Ed Winters and “Heroes of Karth”
My name is Grant Hamilton and ten years ago my son Gregory was diagnosed with autism. My wife Carla and I had noticed that he was not behaving the same as other kids and was being bullied in school due to these differences. Having a child diagnosed with autism changed my family’s lives forever and opened our eyes to a completely new world. We made the decision to re-invent ourselves by downsizing our home and home-schooling Gregory. This transition was not easy, and we have made many, many family sacrifices along the way, but it has absolutely been worth it. We would make exactly the same decisions if we had to do it over again.
As parents accompanying Gregory on this journey, Carla and I have become strong supporters of autism and we now see ourselves as champions for this cause. Certainly the challenges of raising a child with autism have been great but there have been so many more positives. As he has grown, Gregory has become quite a character, with a sweet personality, a “gentle giant” of a young man. He is a wonderful person, but if I were asked today if he could have a normal life and keep a job, I would hesitate to say yes.
Anyone who understands autism knows that their obsessions drive their happiness. Gregory’s obsessions are music, books and games. If something were to happen to Carla and I, who would feed his needs? Without support would he fall back into depression and sadness? Like many other families with special needs children, one starts to ask – what will happen after my wife and I are gone? Facing that question was a wake-up call for us, because his possible future in a group home or worse is not an acceptable outcome. We want him to have a normal life or at least have a happy life where he does not need to worry about how he will take care of himself. Pondering this question awoke a desire in me to provide help, not just for Gregory but also for everyone with autism!
In order to provide a more stable future for my son and raise autism awareness, I drew on my creative writing background and have written the first book of a fantasy series called Heroes of Karth: The Curse of the Undead. In this story, one of the main characters has autism, symbolizing one of the overarching themes of the story, “it is okay to be different”. It also conveys that having autism is analogous to having a super power and is not something to be ashamed of or hide.
Heroes of Karth: The Curse of the Undead deals with important themes such as autism awareness, LGBTQ and racism while still remaining a very entertaining fantasy story. Passionately written and professionally edited, with all original artwork, the book is available now in paperback and electronic format at Amazon.com.
I am also in the process of creating and developing a Living Strategy Card Game based on the novels and it is almost ready to release.