A children’s book aims to promote the capital’s rich history and the values of compassion all in one package.
Suhail’s Abu Dhabi Adventure is a sequel to 2017’s The Boy Who Knew the Mountains, written by Michele Ziolkowski and inspired by her son Suhail, who was diagnosed with autism at an early age.
“Through our protagonist’s journey, the audience learns of his challenges and that he possess remarkable abilities,” says Michele, an archaeologist from Australia who is married to an Emirati.
“This inspiring story teaches a young audience about autism, tolerance and inclusion. It also provides insight into Abu Dhabi’s historical past.”
Michele’s latest project once more highlights her personal advocacy to educate people about autism and the misconceptions surrounding the condition.
“There is one particular scene in the book that highlights the issue of eye contact and autism. Some individuals on the autistic spectrum find it difficult to make eye contact with others. I know that this was very difficult for Suhail when he was younger, and to some extent, it still is,” Michele says.
“It’s important for us to realise that a child with autism is always listening, even if they are not looking directly at you.
“One of the main messages I wanted to get across is not to underestimate a person who might face challenges with communication.
“My son is a quiet boy [but] he is also intelligent, loving and has a great sense of humour. Our children have so much to offer and it is our role to advocate for them and create a community that is accepting and understanding.”
Suhail’s Abu Dhabi Adventure is available at Early Starters bookshop in Al Jazair Street, Abu Dhabi and jamalon.com. Both books will be on sale at the Louvre Boutique from September onwards.