Kwaku Amoateng misses his son.
Amoateng has been stationed at Comox 19 Wing since last August. His son, Jordan is back in Nova Scotia with his mom.
“On August 1 it will be one year,” said Amoateng. “We do Facetime but I was even deployed to the Arctic for three months and we couldn’t even do Facetime then, so it has been a struggle.”
One way Amoateng has dealt with the pain of separation is to create a children’s book in honour of his son.
Although the book, The Magic Umbrella – Bratasaurus and Tyrannosaurus, is fantasy, the characters represent a father’s relationship with his autistic son – similar to Kwaku and Jordan.
Amoateng said his relationship with Jordan has admittedly been challenging, as he continues down the learning path of parenting an autistic child.
“As a parent who struggles to understand it, and how to deal with it, I felt these books can help other parents dealing with the same issues, then that would be good.”
He noted his support system, which includes the Military Family Resource Centre, and Intensive Behavioural Intervention specialists, as well as Jordan’s speech pathologist, has been invaluable.
Amoateng did all the writing and illustrations for the book.
“It’s a story about me and him. There are helpful hints in there that I took from my specialist to help me understand the condition better, and what I thought was helpful for me communicating with my son.”
Amoateng said the idea for the book came in part from his time in Halifax.
“The umbrella itself… me and my son used to drive around Halifax on rainy days – it rains a lot in Halifax – and we would go to the dollar store, buy some umbrellas and hand them out to people who were caught in the rain. The umbrella in this book has magical powers and it can take us anywhere.”
The e-book version is also available on Google Playbook and Apple Bookstore.