The Girl Who Didn’t Know How To Be – A picture book about autism and neurodiversity

MildaBandzaite1What was your light bulb moment, in which you thought; let’s make a beautiful picture book about it being ok to be a little different?

I don’t think there was an exact moment when I decided to make this book. Most of the time ideas come just out of nowhere, reflecting the world I live in, my own experiences and feelings, but not necessary have direct connection with reality; same with this story. Originally I was not planning to publish and share this story with the rest of the world, as it’s always difficult to put a part of yourself out there to be criticised and let total strangers into your own world. But day from day I saw lots of misunderstanding around. Others don’t try to be more understanding and just want to control everyone around, labelling people who don’t fit into imaginary normality. I really like diversity and don’t want others to believe that there is only one way of being, or one way of thinking and seeing the world. I think that the story I want to share with the world reflects the sad reality and misunderstanding that surrounds us. Also I wanted to show that ignorance really hurts and hope that some people will be able to relate to the story as well.

How did you get together with the other collaborators?

MildaBandzaite5I’m horrible at asking people to help or be part of something, especially if that means a lot to me (and my art is the only real thing I actually have), as I’m extremely scared that may say no and something horrible will happen. But for some reason I was lucky enough to meet all those wonderful people who wanted to be a part of this project and bring the picture book to the world. It happens to me all the time, for some mysterious reasons people like what I do and are interested to collaborate. Probably because I work really hard on the things I’m interested and give everything I can to the projects I’m involved, and they are able to sense it. So, after I told Maxi (Jake Maxwell) about my next picture book and that I was thinking to publish it using the Kickstarter platform, he insisted to shoot the video.

Other people who appear in the video are either my or his friends and acquaintances. We shortly told them about what we are doing and that the video is not going to be a regular Kickstarter video, but rather a piece of art itself transforming the message to wider audiences. They got excited and wanted to be a part of it. What Maxi did is incredible and I’m so happy and lucky to have him on board.

Below you can view the Kickstarter video, filmed and directed by Jake Maxwell

Once the campaign has ended, can people still purchase your book?

Yes, sure! Although people should consider pre-ordering the book now (there is also an option to donate a book to the library if someone feel generous enough) as that way they will help me to reach the target and make this project reality. Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform.

But after the book is published, people still will be able to buy it and I hope it will reach lots of people, especially the ones who don’t know much about neurodiversity. Everyone can keep an eye on the project here:

Milda ends our interview with the following message for our readers.

‘Through my works I want to send a message that it’s ok to be you, as long as you don’t hurt others. That autism is not a problem, but society that wants to control others and defines what is the “right” and what’s “wrong” is.’

Milda writes a blog that can be found here
The Kickstarter page can be found here
You can follow Milda on Facebook and Twitter

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Copyright 2015 Autism Daily Newscast

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About Jo Worgan

Jo Worgan is a published author, writer and blogger. She has a degree in English Literature. She writes about life with her youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum. Jo tweets (@mummyworgan) and is also a freelance columnist for the Lancaster Guardian. ‘My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available on Kindle now, along with her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years.