In America, one out of every 54 children will be diagnosed with autism according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those diagnosed, minority children are often identified later and far less frequently than white children. Boys are often diagnosed at a higher rate than girls. For one local Detroit mother, the love of her sons; one, who measures on the autistic spectrum and the other who has a speech delay, drove a passion to create something that would breed positivity in their world and teach the ABC’s of affirmations.
Self-proclaimed “Momtrepreneur” Tiera Lavin penned a book for children and it comes just as National Reading Month wraps up and rolls into World Autism Month. Affirmations From A to Z was created to pay homage to both sons while teaching readers positive words and slogans.
“I was googling words that are affirmative and there was a list of words and I tried to make them fit so that it makes sense to a kid,” says Lavin.
Falling on various points on the spectrum, autism can range from mild to severe. Children can be diagnosed as early as six months, but some children may not develop or display signs of autism until they are older. With the help of her affirmations book, this mom and businesswoman is laying the foundation for self-love for all ages.
“You can’t pour from an empty cup,” Lavin says.
With a positive affirmation for each letter of the alphabet, the book provides not only encouraging feelings, but the definitions to each word is listed in the back of the book to also serve as a learning book.
“Some of them were simple and easy and I’ve tweaked them,” says Lavin. “At first, they were full sentences and I tried to tweak them into ‘I am’ sentences, but I still wanted it to be something that older kids can understand too.”
Growing up, the “Momtrepreneur” did not have a love of reading. However, on the journey to learn more about what her sons needed and doing research around autism, reading became a primary tool in gaining information and teaching styles. This began to provide the building blocks to what has now become a full-scale business.
Not a stranger to books, Lavin launched a book geared towards adults in business. The launch of this book is more personal and was a labor of love providing a way to give back to children in the community.
“It’s important for parents to take the initiative to always be the advocate for their child because kids can’t defend themselves,” Lavin says. “Us as parents, especially Black kids, statistics are on them from birth for them to end up negatively. We have to change the narrative.”
Looking to create generational wealth for her children, T Style Graphics, a branding and design company, along with The Vend Bros, a vending machine snack business, were both created with the boys in mind. Coming from a grandmother who refused to buy toys for Christmas, but bonds instead, Lavin knows the value of hard work and more importantly, sound investments.
“Generational wealth and longevity wealth is serious to me. I grew up struggling,” Lavin says. “It’s the little investments to make sure their life is better. I don’t want them to know any struggle. I don’t want them to know any financial issues.”
To help parents and children learn the basics of business and finances, the entrepreneur is also looking to release an ABC book with a concentration on building a business. Together with the books and business brand, this mom is hoping to inspire, uplift and encourage.
“I want this to reach people, I want this to make an impact. I want my boys to understand that I’m out here doing the best for you all and I want them to have a legacy that they can fall back on and understand,” Lavin says.
Affirmations A to Z is now available through Amazon with a portion of proceeds benefiting autism research.