Story & photo Eve Jeffery
When Misa Alexander’s son Hugo became the ‘weird kid’ at his daycare who flapped his arms and didn’t have any friends, Misa decided she needed to make a change.
Hugo has Autism Spectrum Disorder and Misa knew she could not stand by as her child struggled to fit into a world designed for the mainstream student.
Although there are more and more children with a disability in every classroom, children are not being taught how to interact with people who are different. This is creating a divide in schools and children with a disability are being left without friends.
Alexander joined forces with local teacher Erin Knutt and the pair began creating a picture book that will change the way children view disabilities.
The book Fergus and Delilah is about Fergus, a lovable, funny boy who is wired a bit differently to his friend Delilah. It is a quirky, funny story that takes children on an adventure and teaches them they can be friends with everyone.
Even though their picture book is in the creative phase ING Direct has already backed it through their Dreamstarter Grant and they are running a Social Media Crowdfunding campaign through StartSomeGood to raise $9,000 to help publish the book.
‘We just want everyone, regardless of their abilities, to have friends and feel like they belong’, says Erin.’We need everyone’s help to make this happen.’
The venture has so far raised over $6,700 with over 60 donators and Misa hopes to give back to the community once the book is published.
‘We are overwhelmed by how the Byron community is making the future of children with disabilities a priority’, says Misa. ‘We hope to be able to donate our book to every primary school and preschool in our area.’