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14-Year-Old Autism Student Isreal Rigby Pens Maiden Book

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

Young author Isreall Rigby and his mother Maxcia Rigby at the launch of his book “What Happens Next”.

Many of those who visited the Graceway IGA Store on Saturday, August 19 to purchase a copy of “What Happens Next”, a book penned by 14-year-old autism student Isreal Rigby, were awed by the way he was able to coin some beautiful thoughts into writing, thus producing this exciting project.

Isreal’s mom, Maxcia Rigby, was on hand at the launch to assist with the book sale, admiring him as he autographed each copy before handing to those who purchased one. She said Isreal actually wrote the book when he was 13 years old, revealing that he recently turned 14.

Rigby, outlining to NewslineTCI as to how the book became a reality, explained that Isreal, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3, has had writing challenges at school.

“But one of his teachers decided that she would give him journal writing to do, to talk about some of the things that he likes…to encourage him to write,” she said.

She added: “And that (journal writing assignment) turned into a saying, ‘Why not turn this journal into a book, so that other people can see that he has overcome this challenge of not being able to write and express his thoughts.’ Children with autism always have problems with communication, that is one of the challenges they have. However, Israel has found his voice by writing a book.”

Isreal Rigby autographs a copy of his book, while his mother Maxcia Rigby looks on admiringly.

She told NewlineTCI that oftentimes there have been little to no intervention in the Turk sand Caicos with such special needs, which was what spurred her to becoming a trained behavioral therapist, giving assistance not only to Isreal, but also others who might need her expertise.

“I just recently become a behavior therapist myself. That (her son’s challenges) was one of the reasons I did that…and that meant support to Isreal, obviously and persons within the community, becoming a behavior therapist. I support him in all his activities as he goes to summer camps, as he goes up and gives speeches publicly with his school, Ashley’s Learning Centre. He also plays soccer, so I support him in whatever he wants to do,” the young author’s mom said.

Rigby pointed out that “What Happens Next” is for children and adults alike because, among other things, the author took his readers on a journey into his young and exciting world, where they would get to know much more about him.

“This book is for children, but it is also for adults, because you can also see the writing style of Isreal. Isreal wrote the book himself. I assisted him with some of the editing, but he did most of it himself, and it is in his own world, it is how he sees the world.

“He introduces himself in the book and he talks about some of the things he likes, and he doesn’t like…some of the things that go on in his daily life with his brother, which is his older brother. He talks about his family in the book and activities that he participates in.

“However, he has this thing where he wants to know what happens next. He always wants to know what we are going to do next…what happens next. And that inspires the name for the book. So, you would find that he talks about a lot of things in the book,” Rigby pointed out.

She said “What Happens Next” will serve as a source of inspiration to parents that they should not throw in the towel because of their children having a few challenges.

“We want to achieve a sense of hope for our children and parents, who have children with special needs. It gives us hope to know that these children are able to accomplish way more than we think they can.

“They understand a lot about the world…they may see it differently, but it is also for parents like me not to give up on children…that they can do great things. You just have to support them. You have to push them and be by their side. All of them are different, but they all have a special gift,” Rigby concluded.



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