Chadwell Heath mum draws inspiration from autistic son to pen children’s anti-bullying book
PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 November 2016
A mother-of-two is set to release her first children’s book at the end of National Anti-Bullying Week, letting youngsters know that it’s ok to be different.
Lizi Jackson, 39, who lives with seven-year-old twins Jacob and Layla in Chadwell Heath, drew inspiration for I don’t Like Cheese from her son who is autistic.
As a former secondary teacher, Lizi, has supported Jacob in viewing his differences positively.
“I realised Jacob’s own view of being happy to be different could actually help other children feel good about their differences,” she said.
“He works hard to have an upbeat attitude and sees his autism as something positive. However, I know that for many children, fitting in is more important than embracing the things that make them unique.”
The 32-page rhyming story is about a mouse who struggles to conform and no matter how hard Matty the mouse tries to be the same as his parents he just doesn’t seem to fit in.
Aimed at primary-aged children to book challenges this idea includes a page of thought-provoking questions to help young readers consider the things that make them special.
She continued: “Matty’s parents initially struggle to come to terms with the fact their son isn’t like other mice and I recognise this feeling well.
“When Jacob was diagnosed with autism four years ago I spent some time grieving for the child I thought he would be.
“Then, just like Matty’s parents, I realised my son didn’t have to be like me to be important, amazing and lovable.”
The mum said she is “delighted” to be releasing her book at the end of Anti-Bullying Week.
“My years as a secondary school teacher showed me that children who are different – like Jacob – are most likely to be bullied by their peers,” continued Lizi.
“Writing about Matty’s journey from being ashamed of who he is to loving his quirks means I hope young people will start to see the wonderful and positive things that come from being with people who are different from them.”
Alison Reese, owner of publishers Daisy Education, said: “I read this poem and I thought it was simply fantastic.”
The book goes on sale today at the Chicken and Frog bookshop in Brentwood and priced at £6.99, can be also be ordered from lizijackson.co.uk
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.