
• Our Bluebee TeeVee is in production—a series of fun, educational video shorts about autism written, acted, filmed, and edited by two talented young men on the spectrum. The videos will be hosted on a YouTube channel and available through a variety of online autism information networks.
• The Penfriend Project is our team of autistic blog contributors who express their thoughts and personal points-of-views in their own monthly columns. We understand autism when we read it through their words and see it through their eyes.
My son and our talented contributors embody our nonprofit’s message to the autism community and the community-at-large: Be who you are, be accepting of yourself and others who may be different than you. There is a place for you so don’t be afraid to share who you are with the world. YOU matter.
Join the conversation and share your story at www.geekclubbooks.com or on our Geek Club Books Facebook community at www.facebook.com/GeekClubBooks. There are exclusive benefits for signing up for our newsletter at www.geekclubbooks.com/email-sign-up including our autism resource guide, a gift certificate for our Mighty League 1: autism story app, inspirational e-books and more.
For more on our interactive children’s story apps:
For more on the Penfriend Project: