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Kid Companions- Chewelry: Apr 7, 2010

April 7, 2010

Rodney and Holly Robinson Peete, Authors of Two Books On Autism

Actress, author, activist and philanthropist, Holly Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback for the Oakland Raiders, Rodney Peete, have a son who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Rodney Jackson is now 12.

Rodney Peete tells their struggle in his book 'Not My Boy!: A Father, a Son, and One Family's Journey with Autism' "I am writing this book because when I got my wake-up call and my son received his diagnosis, there was no Father's Guide or Dad's Secret to battling autism to help me on this long, hard, emotional and sometimes terrifying road,'' Peete writes. "This book is about the incredible journey I, and other fathers, are experiencing with our sons. It is about days of darkness and tears to scoring goals in a playoff soccer game. It's about a father's incredible love for his son and the willingness to do whatever it takes to keep him moving forward. Eight years after the dreadful diagnosis, I am writing this book to let every father know that your dreams for you and your son can still be a reality."

In 1997 in honor of Holly's father, Matthew T. Robinson, Jr., who was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease in 1982 at the young age of 46, they founded HollyRod Foundation. Through this organization they could help those who could not afford care or did not have access to expensive medications, treatments and services.

In the nine years since being told their son was Autistic, the Peetes have teamed up to make others aware about Autism. Taking the example of their parents, the Peete kids pushed to form HollyRod4Kids Foundation to help children with autism gain access to affordable treatments and therapies.

Being spokeswomen for Autism was not enough, Holly Robinson Peete and her 11-year-old daughter, Ryan Elizabeth, who is Rodney J’s twin, recently released
 'My Brother Charlie,' a children's book about a girl's twin bother who is diagnosed with autism. This story portrays their own lives dealing with Autism. "My daughter and I cherish the opportunity to partner with Scholastic to introduce our family's journey through autism with 'My Brother Charlie,' " Holly Robinson Peete said in a news release. "Children with autism are often misunderstood. Our hope is that this book will help families embrace and accept these exceptional people."

Knowing that boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed than girls and an average of 1 in 110 children have an ASD, there should be many potential readers who will benefit from these two books.

Both books are now available and on Sunday, April 11, 2010, Holly Robinson-Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete will host the inaugural My Brother Charlie’s Family Fun Festival in Culver City California, in association with The HollyRod Foundation.

How can society help to make sure children with Autism are not misunderstood?

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