About I Have Autism and That’s OK Book
Autism is a scary word. Let’s face it. We don’t know where it comes from and there is currently no “cure.” As parents, we want to have all of the answers for our children. We want to make everything better, perfect even, for them. But autism and the mystery surrounding it doesn’t allow for that.
When our son, Billy, was diagnosed at age 2, there were a ton of unanswered questions and a great amount of uncertainty about what the future would hold for him. We felt a little helpless. We didn’t have the answers. We didn’t have the certainty. What we did have and what we were certain of was our unconditional love for and devotion to our son. So, rather than focus and dwell on the uncertainty, we decided to focus on the things that were certain. Much like every other child, Billy loved to run. He loved to draw pictures. He loved to….love! And we loved him. So this book is about all of the certainties, the positives, the love. And, as an afterthought, Billy has autism. And, for us, that’s okay!
About The Author
Kristin and John Arniotis live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. John, a Native of East Rockaway, NY, is a Consultant for a mortgage company. John enjoys snowboarding, camping, fishing and spending time with his sons and family. Kristin was raised in Philadelphia and is a stay at home Mom to their four sons Billy, Nicky, Jake and Anthony. Kristin enjoys spending time with family and has always enjoyed writing.
Kristin and John are both very passionate about two very significant causes. One is Autism. Their son, Billy, was diagnosed at age 2 with moderate Autism. Billy is now 7 and attends First Grade in a typical classroom setting. Billy is an inspiration, a miracle, a true blessing from God. Any contribution that they can make to support the research effort for a cure for Autism would be an honor to Kristin and John. They plan to donate part of the proceeds of this book to the Autism Cares Foundation.
The other cause that is very close to their hearts is A Miracle For Debbie Foundation. Debbie Chakler, Kristin’s Mother, passed away at the age of 57 in May of 2013 after a 22 month battle with pancreatic cancer. Debbie started this foundation at the onset of her illness to help others suffering through cancer and chemotherapy treatments. Debbie was a true Angel on Earth who lived each and every day with a smile, even through the most painful days of her illness. She was an inspiration to so many people and it is the wish of her family to keep her foundation going and continue helping others in Debbie’s honor. Part of the proceeds of the book will also go to A Miracle For Debbie Foundation.
Billy Arniotis is a 7 year-old first-grader in a “typical” mainstreamed class at Farrell Elementary School in Philadelphia, where he loves to read. He has three younger brothers, with whom he loves to play. He was diagnosed as having autism at age 2, and with great family love and support and consistent occupational therapy, he has thrived. He inspires children and families at local book signings and is becoming a local celebrity on radio and television.
John Arniotis, a native of East Rockaway, New York, is a consultant for a mortgage company. While he has enjoyed drawing from a young age, this is his first book as an illustrator. He is a husband and a father of four young boys. He enjoys snowboarding, camping, fishing and spending time with his wife and family. He is extremely proud of the reaction from the book and how his son, Billy, is being embraced by everyone with whom he comes in contact.