Trey Sheppard, 13, a Jacksonville native with autism now adds published author to his name. Co-writing a children’s book called, “The Day My World Changed” with his mother, Natalie Sheppard, during this stressful pandemic time. As many children are trying to figure out what to do with their time and the lack of connection with friends and family, this book is helping children across the country to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, Trey’s mother was told that he wouldn’t be able to do many times, but he is continue to prove doctors wrong. “One thing we love saying is we crash nevers every day because the day he was diagnosed we were told about all of these nevers: He may never talk, he may never communicate the way we want him to communicate, he may never play organized sports, he may never be able to read,” Mrs. Sheppard tells CBS 47 / Fox 30 news.
“We started seeing signs of anxiety and just not understanding what’s going on and not being able to express himself when his communication has grown leaps and bounds,” Mrs. Sheppard states. At that point, they began journaling together as a release technique to help Trey calm down and understand his emotions. Sheppard’s mother wonder with Trey feeling this way, how many other children were coping with the pandemic.
From there the journal entries begin to evolve into the children’s book. Taking matters into their own hands, they hired an illustrator on their own and published the book. Since launching in July 2020, more than 250 copies have been sold. The is now in homes and some classrooms that include states like, New York, Georgia, Michigan and Illinois.