“Clovis is afraid of the clouds” by Guylaine Guay and Orbie: making life easier for an autistic person

Although autism spectrum disorder is not named directly in Clovis is afraid of clouds, this phobia is part of this new story imagined by Guylaine Guay and illustrated by Orbie. Mother of two now adulthood autistic people, Guylaine was inspired by a situation she and her son Clovis experienced as a child. The story of the little blond with curly curls and his mother is a tender one, filled with love and compassion, and openness to others.

After the success of Clovis is still naked, first album of the series Clovis, Guylaine Guay and Orbie worked on another feature of Clovis. The endearing little blond with curly hair worries and cries when he sees clouds of all shapes and colors that darken the sky.

Everyone tries to help her cope better with this emotion, starting with her mother. Creative, she comes up with all kinds of solutions until she finds one that really helps.

Guylaine Guay plays down the experience of a non-verbal autistic child in this second album in the series, which will have five (at least!). “Orbie really understood all the sweetness, tenderness and humor in the albums. In every book, my muse is my son, Clovis, who will be turning 18 soon and who has nonverbal autism. All Clovis albums will be inspired by real events, lived events, ”she comments.

In the first album, Clovis is still naked, she said that Clovis was always undressing everywhere, because of his sensory sensitivity.

Angry weather

However, there was a time when his son Clovis was really afraid of clouds, and he is still worried today when the sun does not shine in the sky. This is the subject of the new book. “For him, the weather is anxious. There is something about the air pressure, in the clouds, when the sky is heavy, that makes him very anxious, for real, even today. “

“He wakes up in the morning, goes around all the windows in the house. When we wait for the school bus, we walk around the corner to see the horizon, to see what’s coming. He really feels the weather. ”

Today, it’s a little less worse, adds the author. “In school, the occupational therapist works with him using pictograms. There is a quiet room, where he can take refuge when it’s cloudy, because there are no windows. Still, the weather, in Clovis’s life, takes up a lot of space. In mine too, by the same token. “

Guylaine looked for solutions, and found a very original one for the book. She would have liked the idea of ​​painting a sun in an umbrella ten years ago … “I drew suns on her blinds, suns in her window. Still, the book is about irrational fear. There are always clouds in the sky, so that complicates everyday life. ”

In solution mode

She adds that in all of Clovis’s albums, the character of the caring mom is looking for solutions to make him better. “In each album, a theme will be addressed, and in the next one, it will surely be about the little repetitive behaviors that some autistic children have, such as tiptoeing or flapping. ” She also plans to talk about echolalia (repeat the words) or food rigidities.

However, she never names autism in the book. “We don’t say that Clovis is autistic. It’s an artistic choice. I really wanted the book to be for everyone. It still opens the discussions on the difference. ”

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