FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: December 08, 2006
Contact: Ann Kohn / Olathe District Schools
Young Author's First Book Provides Valuable Message
OLATHE - While some people aspire a lifetime to become writers, Dylan Peters, a fourth-grade student at Brougham Elementary, wasted little time pursuing an interest in writing and getting his work published. Dylan's age and the valuable message he delivers make his work interesting and amazing.
Dylan wrote Tic Talk - Living with Tourette Syndrome, his own personal story about how he lives with Tourette Syndrome (TS), a neurological disorder characterized by facial and body ticks that are often accompanied by repetitive noises. Dylan's message helps people of all ages better understand TS and what it means to those who have the disorder.
"I really became interested in writing in third grade," 9-year-old Dylan said. "I would spend hours at home on the computer writing short stories about my friends, family, sports and events."
The idea for Dylan to write a book was a result of a suggestion last year from Rita Sudhalter, Dylan's third-grade teacher who noticed his writing talents. After seeing how his fellow students embraced and accepted the fact that Dylan had TS, she recommended to Dylan that he write a book about it.
According to Tammy Peters, Dylan's mother, he spent about eight weeks writing the rough draft. "Only the foreword and the 'Teacher Strategies' sections are written by someone else," she said. "Jim Eisenreich and Brad Cohen, who wrote these sections, also have TS."
When Dylan was first diagnosed with TS at the age of 4, he wanted to keep the disorder a secret. But he soon found out that the repetitive motions associated with Tourette Syndrome do not go unnoticed, especially in a class of elementary students.
"Along with telling my friends my secret of having Tourette Syndrome last year, writing this book has given me hope that other kids and adults will be more aware and accepting of people with TS and any other kinds of challenges," Dylan said. "I just want people to know that I can not stop the tics, but I am still the same Dylan I was before they knew about my Tourette Syndrome."
Dylan's mom said that Dylan has never been made fun of because of his tics, but he has friends with Tourette Syndrome that have been teased, and it breaks Dylan's heart. "With this book," she said, "Dylan just wants everyone to know that big or small, hidden or obvious, everyone has challenges in life and our world would be much happier and brighter if people were more accepting, tolerant and aware."
Zachary Wendland, Dylan's friend, illustrated Tic Talk - Living with Tourette Syndrome. "Zach did an amazing job, and I have several favorite illustrations," Dylan said of the talented artist who also attends Brougham Elementary School.
Five Star Publications, Inc., is publishing Dylan's book. Dylan and his family will receive advance copies later this month, but the copyright date is 2007.
People can also purchase the book from Amazon.com, Walmart.com and through the book's web site: www.ticktalkbook.com.
Dylan and his family are appreciative of all the support and help he received in writing the book. "Our family would like to extend a special thank-you to the entire Brougham Elementary family (Principal Brian Lowe, staff, parents and students) who have supported Dylan and provided us such great resources and help through the publishing process," Tammy said. "We also thank Linda Radke and the Five Star family for providing Dylan the opportunity to make his dream of spreading awareness and acceptance about Tourette Syndrome a reality."
By the way, in case anyone is wondering, this young author does plan to have book-signing parties - especially at Brougham Elementary and at local bookstores. A special assembly at Brougham Elementary is planned for Dec. 19th to celebrate the upcoming release of Dylan's book.
"Our hope is to have this book in every school library and every living room coffee table that we can," Tammy said.
In the meantime, Dylan is already thinking about what's next. "I am tossing the idea around about starting another book, but I want to enjoy this book's release since it comes from the heart," he said.