Autism fact: Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.
I’m delighted to be taking part in RJ Scott’s autism blog hop again, although I have to admit that when I learned that the theme for this year’s autism blog hop was childhood toys, I had a few second thoughts. I honestly can’t remember a time at which toys were important to me. I have no memories of favourite playthings when I was younger, nor do I look at the items in toyshops now either with nostalgia or whishing a particular toy had been available when I was younger.
While I did have, of course, toys, for me it has always been, and still is, all about books.
But wait, says you. This is supposed to be a post about things to play with. Books are fabulous of course, but reading isn’t the same as playing.
And you would be right.
Reading is also often a solitary activity, where as toys, more often than not, easily allow for playing with others and are often created for exactly that purpose.
So, there’s me. My friends are carrying their Barbies around and playing with them whenever they can and I? I watch them, not quite understanding what the fun is supposed to be while secretly wishing for the book I haven’t finished reading yet.
The day I decided to turn my personal book collection into a library, everything fell into place. I went the whole distance and created tickets for my friends (and/or their Barbies) and put little envelopes in my books, with room to make note of the return date. My friends loved coming to my library, borrowing books, either for themselves or for their Barbies, and I’d found a way to join in and enjoy myself.
I learned a valuable lesson back then. Children don’t necessarily want to play with the traditional toys you find in shops. It was a lesson that came in handy in the recent past.
The hubbies godson is on the autism spectrum and for years we struggled to come up with appropriate gifts for Jack. It was only when I reminded myself that a toy can be anything a child likes spending time with, that things got easier. Jack likes pictures and we can’t make him happier than providing him with new ones, preferably lose, individual images he can carry around with him. Card games, postcards, they delight him more than any expensive toy possibly could. As for us, we just want to see him happy. When we stopped overthinking the toy issue, we achieved exactly that.
Autism blog hop master post: Master Post - rjscott.co.uk/autism19
Lessons in Love
Falling for each other was easy. Staying together comes with a learning curve.
Three months after they met in the miraculous library, Cian is nervously preparing for Mitch’s arrival in Dublin. As much as he’s looking forward to three long days with his boyfriend—without parental supervision—he can’t help worrying about the fact that they will have to share both his small room and his even smaller bed. He doesn’t even own pajamas.
Their relationship is new, and Cian may be two years older, but he has little more experience than Mitch when it comes to intimacy and boyfriends. He isn’t sure what he’s doing or what’s expected of him. As a result, Cian and Mitch are in for a whirlwind weekend, filled with shocks, surprises, fun, and deepening feelings.
Against the backdrop of Ireland celebrating its national holiday, Cian and Mitch learn their first Lessons in Love.
While a Miracle in the Library was a young adult story, Lessons in Love features two young men old enough to consume alcohol and be sexually active. This book is therefore meant for readers who are eighteen years or older and contains sexual acts between two consenting men.
Universal buy link: mybook.to/LiL
Tell me about your favourite childhood toy (or book) below for the chance to win a title from my backlist.
I’ve thought about this long and hard. There are so many very worthwhile charities in desperate need of money it is almost impossible to pick one over the other. So, I guess you could say I took the easy way out when I decided to support RJ’s chosen charity, Lindengate. This is a mental health charity that works with autistic children and can be found here: https://mydonate.bt.com/