Friendly Blog

Giving back to Autism Canada with Preston the Proper Pig

Published 9 months ago by Alexis Alexander

Growing up, we learn that people are all wonderfully different. It may be how we look, the language we speak, our interests, our sense of humour or how we like to dress. Other times, it’s our abilities that make us unique. Not every child (or adult) is the same, and that’s ok! Some of the best friendships you’ll ever have are with someone very different from yourself, and we all benefit from being around different personalities and perspectives.

Not all kids develop on the same timeline, and others will have lifelong differences. Some of these differences are easy to see, like when a person has a birthmark or is in a wheelchair, and others are invisible to the naked eye. This could include hearing loss, impaired vision, challenges with anxiety, OCD, ADD/ADHD, sensory issues, or a diagnosis of Autism. We bet everyone reading this has a loved one who identifies with one of these descriptions! You may even have one of these qualities yourself.

Friendly Fables author Alexis Alexander was an anxious kid, and sometimes he still feels that anxiety sneak into his adult life. As a child, he took control of his feelings by creating routines and repeating them - a behavioural characteristic that is sometimes linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but is sometimes just a coping mechanism for anxiety or a developmental phase one grows out of. This repetition phase is actually very common - in fact, kids between the ages of 1.5 and 2.5 years old experience ‘grouping impulses’ as a developmental milestone. This means that as toddlers recognize the differences and similarities between objects, they feel compelled to categorize them. They may do this over and over, but that’s ok - it means they’re learning, and it helps them feel accomplished and in control of their environment. It’s similar to how an infant or young toddler may repeat the same word dozens of times in a day as they master it. Our brains are incredible things, and it’s so interesting how we learn!

In some cases, neurological differences may mean that some repetitive or compulsive behaviours are more than just a childhood phase. We know lots of amazing kids and adults who exhibit unique behaviours as a result of their anxiety, Autism or another condition. Some kids require a very specific environment or routine to thrive and feel safe. Often, this takes a village to achieve - parents, teachers, educational assistants, doctors, therapists and more.

We believe that every child deserves to be themself - their true self, however ‘different’ that may be - and have the support of their family, friends and greater community. This allows kids not only to be themselves but to be their best selves.

Our friends in the Autism community here in Ontario have been fighting a battle for support lately, and we want to stand with them. Preston the Proper Pig isn’t about a particular medical condition, but it’s a book that many kids and parents identify with as it explores differences, bullying, acceptable and being true to yourself.

In support of children with Autism and their parents, we will be donating $1 from every copy of Preston the Proper Pig sold in the month of March to Autism Canada. These proceeds will support Canadian families as they navigate this challenging time.

Thank you for reading and for supporting this important cause with us. Please help spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Every little bit helps.

Friendly Fables author Alexis Alexander was told a story recently about a little boy in the US with Autism named Ryder. Ryder does not like to put on his clothes because of the sensory overload. Alexis wrote the below story for Ryder and his mother to enjoy. We hope you enjoy it too!

No Clothes!

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’re all exposed!

Not today, no I will not. But Ryder you must it’s really not hot..

In fact it’s cold you’ll catch a chill. Come here Ryder just sit still.

I know you don’t like them it’s sensory overload. But we can’t go to the grocery store with your behind not clothed.

So let’s try again and start with underwear. Ryder stop running from here to there!

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’re all exposed!

Toes, toes. I’ll start with your toes. Here are some socks, not for your nose.

Pants are fine, Ryder take a seat. Let’s put one leg on then repeat.

Great, now your shirt one arm at a time. There you go Ryder, you’re doing just fine.

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’ll be all exposed!

In an instant all of the clothes came off. They were tossed in the air, suddenly aloft.

In the end Ryder went to the store that day. But not in a way you would typically say.

His mom pulled the wagon and sitting inside, was a naked Ryder filled with pride.

In the wagon was a fort hiding Ryder with no clothes. Ryder was happy and not exposed. He felt perfectly fine, right down to the tip of his toes.

