11-year-old Colonia, NJ boy with autism publishes his own book
Alek Lesniak is amazing! He's 11 years old and lives in Colonia. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Since then he is now attending Pennsylvania Avenue School 27 where he is a member of the student council, the Elementary National Honor Society, makes the honor roll every marking period and he is also a safety patrol officer.
He has also published a book called "The Adventures of Muffin Man" and will be appearing Saturday, June 18 from 1-4 p.m. at the Sewaren Free Public Library
This was not an easy journey according to his mom, Bethania.
"Alek's challenges ranged from a speech delay and behavioral to social and sensory disorders. He did not begin speaking in full sentences until the age of 4," she said.
"He started school at the age of 3 in a special-needs class environment. Alek was getting up to 20 hours of therapy at home along with going to school."
The Woodbridge Township School District has played a huge impact in his success. With their help and the hard work of his therapist, Alek was able to achieve many goals."
So how did Alek come to write "The Adventures of Muffin Man? He called my New Jersey 101.5 show to explain.
"I love reading and drawing," says Alek. " At this time I was taking cartooning classes and one day I was drawing characters from other books and my mom suggested I create my own characters. I went a little too far and wrote my own book."
HIs mom says that at "an early age, Alek had a passion for reading and drawing. He was taking a cartooning art class and drawing characters from other books. I challenged him to create his own character and the rest is history."
How long did it take to write the book?
"The first draft took about 5 hours," says Alek "and I've been asking my parents to publish it for about 2 years now and my dream finally came true that I published my own book."
So what's next?
"Merchandising," says Alek.
"Alek’s goal in life is to be a successful businessman," says his mom. "He has plans of merchandising muffin man with toys like plushy‘s to Lego sets."
How proud are you of your son?
"Words cannot describe how proud I am of him and all of his accomplishments. Seeing him grow and overcome his challenges through the years is all I could ever ask for as a mother. He inspires us every day with his love and determination."
When you meet Alek Saturday, June 18 at the Sewaren Free Public Library, you'll be inspired as well.
To get a copy of "The Adventures of Muffin Man" click here.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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