A student from Mapperley has overcome the challenges of autism to write a children’s book inspired by his late mum.
Ben Robson’s new book Kitty Realms is about a group of brave cats, which will launch on Sunday as part of World Autism Awareness Week (1 – 7 April).
The 22-year-old Nottinghamshire College Art and Design student will read a chapter from his book at a public launch, from 4pm on Sunday, April 7 at Espresso Gallery on Woodborough Road in Mapperley.
Signed copies of the book will also be available at the launch, plus an exhibition of Ben’s artwork. He will also be unveiling a preview of some of his upcoming stories.
Ben said: “I find patience very difficult, and so waiting for other people to finish their parts of the project was the hardest bit of it for me. I am very excited about the launch and I’m happy it is finally here.”
Ben’s mum Janine sadly passed away in 2017, after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease earlier that year.
Since then Ben has been working with the support of his dad Ken Robson and step-dad Karsten Klups to write and illustrate the book, which is inspired by his mum’s pet cats.
Ben’s family say the new book is testament to Ben’s determination to get over any barriers to success. As a child he was fearful of animals, which he overcame by getting to know his dad’s rescue dog and his mum’s cats.
Ben lives with stepdad Karsten and their two cats in Mapperley.
Karsten said: “Ben has always been creative but it used to take him a lot of effort to venture out of his comfort zone. Since starting the Art and Design course at Nottingham College he’s come on leaps and bounds.
“Sitting with others who share his passion for creativity has really helped with his confidence and to try new things.
Prior to his Art and Design course, Ben completed Supported Learning courses at the College. Tim Maroney, Supported Learning Lecturer at Nottingham College, said: “I have known Ben since he first attended the College. He is highly motivated, very imaginative and has become increasingly skilful using design software.”
Tim encouraged Ben to pursue his art through the Level 1 Art and Design course, which he said has helped to develop his creative skills and his employability.
Tim said: “It has been a great pleasure to see Ben flourish, leading to the publication of his first book.”