One question I often get about my book It’s Almost Time is: what gave you the idea to write about clocks?
I didn’t wake up one day and say “I’m going to write about clock sounds.” It was a process that is close to my heart.
My son was always a bit different then the other kids. He observed things other kids took for granted. He was the first to tell a shop owner they had a light bulb out, that their clock was off, or that there was a buzzing sound. When at the mall, he was always drawn into the clock store. I never thought anything of it, hey, clocks are cool! We’d go into the store and Alex would spend a good 30 minutes watching the clocks. The worker there would take the hands and slowly move them up to the hour so the clocks would cuckoo-cuckoo, sing, or dance. He loved showing Alex the new clocks that came in.
One day I was working at the mall and Alex was with me for a few hours. They let him hang out in the clock store and tinker with a broken clock.
I searched for clock books. The only ones I could find were telling time books, and it wasn’t the same. So I sat down at my computer to capture the experience. I wanted to show all the different sounds, and introduce the different types of clocks. To Alex and I, clocks came alive when we walked in the store. Even my youngest loved going to the clock store.
Not long after, Alex was diagnosed with high functioning Autism. Alex found a friendship in clocks he couldn’t find in people. Clocks are safe, reliable, and sociable in a way he can relate too. They are all different, and none of them ask too much from each other.
When my book came out, Alex had an outlet. He loves coming with me on author visits and organizing the audience. He came up with the audience being all the clocks and recreating the clock store experience. I get tears in my eyes thinking of how comfortable he is in front of people when I take him with me to do visits.
Since my book was published, I’ve heard from other parents with children with Autism that they connect to the book. Who knew how many people love and relate to clocks as much as our family!
Alex starts high school this year. He has a small collection of clocks to keep him company, and some human buddies as well. I’ve learned so much from Alex and am a proud mom. I wouldn’t change anything about him. Those with autism make this world a little bit more special. I’m blessed to be a proud mom of a child on the Spectrum.
If you are interested in reading more about Alex and when we diagnosed him, visit here:
“Tick-tick tock, it’s almost time. The gears are winding, getting ready to chime.”
It’s Almost Time, Kane Miller