Waterbury teen with autism writes, illustrates, publishes kid’s book

WATERBURY -- FOX61 met with the Taylor family at the Bucks Hill Preschool, where Chase Taylor - now 17 - became fascinated by letters when he was a little boy.

"I wanted to bring it back to where we found out we had autism and the start of our journey," said his mom, Helen.

Chase was diagnosed with the developmental disorder when he was about 4 years old.

"He actually created his own alphabet that he understood," said Alan, his father.  "We told him to keep going because you never know what this will be someday - it could be something here - no one knows."

Well, today, it is something.

"I saw him doing the letters.  I said, 'Chase, are those your characters?' He said, 'Yes'.  'Do you have the whole alphabet?' He said, 'Yes.'  I said, 'Do you want to publish a book?' He said, 'OK,'" said Helen, pointing to a soft cover book called The Letter Critters, published on Amazon last month.

"It’s all about cute and cuddly animals that represent the letters in the alphabet," said Chase, who drew the characters and matched them with clever phrases.

"I had the idea from different shows and cartoons that I watch," he said.

Chase - who was recently inducted into the National Honor Society - has always identified with characters more than people.  Eight years ago, his parents brought the Autism Speaks walk to Waterbury.

"So far we’ve raised more than 700 thousand dollars," said Helen.

Proceeds from the book will also benefit autism organizations.  The Taylors hope it will simply help small children learn the alphabet while also impacting other families affected by autism.

"It’s also inspiring other parents, inspiring other children that you can do this, too," said Helen.

Like many parents of teens with autism, the Taylors are concerned about Chase's future.

"This might be a niche for him.  As parents of kids on the spectrum, where are they going to go? Who is going to hire them?" said Helen.

This book shows everyone what he can accomplish and express to the world.

"I felt pretty happy about that," said Chase.  "Very proud."

More books are on the horizon.

Click here to purchase a copy of The Letter Critters.