Educators Judy Cohen, Mindee Pinto join forces to pen book on autism, 'Mikey'

August 22, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Two educators who specialized in autism spectrum disorders have the answers in a book that is written through the eyes of a fictional character named "Mikey."

Judy Cohen and her daughter Mindee Pinto wrote "Mikey."

"I heard a mother in California on a radio station talk about her frustrations because her child who is in 5th grade was not being accepted by the children in his mainstream classroom and this was a child diagnosed with autism," said Judy Cohen, author. "The teacher did not know how to handle his behaviors."

"The book came about as an idea on a fictional character of children that I have worked with and a collaboration of children who have what mickey portrays in the story," said Mindee Pinto, author.

"Mikey" explains how a young child with autism sees, hears and feels the world around him in his school environment.

Illustrator Mark Fairbanks based "Mickey" on his son Harry, who is autistic.

"I kind brought my own personal background and story into it," said Fairbanks.

The book was released in March. Reviews have been positive and now they are planning the next steps.

"We want to write more books about Mikey in different situations, our goal is to also look at character licensing for make a puppet of Mikey, a stuffed animal, and a weighted backpack," said Cohen.

"We want this book everywhere. We want it national, international, in stores online, in hands of every kind of professional that works with children with autism," said Pinto.

"What I hope is that people just don't understand what autism is and helping these kids fit in a mainstream classroom and helping people understand that these kids can work and have a meaningful career," said Fairbanks.

"Mikey" sells for $9.99. It's available on Amazon and also

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