He embarked on his journey to write his book in 2022, without a clue that it was going to be a massive success.
It is always a delightful sight to behold when you watch people working through their problems and issues to make the world better for others like them. Grant Harrison—who goes on Instagram by @fetchtheswell_autism—embarked on a journey to share his childhood experiences through the medium of a children's book. Little did he know that his 2022 creation, "Will You Be My Friend? Based On A True Story Through The Eyes And Ears Of Autism," would resonate with and inspire countless others, offering hope to those facing similar challenges.
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Reflecting on the unexpected impact of his work, Harrison expresses his joy at the way his story has connected with people. "It always makes me really happy that my story is able to connect with people," he shares with In The Know in a video. The heart of "Will You Be My Friend?" draws inspiration from Harrison's own childhood, marked by the complexities of anxiety and Asperger's Syndrome during his elementary school years. The narrative unfurls around a protagonist, a character closely modeled after Harrison himself. This young protagonist navigates the intricate world of a talent show, with supporting characters mirroring his mother, fourth-grade teacher and best friend.
Music and percussion are a crucial part of Harrison's life, which he's been doing since he was young. That's why, in the story, he ended up doing that in a talent show because he was familiar with that. It was a pivotal moment that helped him break free from the constraints of social anxiety. He reflects on the experience, saying, "Doing that talent show was one of the biggest things that helped me break out of that social anxiety shell. The best part about it, not only being able to be myself on stage, was the fact that it led to a lot more things in my life. It's the catalyst that helped me become who I am today." Harrison takes immense pride in the positive impact his book has created on his community. He explains, "A lot of people have been very happy with the book, have been very inspired by it. And I'm very happy that something that I like doing is able to inspire people to do great things."
This young man became a best-selling author after writing a children's book based on his experience with autism! Read the story here: https://t.co/oMIG2XOClM#autism #autismtvc2023 pic.twitter.com/EZZW1Vj0xD— The Victory Center for Autism (@Victory_School1) August 1, 2023
Beyond the immediate community, Harrison's aspirations for his book extend to a broader mission. He hopes that "Will You Be My Friend?" will continue to raise awareness about autism and demonstrate that individuals with autism can achieve remarkable feats. He emphasizes, "The other impact I think it has on the world is helping families with autism realize that there is hope. If they get the right support, if they get the right people helping, then people with autism can still easily thrive and succeed."
Harrison's book serves as a beacon of hope, not only for those on the autism spectrum but also for their families and communities. In a world where differences should be celebrated and embraced, Harrison's story exemplifies the power of resilience and the importance of fostering an inclusive society where everyone can shine.