Autism is a complex, lifelong developmental disability that typically appears during early childhood and can impact a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. It is defined by a certain set of behaviors and is a “spectrum condition” that affects people differently and to varying degrees. While there is currently no known single cause of autism, early diagnosis helps a person receive the support and services that they need, which can lead to a quality life filled with opportunity.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day. During the entire month of April, you’ll hear about autism-oriented fundraisers, autism awareness presentations, autism-friendly happenings, and special opportunities to recognize people on the autism spectrum. You’ll also notice that most people involved with these activities are wearing the color
blue which represents those with disabilities.
After being misunderstood, isolated, and excluded in school, Timothy Rohrer, a young adult with autism, who became an international sensation at the age of eighteen with his published children’s guide “ How to Be a Good Influence to People with Disabilities,” has just authored, illustrated and self-published his first children’s book titled “ Timmy’s Story: A Story about Autism and Friendship.”
Tim’s work, which is centered on disabilities, friendship, and inclusion, has already made a huge impact around the world. He is excited to see his children’s book come to life. It will be available for purchase on Amazon around Mid- April. A link will be available on his website and Facebook page on how to purchase his book at: https://tips4Inclusion.wixsite.com/disabilityinclusion and https://facebook.com/Tips4Inclusion. “Timmy’s Story: A Story about Autism and Friendship” is a heartwarming story about a child with autism. The first sentence of the book opens the story and sets the tone of the book: “Timmy is a cute boy who is funny and smart but does not have any friends.”
Tim uses his character, Timmy, to teach about autism through his eyes and through examples of what he experienced while growing up with Autism.
Tim’s vision is for disability education to be taught in schools so nobody has to experience the pain of isolation he had felt throughout his younger life. Tim’s voice is gentle but powerful and very inspiring and he has the unique ability to touch people’s hearts with his words.
Tim’s quote, “Even though we are all different, we can all be friends” is the theme of the book as well as the premise of all the work. The main character Timmy may have the challenges of autism, but he likes music, art, and recess just as any child does. Children will learn that just because someone has a disability, it doesn’t mean you can’t be their friend. The illustrations in this book were all hand-drawn by Tim Rohrer and the graphics work was created by his childhood friend Anthony San Philips, who also has a disability.
Tim is a speaker, self-advocate, and educator of disabilities and inclusion. He also created Tips4Inclusion and has his own website and YouTube channels that have many resources on there about disability inclusion.
Both channels are named “Tips4Inclusion.” He has spoken at schools and conferences and even made his way to the top speaking at the NJ Department of Education. Tim has received a commendation from the NJ State Senate and Assemblymen and he is also a managing partner of a teen-founded non-profit organization, 5HelpFoundation who supports Tim’s message of inclusion.
The 5help Foundation was started by two Millstone Township teens (Drew and Heather Paglia) who started a mission to help people in need during covid but has since expanded to other areas of helping people in need. They asked Tim to be on their Board of Directors for their non-profit as their Autism spokesperson this past August. The siblings wanted to show what true inclusion was by asking Tim to be a partner.
You can help them support Tim, who has worked the last two and a half years for free educating and making inclusion resources, by donating to their fundraiser for Tim listed under Autism/Inclusion/Anti Bullying/
Awareness & Tips4Inclusion, on their website: https://5help.org. All they ask for is a five-dollar donation and to tell five friends about the organization, but any amount donated would be appreciated.