Niamh Clune

Environment, poetry, comment, children's books,

Plum Tree Project Autism Awareness: Education and Celebration

Press Release

Project Autism Awareness Month kicks off on April 2nd  –  the date assigned to World Autism Day.  The project will continue throughout April. Plum Tree Books will host an online event in celebration of this worldwide event via

Autism is a “spectrum disorder”, meaning it reveals itself in several different forms. It affects boys three to four more times than girls, and symptoms appear within the first three years of life. Autism is linked to abnormal biology and chemistry of the brain. It is more prevalent than childhood cancer, juvenile diabetes, and paediatric HIV combined.

The American Academy of Paediatrics released the following statement: “The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new data on March 30, 2012, showing that 1 in 88 children-or 1.13 percent of U.S. children-has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder(ASD). This represents a twenty-three percent increase in the past two years.” (Source:

Tonia Houston, coordinating the project on behalf of Plum Tree Books said, “There is no better time than now to raise awareness. Plum Tree Books celebrates children. We hope this event will not only spread information, but honour autistic children and the people who love and care for them.”

Throughout the month, visitors are welcome to share information, personal stories, inspirational quotes, etc. Parents of autistic children who are involved with the event will share their stories on various blogs. Links to these blogs and relevant charities, resources, and national autism awareness events will be posted on the events page.

Other participating bloggers –

Patricia Tilton

Brianna Soloski  Girl Seeks Place   April 2nd

Niamh Clune  On the Plum Tree   April 2nd

Karen S. Elliott  The Word Shark     April 2nd

Jontybabe(JB Johnston) It’s a Crazy World!  April 3rd

Lorhainne Eckhart  The Choice of Giving April 6th

Heather Reid  I’d Rather be Writing  April 9nth

Tonia Marie Houston  Passionfind  April 11nth and end

of month wrap-up

Deb Hockenberry  The Bumpy Road to Writing for Children                                     April 16nth

DiAnne Ebejer DiAnne’s Place April 18th

About Dr Niamh

When I was a little girl (a very, very long time ago), I used to love learning new, really big words like ‘discombobulate’. As I grew, my love of words grew too, until I loved them so much, I could not stop writing them down. One day, as I was scribbling a particular word, a very peculiar thing happened. The word shouted at me, “Stop! Don’t put me there!” As you can imagine, I was shocked and nearly fell off my chair. When I recovered somewhat, I said to the word, “Could you stop shouting, please? I am not used to it.” Can you guess what happened next? No! I thought not. The word said, “I might be small, but I will misbehave if you do not use me properly. I will not tell the story you would like me to tell. I will say something entirely different!” I dropped my pen. I hoped that by dropping my pen, the word would stop talking. Alas! It did not. It carried on chitterchobbling, even after the ink had dried. I was in a pickle. I could not allow my words to run away with my story, now could I? I don’t know about you, but when this sort of thing happens, there is only one thing left to do if you prefer not to spend your time arguing. “Very well,” said I. “I will do as you ask if you will just be quiet and allow me to concentrate.” Since that day, I have been paying special attention to every word I invite into my stories. After all, a story should say exactly what it means to say and not be led astray. With love from Dr. Niamh, Ph.D in Learning Through The Imagination and Founder of Dr Niamh Children's Books.

5 comments on “Plum Tree Project Autism Awareness: Education and Celebration

  1. Stacy S. Jensen
    March 30, 2012

    I appreciate you all doing this. I follow a children’s book blogger: Patricia Tilton at She often features books about autism — both nonfiction and picture books. I find her to be a valuable resource for books on this subject. I look forward to your posts.


    • ontheplumtree
      March 30, 2012

      Thank You, Stacy for your helpful suggestions.


  2. Patricia Tilton
    March 31, 2012

    Stacy, thank you. I am a member of the Plum Tree FB. I just haven’t been reading my FB much lately because I’d never leave the computer. I appreciate your shout-out!


  3. ontheplumtree
    April 2, 2012

    Reblogged this on On The Plum Tree and commented:

    Please lend your support to this wonderful project. Visit us on and leave your stories and support.


  4. Betty Dravis
    April 2, 2012

    Thanks for all this information about autism, Niamh. I never knew it was more prevalent than diabetes. How sad… It’s good of you to shine the light on this disease that afflicts so many…

    I have a long-time author friend Frank Nappi whose book featuring an autistic teen boy who makes it big in baseball (due to a coach discovering him, working with him and his family). His first in the series, THE LEGEND OF MICKEY TUSSLER is now a film and out on DVD (re-titled for the movie: A MILE IN HIS SHOES). Nappi is a school teacher on Long Island and has the backing of some large autism groups. His second book in the series is the just-released SOPHOMORE CAMPAIGN. These are heart-warming, encouraging stories and I recommend them for anyone interested in this subject.

    Thanks for all the good works you do, Niamh.

    Hugs – Betty Dravis


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This entry was posted on April 2, 2012 by in Special Projects and tagged .
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