By Armond Isaak, coauthor of Armond Goes to a Party
Hi there! I am Armond Isaak, a teenage author with Asperger’s syndrome. You may think that I am different from you, but I bet we have a lot in common. I go to the nearby public high school every morning at 7:00 a.m. After school, I come home and usually play with my dog Piper—she loves fetching the tennis ball in the backyard. I also have a snack. Tennis season starts next week, so I will have practice or a match every day after school. I do chores, do homework, watch TV, and text my friends. I get all A’s in my classes. I like school, love to learn, and love to read. I have a book collection, sort of a mini library in my bedroom. My younger sister likes to borrow my books. Sometimes I also lend books to other relatives, or to our neighbors.
I play the trumpet in my school’s freshman band, pep band, pit orchestra, jazz band, and marching band. I go to church every week. I also volunteer at my church with the youth group. I am an active member of my Boy Scout troop, where I am trying to earn my Eagle award. I play video games with my friends and hang out with them, too. I just got my driver’s permit.
I am a normal teenager, but writing a book has helped me with my English classes because I know what it is like to go through the editing process. Plus I get to surprise my teacher with the fun fact that I published a book with Nancy Carlson.
If I had not published this book, I would never have had some of the fun experiences I did. My book release party was bigger than any other party I’ve had, and it is something I never want to forget. Even writing this blog post is neat because I get to have a personal piece of my life open to the public to read. Being a published teenage author also gives me a confidence boost that I could not have gotten anywhere else. For example, I was nervous cantoring at church when I was younger, but now that I have been in front of a live audience on TV, I don’t have stage fright. In the past, social situations were really hard for me. As I’ve grown up, I’ve learned strategies to deal with that stress. One of the main reasons I decided to write a picture book was to teach younger kids tricks like knowing when to take a break from a loud, hectic event and learning how to handle last-minute changes. Sometimes I still feel stressed when this happens, but now I know how to deal with it better. When I feel down, I go and read people’s comments and reviews about the book and feel good knowing I have helped kids who have Asperger’s (and their parents, too).
If you would have told me years ago that I would become a published author and all of these amazing things would happen, I would have laughed or thought you were crazy. I smile now because of the book—not because it is crazy but because it makes me happy. I am so honored and blessed that all of this happened to me.
Armond Isaak taught himself to read when he was three years old and hasn’t stopped learning since. Besides books, his loves include Legos, tennis, and playing the trumpet, and he is a proud Boy Scout. Now in high school, Armond has been learning to embrace his uniqueness instead of fight it, and he has a small circle of friends with similar interests. Armond lives with his mom, dad, sisters, cat, and dog in New Hope, Minnesota.
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