Friday, December 11, 2015

My book to be: The special needs smartphone for independent living

I’m working on a book with a working title of Special Needs Smartphone. I don’t think that will be my final title, but it’s a good description. It’s a book I’m well placed to write; I have years of experience with two very different special needs smartphone users, I’m a geek, I’m used to writing, and I have the opportunity to do it. I’m not expecting to make money, but I do hope to make a positive difference. The book will cover both iOS and Android (that’s not easy, by the way :-).

I’m writing this book for parents and other supporters of teens and adults with a range of different minds. This includes teens and adults with IQs of 60-70 and limited reading skills, but it also includes normal IQ autism spectrum teens managing disabling preoccupations or aversions to some independent living skills. Some on the spectrum, for example, might find calendaring painful, have an aversion to lists and schedules, or be unfortunately prone to getting lost.

The goal of this work is to support independent living and mitigate harm that can come to a vulnerable population living with a tool of amazing, sometimes frightening, power and versatility.

I’m considering publishing options and a kickstarter campaign, but my default assumption is that I’ll self-publish through Amazon print-on-demand and self-fund. For the community I’m trying to reach I think a printed book is essential, eBook is secondary.

At some point in the next few weeks I’ll launch a domain and blog/tweet under my “true name” to promote the book and support readers. Until then I’ll have some posts here; I like blogging as a way to think about what I’m working on and some of these posts should be useful in themselves. You can get a feel for what’s coming by reviewing the Best You Can Be blog posts I’ve written on this topic over several years (Technology tag). One caveat — the book tone will be lighter and brighter than my usual somewhat dour style (I blame my Scots ancestry).

If you have ideas, advice, want to recommend a publisher or just want email notification of publication, please email me at or leave a comment below.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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