A 25-year-old Fairhaven, Massachusetts resident with autism has authored “Mike’s Big Space Adventure,” a self-published children’s book a year and a half in the making. The author, Reece Arnold, is a 2013 graduate of Fairhaven High School, and holds a Master Certificate in Orchestration for Film and TV from Berklee College of Music.
According to a report by the news site Southcoasttoday, proceeds from the book will go to organizations that have helped individuals with autism, including Arnold himself. In writing the book, Arnold received help from author Steven Manchester, and illustrator Sandra Hall. Arnold’s mother, Andrea Arnold, is a professional graphic designer, and used her expertise to help with the book’s layout.
Part of Arnold’s incentive in writing the book was to help stay productive during his search for employment. He also hoped to inspire and boost the self-esteem of others on the autism spectrum.
“They can do anything if they keep their mind to it,” he said. Thus far, about 250 of 1,000 printed copies have sold, and Arnold has participated in book signings at Holiday Barn Sale in Westport and at Fairhaven’s Millicent Library. Andrea Arnold said her son’s main priority at present is getting a job, and that she hopes his musical and video editing talents will be of help.
Fairhaven Public Schools and Fairhaven High School posted on social media in December in a show of support for Arnold’s book.
“Proud of this 2013 graduate who recently wrote a children’s book,” the post from the high school reads. “Reece also blew us all away with an amazing piano performance at Jr. Day during his time as a student. Way to go, Reece!”