“I AM” coloring book brings awareness to autism

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jun 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-21 18:56:58-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. --  A West Michigan organization is using a creative touch to shed light on Autism. The Compassionate Awareness Autism Center (CAAC) are the masterminds behind the coloring book that will soon be in Kent County schools, and potentially Hospitals and Churches in the future.

The Founder and President of The CAAC, Zenia Bates,  has a teenage son with Autism and wanted to find a way to de-stigmatize Autism in the community.

“We were taking pictures of my son who was diagnosed with Autism." said Bates. "I was saying when I look at him in these pictures, I see him in a different light, just in his daily life."

She worked with her board members to come up with the coloring book and even used her son in some of the illustrations. This was a special touch to be able to show that her son and anyone else with Autism has talents, interests and abilities, just like any other teen.

The coloring book is such a unique idea to bring attention to a serious topic that it ended up winning a competition. It was awarded a thousand dollars from the Up To You Mental Health Campaign. This money was used to further the project to completion.

If you would like a copy for yourself or would like to get involved in a focus group that will help the project grow, including getting a new cover, you can contact them on the CAAC Facebook Page or email them at