Growing up, we learn that people are all wonderfully different. It may be how we look, the language we speak, our interests, our sense of humour or how we like to dress. Other times, it’s our abilities that make us unique. Not every child (or adult) is the same, and that’s ok! Some of the best friendships you’ll ever have are with someone very different from yourself, and we all benefit from being around different personalities and perspectives.

Not all kids develop on the same timeline, and others will have lifelong differences. Some of these differences are easy to see, like when a person has a birthmark or is in a wheelchair, and others are invisible to the naked eye. This could include hearing loss, impaired vision, challenges with anxiety, OCD, ADD/ADHD, sensory issues, or a diagnosis of Autism. We bet everyone reading this has a loved one who identifies with one of these descriptions! You may even have one of these qualities yourself.

Friendly Fables author Alexis Alexander was an anxious kid, and sometimes he still feels that anxiety sneak into his adult life. As a child, he took control of his feelings by creating routines and repeating them - a behavioural characteristic that is sometimes linked to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but is sometimes just a coping mechanism for anxiety or a developmental phase one grows out of. This repetition phase is actually very common - in fact, kids between the ages of 1.5 and 2.5 years old experience ‘grouping impulses’ as a developmental milestone. This means that as toddlers recognize the differences and similarities between objects, they feel compelled to categorize them. They may do this over and over, but that’s ok - it means they’re learning, and it helps them feel accomplished and in control of their environment. It’s similar to how an infant or young toddler may repeat the same word dozens of times in a day as they master it. Our brains are incredible things, and it’s so interesting how we learn!

In some cases, neurological differences may mean that some repetitive or compulsive behaviours are more than just a childhood phase. We know lots of amazing kids and adults who exhibit unique behaviours as a result of their anxiety, Autism or another condition. Some kids require a very specific environment or routine to thrive and feel safe. Often, this takes a village to achieve - parents, teachers, educational assistants, doctors, therapists and more.

We believe that every child deserves to be themself - their true self, however ‘different’ that may be - and have the support of their family, friends and greater community. This allows kids not only to be themselves but to be their best selves.

Our friends in the Autism community here in Ontario have been fighting a battle for support lately, and we want to stand with them. Preston the Proper Pig isn’t about a particular medical condition, but it’s a book that many kids and parents identify with as it explores differences, bullying, acceptable and being true to yourself.

In support of children with Autism and their parents, we will be donating $1 from every copy of Preston the Proper Pig sold in the month of March to Autism Canada. These proceeds will support Canadian families as they navigate this challenging time.

Thank you for reading and for supporting this important cause with us. Please help spread the word by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Every little bit helps.

Friendly Fables author Alexis Alexander was told a story recently about a little boy in the US with Autism named Ryder. Ryder does not like to put on his clothes because of the sensory overload. Alexis wrote the below story for Ryder and his mother to enjoy. We hope you enjoy it too!

No Clothes!

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’re all exposed!

Not today, no I will not. But Ryder you must it’s really not hot..

In fact it’s cold you’ll catch a chill. Come here Ryder just sit still.

I know you don’t like them it’s sensory overload. But we can’t go to the grocery store with your behind not clothed.

So let’s try again and start with underwear. Ryder stop running from here to there!

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’re all exposed!

Toes, toes. I’ll start with your toes. Here are some socks, not for your nose.

Pants are fine, Ryder take a seat. Let’s put one leg on then repeat.

Great, now your shirt one arm at a time. There you go Ryder, you’re doing just fine.

Clothes? Clothes?
No clothes! No clothes!
But you have to Ryder, you’ll be all exposed!

In an instant all of the clothes came off. They were tossed in the air, suddenly aloft.

In the end Ryder went to the store that day. But not in a way you would typically say.

His mom pulled the wagon and sitting inside, was a naked Ryder filled with pride.

In the wagon was a fort hiding Ryder with no clothes. Ryder was happy and not exposed. He felt perfectly fine, right down to the tip of his toes.