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Cayden John loves dinosaurs.
Join him on a journey through his imagination and
discover dinos that 
STOMP, FLY and RAWR  !!

 

But Wait! Did you hear that? I think it's Mommysaurus!

 

Will Cayden John Dinosaur answer to his mom
when she calls for him? Follow along on his adventure
and help him learn how to respond to his name. 

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Learn more about the

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series

Cayden John Dinosaur: Responding to Your Name

is the first book in the Better Together Series.
Captivating stories that help ALL children engage their
parents, peers and the world around them. 

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PURCHASE YOUR COPIES TODAY!

Available Here:

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About Me, My Book and My Why

Hello! My name is Brittany Parra. I have two dinosaurs. I mean…. children. One is named Elsie, and the other is.. you guessed it. Cayden John!

I wrote my first “The Adventures of Cayden John Dinosaur” book after my son was diagnosed with high functioning autism. The most obvious and noticeable trait was that my son seemed to ‘live in his imagination’. That’s the best we could come up with to describe it. On the land there were amazing dinosaurs everywhere. The skies? Filled with Pterodactyls. The ocean contained the biggest sea creatures and sharks and whales.

Who would want to stop and answer a boring question from Mom when they are being entertained by such amazing creatures!? This was a huge disconnect between my son and everyone else around him. Peer engagement was difficult. Therapists and teachers had a hard time getting through to him. If you were not a dinosaur, he was not interested.

All I needed to know was if he wanted milk or water. It was rare to get any kind of answer without coaxing one out of him. I would have to repeat myself or use different volumes and tones. This led to frustration and heartache. As a mom, you just want to be able to communicate and connect to your kids, and when you can’t, it can really make you feel like you are failing them.

It’s important to note: I am not a bad mom, and he is not a bad kid. He is autistic. Say it with me out loud, "AUTISM.” Autism is not a bad word. Autistic kids are not bad kids. Some of the signs and symptoms of the spectrum can make children appear to be unruly or aloof. All kids learn differently and need to be equipped with social and educational tools. Kids with autism require more work and need to have different tools in their toolbelts. All kids thrive when given the attention and help they need.

When I realized that he loved books and stories and bright illustrations, it hit me.
“Maybe a book can help me connect to my son and be the tool to connect our communication.”

And sure enough… He LOVED the story. I wrote another, and he LOVED that story. I could connect the message I needed him to hear with characters that he loved to listen to. Dinosaurs.

He became Cayden John Dinosaur and I was Mom. He was All In.

And that is how the Better Together series began.

I didn't just want to speak to children with autism. I wanted to speak to every child. I wanted to write a series that could bridge the gap between peers, provide value to all who read it and educate children, parents and teachers. 

Cayden's sister, Elsie, also loves dinosaurs. She loves anything that her big brother loves. She loves to play and dance and sing. She doesn’t respond to her name because she is 3 and she is the boss and if she is too busy, well you’re just going to have to wait. (Insert biggest eye-roll here)

Both kids received the value from this one story; one because he has autism and responding to your name is something that most autistic children struggle with, and the other because she is learning a new life skill.

I am passionate about instilling not only kindness and empathy into our children, but educating them about differences that they will encounter in their peers. Let’s teach them how to engage those with physical ailments or hyperactivity. Let’s teach them how to approach children who play by themselves and who struggle to make eye contact. At bedtime, ask questions like, do you know what Autism is? ADHD? Sensory Processing Disorder? It’s ok to pull out your phone and find articles and videos on childhood social, sensory and hyperactivity disorders. There are some great resources out there and great conversation starters.

 

Then you can start to look up things like empathy, compassion and how to assist my autistic classmate. Inform them that there may be children at school and in their class who are struggling to focus on the teacher, complete their work or find friends to play with on the play ground. Let them know that they have the option to mock and bully and belittle, or that they can assist, show kindness and develop empathy.

I truly believe we can make this world an amazing place for our children and our families. I believe that connection happens when we educate ourselves and when we listen to the stories of others. I am here to tell my story.

Thank you again for purchasing my book “Cayden John Dinosaur, Responding to Your Name”. Be on the look out for the second book in the series, “The Adventures of Cayden John Dinosaur and The Wiggle Worm”.

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