A writer’s picture book about children with autism inspired his daughter’s experiences


SINGAPORE – In 2017, when her then 13-year-old daughter Kate, who has autism, “ruined” her younger sister’s coloring book by doodling on it, Ms Jill Lim was inspired to do more to raise awareness and understand the children. with special needs.

She came with a children’s picture book called My Coloring Book Is Ruined!, which was inspired by Kate and her two younger sisters, who were then eight and 11 years old.

Published in 2019, Kate’s everyday book helps young readers better understand people with autism and their talents, which can often go unnoticed.

“The things the character of Kate does in the book – galloping, swimming, arranging things, repeating herself – are all things the real Kate does or did at the time,” said the writer, editor of books at Straits Times. Hurry.

Many of the visual aids and posters featured in the book are from actual posters and flash cards Mrs. Lim had made for her daughter.

The book, which was illustrated by Ms. Chloe Chang, also includes activities and fact sheets for young readers to complete.

“A sample of Kate’s math worksheet, which I had sent to Chloe, is the basis of the worksheet featured in the book,” Ms Lim added.

To aid in her writing process, she researched other picture books about children with autism or special needs, in part to see what was covered and how certain aspects of autism are depicted.

“As I wanted to highlight the abilities of autistic people, I also studied some autistic people who function quite well,” the writer said.


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