I intend to make books for Autistic children to try and help them with concepts which they might struggle with, like facial expressions, sharing, playing games etc. The first book with be about sharing and will feature Koby as the main character. I have tried to make each of the 4 monsters relatable by giving them different personalities and issues with which they struggle.
Who Are Koby and Friends?
I'll let Koby do the talking...
"My name is Koby. I have 2 brothers and 1 sister. My Mommy is called WillowHope and she helps people like me and like her – people with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder. My 2 brothers are called Junior and Chuckles, and my sister is called Sparky. We were all born on the same day but Mommy says I’m the oldest which means I have to look out for the others to make sure they’re okay.
Junior is really loud and crazy but Mommy says that’s because he has something called ADHD, and so I make sure he doesn’t get too crazy, especially when we’re with other humans. At home he can be crazy because we know him very well, but people outside don’t know that and so he tries to stay calm.
Chuckles was made with no arms. I feel sad that I have arms and he doesn’t, but he is happy anyway. Mommy says it’s because he doesn’t know any different because he never had arms. I think he must wonder why we have arms though, and why things are easier for us because we have them. I help him pick things up with my arms.
Sparky gets really nervous a lot and she’s very shy and anxious. She has anxiety problems I think. We don’t know which kind because she seems to be a little bit of every kind of anxious. She must feel a bit left out because she’s the only girl. But Mommy’s a girl so that’s okay I suppose. I try and help her say the things she is trying to say when she starts to stutter.
I just have Aspergers Syndrome. I think we all might have that, but it’s more obvious for me. My brothers and sister are my best friends in the whole wide world, but sometimes I don’t even understand them, and I never seem to understand people who aren’t like us."
This is Junior, Chuckles, Koby and Sparky:
Who Is WillowHope?
Incase you've ended up here and don't know who I am, here is a bit about me and a bit of backstory of Koby and Friends!
Koby and Friends are my mascots, and they appear throughout my website, but also on my forum, Asperclick. I designed about 6 months before I started my WillowHope thing officially, but didn't quite know how to use them. They were too cute to use in my graphic design work; I kind of felt like they were mine and would have been too sad to see them go to someone else, so I just kept them in a folder. Of course in late 2012 I decided to set up all of my Facebook pages etc and do my video blogs again - plus I was going to be releasing my book, so I needed a logo, and these little fellows were the obvious choice!
I have big plans for them one day but I won't go too much into it now as nothing is set in stone. But the dynamics of the group and the certain aspects of each individual is all very much on purpose i.e. Junior is a bit crazy, Koby is the leader, Chuckles has no arms and Sparky is the only girl.
I know that the stories in this format are not the most useful, but I hope to one day release them as actual books, possibly bundled with other things to go with them to encourage learning etc. For now though, this is the only way I will be able to do this!
I was born in 1992 and got diagnosed with Aspergers when I was 16 or 17, as well as dyspraxia and Attention Deficit Disorder. I went to a mainstream school, but I had a lot of problems - I ended up changing to a different mainstream school when I was around 14 because I was getting bullied so much. Unfortunately, the same kind of thing happened in my new school and I decided to drop out for a year or so - in which time I had a nervous breakdown before finally trying to get my qualifications one last time when I was 16. I came out halfway through the course with 2 GCSE's and never went back. I'm disappointed, but there was no way for me to continue at that stage.
I have been doing a video blog on YouTube since 2009 which I started spontaneously but quickly realised that speaking about living with Aspergers in a real, 'down to earth' sense was really helpful to people, and so I kept it up, and started doing more serious videos from time to time, specifically to talk about a certain aspect of Aspergers. From there I built up a lovely group of people who 'follow' me online who 'liked' my facebook page when I set that up in late 2012, and joined my forum 'Asperclick' in early 2013. Also in late 2012 I released a book which I had written mostly when I was going through my nervous breakdown. It's a collection of poetry and short stories and I hope to prove that even when it gets extremely dark, which it was for me, that there can always be a light at the end of the tunnel. It wasn't at all easy to recover from it but I pushed through and I want to help others.
As well as all of that I have my own website and blog to take care of, which I started as a nice way to bring all of my things together in one place (I'm a graphic designer, photographer, writer and artist).
So yeah, that's me. Nice to meet you! I hope that I can write stories here which will help children on the spectrum in one way or another. I have first hand experience with an Autistic child as I was 7 years old when my brother was born, and it was clear from day 1 that there was something different about him! So I will apply what I know from him, myself and the people I've met online to these stories.
As a side note, I just want to mention that the plushies available on this site are not currently for children and are just for display/collection purposes.
Available Books and Gifts
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