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Sergio Liden Releases Children's Book to Help Families Understand and Embrace Autism

Linden's book was inspired by his firsthand experience of having an autistic son.

Sergio Liden Releases Children's Book to Help Families Understand and Embrace Autism

With only a few weeks away from Autism Awareness month, Dad's Publishing is setting out to help children who have an autistic brother or sister better understand their sibling as well as their own feelings with the release of their third children's book, His Own Way, on March 22, 2021. Their newest book, by children's book author and human rights activist Sergio Liden was inspired by his firsthand experience of having an autistic son. The book will be available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

"I wish I had had a book like this when our son was diagnosed. We didn't know what to expect. This book was written from my oldest daughter's perspective on having an autistic brother. A person's worth shouldn't depend on whether or not they have a disability. His Own Way promotes understanding which inevitably leads to a more loving world. If we are going to make the world a better place for autistic people and their families, we need to talk openly about the disadvantages associated with autism as well as how to understand autistic people while protecting their rights and dignity." said Liden about his new book.

The 39-page book was beautifully illustrated by Francesco Orazzini; they have dedicated it "To those who feel invisible, remember, you are very much seen."

The Autism Society of America, one of the nation's oldest leading grassroots autism organizations, celebrates National Autism Awareness Month in April each year and is designed to build a better awareness of the signs, symptoms, and realities of autism. Their campaign #CelebrateDifferences focuses on providing information and resources to be more aware of autism, promote acceptance, and be more inclusive in everyday life.

About the Author:

Children's Book Author and Human Rights activist Sergio Liden's first 19 years of his life began running, literally. Fleeing first his country of birth, Spain (Madrid) - under then dictator General Franco - and again from a military coup in Buenos Aires, Argentina, his family came to the United States and settled in sunny Southern California, in the quiet suburbs of Los Angeles when he was 5. But for Sergio, they were anything but quiet. This was just the beginning.

As a survivor of an extremely violent childhood, Liden attended Mountain Avenue Elementary from kindergarten to the sixth grade and Rosemont Jr. High for middle school. Before completing the seventh grade, he was institutionalized for attempted suicide. Being that he was in the throes of alcoholism, he has no recollection of his time in eighth grade and the following year he moved to Argentina to live with his grandmother. Unfortunately, he fell through the cracks again and attended ten different high schools.

As a senior at El Camino Real High School, he asked his counselor about his credits, and a dizzying array of sources told him conflicting answers, from being a freshman while others thought he was a senior. In his mind, dropping out appeared to be his only solution as he was about to be emancipated from Penny Lane Centers and had nowhere to go. With nothing, he moved to Austin, Texas, then to Washington D.C., and found himself in New York City where he attended a semester at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Liden credits his counselor and mentor Elin Bradley at Penny Lane Centers for saving his life. She was the one who drove Sergio to his first AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting at age 17. He has been sober ever since and holds a 32-year friendship with Ms. Bradley.

At 19, Sergio became homeless living on the streets, and though he was offered drugs multiple times, he maintained his sobriety. He did this by going to 7 to 10 AA meetings a day. With a lot of help and love, his life took a turn in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. where he met the woman that would later become his wife. From there he became a better counselor, friend, and listener, and found happiness for the first time.

As a Human Rights activist and volunteer counselor, Liden has worked with children in juvenile hall, those housed in "camps," and with children in group homes. Liden has also worked with adult inmates in the LA county jail system - from the Men's Central and Twin Towers, to female inmates at CRDF in Lynwood - and inmates housed at both Wayside and Wayside Supermax in Santa Clarita, California. He has also counseled members of law enforcement, both Sheriff, LAPD, and every branch of the military suffering from PTSD.

Sergio has also taken his work to state prisons around the country to meet with school shooters as well. On his most recent trip, he went to Texas' death row to meet with an inmate. After the pandemic is over, he plans to meet with another prisoner who is on Alabama's death row. Why? Because he believes these people would not be there if they had an Elin Bradley in their lives.

Sergio and his wife Anna had their first child, a daughter, on March 22, 2003. His inspiration for writing children's books came after her birth. His daughter was born weighing 10 lbs., but compared to him, standing at a whopping 6'5 ½, she was little, to which he nicknamed her Itty Bitty. This was the third and boldest demarcation of his life before and after he had children. The first was Elin, the second was his wife.

One morning while his daughter was lying on the living room floor, barely able to lift her head, Sergio got the curiosity of lying down next to her and seeing the world from her perspective. He saw that the dining table was nothing but four legs holding "something up," that the chairs were also just legs holding "something up," and that the couch was this "long thing" that made no sense. It was at this moment when he realized that he must appear as a giant to his infant daughter and after observing his surroundings from her perspective, he ran over to his office and poured out his first book, Little Itty Bitty's First Day.

Since then, Itty Bitty had a teeny younger brother, who was diagnosed with autism, that became the inspiration to Sergio's new book His Own Way which is to be released in March 2021.

In his books, Sergio's characters find themselves alone in their plight and take great influence on those people Sergio has counseled in his past, making his illustrations a great form of counseling. You feel lost and alone? Go read Little Itty Bitty's First Day. Do you feel like a financial failure? Read The Greatest Christmas Ever. Do you feel like you might be going insane due to this lockdown caused by the pandemic? Read Little Itty Bitty's Fly Me to the Moon. And there are many other prescriptions in the form of beautifully illustrated and exceptionally well-told children's books. Other titles include My Mommy and Daddy's My Mom, which is inspired by the kidnapping of Sergio's first son by his mother (also to be released in 2021).

His hobbies include writing, counseling those who are suffering from emotional strain, speaking engagements, and spending time with his daughter and son.

His purpose is to effect legislation barring Pharmaceuticals from over-prescribing medication, expose abuse in mental hospitals and push to review the laws about parental kidnappings.

Liden is a big supporter of the Penny Lane Centers and was the keynote speaker at Penny Lane's 45th annual Voices of Our Children Fundraiser. He also supports the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC), Autism Speaks, EJI (Equal Justice Initiative), and The Help Group, the largest school system for children with autism in Los Angeles.

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