Come and hear Vivienne Freestone shine a light on autism

Broken Hill residents are invited to hear Vivienne Freestone talk about her self-published book “Discovering Matthew” at the Broken Hill Library at 6pm on Tuesday, July 19.

Broken Hill City Library is the first stop on Ms Freestone’s rural book tour, encompassing places like Dalby, Gladstone and Narrabri.

Ms Freestone is a speech pathologist and teacher with forty years of experience and specialising for the past thirty years in working with families, children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

“I think this will be great for anyone wanting to understand more about autism, especially parents and grandparents of children with autism who want to learn more about ASD,” Ms Freestone said.

“The book is a fictional story about a young boy Matthew who is in year six at the end of primary school. He has been diagnosed with ASD but has never been told about the diagnosis,” Ms Freestone said.

The undisclosed diagnosis creates drama within the story, letting the reader explore what Matthew’s diagnosis means for his family and those around him.

“I began writing the book in 2009, sitting by a stream while my husband was fishing. I wanted to write all my experience into a story that can show people what it is like for someone with ASD and the challenges their families face,” said Ms Freestone.

This easy-to-read fiction is written in the third person, primarily from Matthew’s perspective, for readers to journey into Matthew’s high-functioning mind to investigate what superpowers a person with autism has.

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“Discovering Matthew” tackles themes of financial stress, support and acceptance faced by Matthew, his family and friends.

The book launch is free for anyone wanting to attend and will involve an interview-style presentation, a question session and light refreshments.

Copies of “Discovering Matthew” will also be available for purchase after the presentation.

Discovering Matthew was self-published in February with assistance from people in Ms Freestone’s home region of the Fleurieu Penninsula in South Australia.

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