After a diagnosis of autism at age 3, a Los Altos teenager struggled to untangle the complex world around her. Grappling with a confusing lexicon of facial expressions, feelings, human reactions and how she should respond, the teen began documenting her experiences through a written and visual journal as a child.
Now a high school student who takes AP courses, the teen shared her journey in a book that chronicles the barriers she overcame. “How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl” (Creston Books, 2013), written under the pseudonym Florida Frenz, features handwritten journal entries and colorful illustrations that communicate how she felt growing up with autism.
“I am hoping this book will help other people dealing with their own special needs,” said Frenz through her publisher Marissa Moss. “I wanted other kids to be inspired and to believe that they can do whatever they put their minds to doing.”
After publication last fall, Frenz’s book was added to the 2013 Distinguished Book List by the Association of Children’s Libraries of Northern California. To commemorate National Autism Month, Frenz released a digital version of the book this month.
“How to Be Human” is available for purchase at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos; and Books Inc., 301 Castro St., Mountain View. You can link to online sources for the book at crestonbooks.co.