With April being World Autism Awareness Month, local first-time author Anna Katrina Ecleo-Canlas released a children’s book about the spectrum disorder. 

Quiet Comfort is set in Moose Jaw and follows the adventures of an autistic girl named Lily. 

"Lily wears a noise-cancelling headset almost all the time to block out overwhelming noises and feel more relaxed in navigating her surroundings,” Ecleo-Canlas explained. 

She said that it's not unusual for autistic children to use noise-cancelling headsets or cover their eyes due to sensory overload that can make it difficult for them to focus and they can be restless and discomfort. The book is about acceptance and inclusion because Lily wears a headset. 

Ecleo-Canlas added that the book is a story that is very personal to her. 

"My daughter was diagnosed with autism in January of 2022. So, I just want to be an advocate for kids with autism and spread awareness,” she said. 

Since announcing the book release on Facebook, Ecleo-Canlas said the response has been great and she’s sold a lot more books than she expected. Within 24 hours of posting about the book, it was on Amazon’s best seller lists for Children with Disabilities, Parenting Hyperactive Children and Children with Disabilities, and Books on Autism in Children and Asperger Syndrome. 

But Ecleo-Canlas said, more importantly, the book has opened up the conversation about autism. 

"As a parent, it's not the number of books sold but the number of people I've reached and had a connection with the book," she said.  

“I have received messages from friends sharing their own stories, not just about autism but also about bullying or being unique in general.  So even though it's just a children's book or a short story, I feel like I've done something to make them feel understood to make them open up to me." 

Those interested in purchasing Ecleo-Canlas' book can find it on Amazon.