Autism Memoir Author Monica Holloway Shares Top Tips for Helping Public Officials Understand Autism

Riverside, California, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Many civil servants are in positions to make decisions about the lives of families affected by autism, and bestselling author Monica Holloway, of Cowboy & Wills [Simon & Schuster], encourages working together with community officials to promote increased safety and understanding for those with autism.

Inspired by a personal experience, [] Holloway offers the following tips for explaining autism to public officials:

  • Have easy statistics on autism available – It can help an official to know that autism affects one in every 88 American children.
  • Be able to identify two behaviors and two accommodations – Describe a fact pattern depicting what is difficult for your child and what helps your child to perform at their best.
  • Develop a handout card – Create a card with person-specific or general autism information that can be given to officials. This tool can help officials to make more informed decisions when interacting with your child and family.
  • Plan your response – Consider carrying supporting materials, such as your child's photo or a copy of their diagnosis, to connect the official to the child as a person.
  • Tell the facts about your child concisely –Let the official know about the autism diagnosis, listen to the official, and answer questions you are asked directly to be transparent.
  • Promote community understanding – Communicate with civil servants about autism, even offer to visit public offices and answer questions about autism or introduce your child.
  • Have your loved one wear an ID bracelet – A bracelet can identify special needs to community helpers.
  • Educate your child – Help your child know that a police officer may not immediately know of a need for extra help, but they should be trusted and we should follow their instructions.

Says Holloway, "It is essential that we speak up to ensure that community helpers understand our kids' needs, ensuring safety, understanding and acceptance, for ourselves and other families who may face similar issues."

For interview requests with Holloway, contact publicist Jess Block:, 909-706-8525.

ABOUT MONICA HOLLOWAY: Monica Holloway is the bestselling author of Cowboy & Wills, a Mother's Choice Award's Gold recipient, and the critically-acclaimed author of the memoir Driving With Dead People. Holloway lives with her son and husband in California.

ABOUT COWBOY AND WILLS: Cowboy & Wills, published by Simon & Schuster, tells the story of the golden retriever puppy that changed Monica Holloway's disabled son's life by becoming his first friend and coaxing him out into the world.

ABOUT AUTISM: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, autism now affects about 1 in every 88 American children. Autism is a complex condition that affects a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships.


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