For anyone whose life has been touched by autism...

Local author and autism advocate Adonya Wong invites the public to a pre-release signing of her new book In My Mind: The World through the Eyes of Autism at 2 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 13 at The Collective, 3148 E. 11th St.

In My Mind is a full-color book, illustrated by Benton Rudd, depicting the world as seen through the eyes of a young boy with autism—a world no one else can see. From exciting adventures to silly games and conversations with friends, look closely and see how a child with autism sees the world… and how the world sees him. The book is inspired by Wong’s son Nicholas, who is autistic.

The book isn’t about defining autism by her own experience, Wong says. “The book is more my way of trying to ‘explain,’ in an adventurous way, a few of the things my son, and others with autism, do. It’s my perception of how a child with autism sees the world, and, in turn, how the world sees him,” says Wong.

“I wrote In My Mind because I felt that there weren’t enough books that children on the spectrum could identify with,” she says.

Though the book is meant for children, it also poignantly reaches adults, inspiring them to examine their own preconceptions about people with developmental and other disabilities. The book teaches both children and adults to see the world through the eyes of others who may be different than they are, eliciting compassion, tolerance and patience from the reader.

Wong will sign copies of her book, available for purchase at the event, from 2 to 4 p.m. During that time, Wong will award a free, signed copy of In My Mind to the lucky winner of a raffle.

Portions of the proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the Tulsa Autism Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by autism and related neurological disorders. The Tulsa Autism Foundation provides programming such as community awareness and outreach, early screening and intervention, parent and professional information and training and family support.

Wong says she chose to donate proceeds from her book to the Tulsa Autism Foundation because “it is Tulsa’s only extensive source of information on autism.”

“Donating a portion of my proceeds to TAF means I’m helping our community… one dollar at a time,” says Wong.

In My Mind is published by Tate Publishing, a Christian-based, family-owned publishing organization with a mission to discover and market new and unknown authors. The book will officially be released in January 2009.

Wong is a veteran of the United States Navy, having served in Iceland and Maryland. After being honorably discharged in 1991, she served with the California Air National Guard for four years. When she is not writing, Wong home schools her son and heads the Tulsa-based nonprofit she founded, M.O.C.H.A. (Mothers of Color for Holistic Alternatives). Wong also enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching classic movies and curling up with a good book.

For more information about her book and this event, visit www.throughtheeyesofautism.com or E-mail Adonya@throughtheeyesofautism.com.