2016 Autism Blog Hop

Throughout this month’s Blog Hop, participating authors are posting one ‘autism fact’ per post with story excerpts or articles relating to autism or this year’s theme.

This years theme is – The Five Senses. Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, Smell

For my post, I thought I’d do a little of everything. 🙂

Yesterday, book 4 in The Men of Halfway House series released, titled A Mended Man. This story features Aidan & Jessie and spans roughly over a year’s time covering a series of events revolving around both characters healing and confronting their demons.

Aidan & Senses

Aidan suffers from PTSD. As a result of this, he’s hyperaware of the tiniest of details and sensitive to various sensory inputs that may trigger a memory or flashback. Music comforts and soothes him, and helps him retain his connection to reality. Sight, smell, and touch also play a role in his flashbacks. Sometimes, a flashback hits him with striking vividness and detail, including the various smells in the air and the sensitivity of each tiny touch of something against his skin

A Mended Man and Autism

In this story, Aidan is part of a task force that handles several cases. One of the cases reaches a turning point through the help of a person who reached out to the team—a shop owner whose son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and takes comfort in the repetitive behavior of viewing, cataloging, and collecting surveillance videos.

Repetitive behaviors like this and routines help manage anxiety and, in some cases, sensory issues. The following two references provide far more information on this subject than I could possibly include in a post of this kind.

Ref:
http://www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/obsessions-repetitive-routines.aspx
http://www.autism.org.uk/about/behaviour/sensory-world.aspx

 

And now, the short excerpt from A Mended Man between Aidan and a fellow task force member where the above mentioned scene occurs.

“Seems I poked around enough to get some attention. I got a call from a man who owns a small grocery store. He actually kept surveillance footage from prior years. Literally, the guy has years’ worth of footage from different angles, transferred from VHS onto DVD stored in a home library.”

Aidan crossed his arms and frowned. “Why would he keep a library of old surveillance footage?”

“It’s nothing nefarious. His son was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome years ago. One day he noticed his son watching the surveillance monitor in the backroom of the shop, replaying the footage at different speeds…over and over. It seemed to calm him. Every day, he’d take another tape home and his son would catalogue them in a notebook. He’d label and tag them by date, camera angle, he’d even log a count of how many people passed that camera angle for that specific day. He managed to build up a full library of videos over the years.”

Manny crossed his arms and quieted, lost in thought for a moment before he resumed speaking. He walked over to the small side table and gently placed his hand on top of a stack of aged notebooks, seemingly careful with the worn surface as if they were sacred. “His son let us borrow a few of his notes as long as we promised to return them intact, by a particular date and time. And in order,” he finished with a hint of a soft smile.

GIVEAWAY (Ends April 29th at midnight Eastern US time)

I will select two winners from comments on this post.

Prize: Winner’s choice of one ebook from The Men of Halfway House series gifted via Amazon.
NOTE: If you are selected and you’ve already read the series, I will gladly gift a book to a friend of your choice.

ANSWER ANY OF THESE QUESTIONS IN YOU COMMENT TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

 – If you had a chance to do something over/again, what would you do with that second chance?

– If you were the owner of Halfway House and offered guidance to the housemates…
What piece of advice would you offer to your new residents who had trouble adjusting to their newfound freedom?

– What is it you find most appealing about The Men of Halfway House series?

– Which character of series do you like best and why?

– In A Mended Man, Jessie is incredibly optimistic and occasionally says something that would appear on an “inspirational poster.” What saying/phrase would you have on an inspirational poster to inspire others?

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