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'To love themselves and to take care of their mental health': Macon man with cerebral palsy writes children book

A Macon man wrote a children's book to address mental health and low self-esteem.

MACON, Ga. — A Macon man with cerebral palsy now a published author. He wrote a children's book to address mental health and low self-esteem. 

Johnathan Patterson who hopes his book can help children get through their tough times.

Patterson says when he was young, he used to watch Lil' Bow Wow on TV. The rapper inspired him to start writing his children's book called "I was Made Special."

“I wanted to show other kids dealing with the same situation to have self-esteem, to love themselves and to take care of their mental health," Patterson said.

Patterson says in elementary and middle school kids use to pick on him for being in a wheel chair and for the way he talks. 

He says it gave him low self-esteem.

"I didn't want anyone else to deal with thoughts of suicide. Like you see some people don't make it out the other side. You be at their funeral," he said.

So, every time he felt depressed or angry he wrote those feelings down. First, he started writing music.

"I just listen to hip hop and jazz to cool my mind," Patterson said.

And Patterson gave himself affirmations to say aloud.

"I was made special. I got magic inside of me," he said.

His book describes some of the bullying he went through and a special teacher who stood up for him. The book also features his mom who reminds him he was made special.

"I don't like the word disability. Because when you use 'dis' anything that comes after that is bad, like disadvantaged and all that. I like the term differently able," he said.

By the time he became a teenager he wanted to be an author and inspire others. In high school he started to feel comfortable in his own skin.

"High school was fun. I was popular, I went for homecoming King. I knew I wasn't going to change for anybody. They either like me for me or go on about their business," Patterson said. 

Patterson says he's working on another book called "Rolling with Friends." 

He hopes to have that book complete in the next year or two. If you're interested in buying Johnathan Patterson’s book you can get it at Barnes and Noble.

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