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The Chicken Who Saved Us
The Remarkable Story of Andrew and Frightful
by Kristin Jarvis Adams

Trade Paperback 5 ½ x 8 ½ Non-fiction - Memoir/Biography
Release date: April 2017 $15.95 ISBN:9781941887004
  300 pps  
Available on iBooks for iPad, iPhone, or iTouch


“Frightful, I think my body is trying to kill me.”

Young Andrew was autistic and bilingual. He spoke English…and Chicken. He would shout, “Chi-kenn! Bak-ackk!” out his bedroom window on the second floor and the hen house would go wild. Five feathered dinosaur beasts with impossibly skinny legs went nutso until he ran across the yard to let them out of the coop. Then they would follow him around like he was a god.

He would sit on the front porch deep in conversation with his best friend, an Araucana chicken named “Frightful.” It was a two-way dialog consisting of secrets told and secrets kept between boy and foul. His feathery friend became his voice, his only way to communicate in a confusing world. But one day, Andrew confided to Frightful; “I think my body is trying to kill me.”

That single statement catapulted Andrew’s family and medical community into action: To discover and destroy the unseen monster that was claiming Andrew’s life–a disease that created pain so great that no painkiller could touch it.

By the time Andrew was sixteen, he had spent seven years in and out of the hospital. Through it all, Frightful listened as she sat in his lap or zoomed down the street on his new electric bike, stuffed into his jacket, zippered up to her beak.

Hospitalized, Andrew talked to Frightful with the aid of two iPads and a FaceTime connection. Her love and friendship armed Andrew with the courage of a superhero as he received an experimental bone marrow transplant. He wasn’t expected to live through the night, but he shouted into a room full of doctors, nurses, and family, “Bring It On!”

At his graduation, Andrew stood in front of an auditorium of parents, administrators, and peers, and delivered a speech titled, “Why I think Chickens Have Autism.” He received a standing ovation.


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About the Author

Kristin Jarvis Adams is an advocate for children with special needs, helping to bridge the gap between the outside world and the inner world of autism. Her speaking engagements have included: Seattle Festival of Trees Gala, Seattle Children's Hospital, The Autism Clinic, Rotary, Community Bible Study, and local school boards. She also works individually with children who have special needs. She serves on the Board of the Lake Washington School District Transition Academy (lwsd.org), one of the nation's leading transition programs for adult students with special needs. She is a member of the Autism Guild at Seattle Children’s Hospital, a medical fundraising and awareness group supporting children with ASD in Washington, Montana, Oregon and Idaho.

Her son’s incredible story and extensive experience working with special needs children was featured at a recent Lake Washington School Board meeting. Subsequent media attention led to local news broadcasts and newspaper features citing the overwhelming success of the LWSD Transition Academy.

Formerly known as the Delta Society, her work with Pet Partners (petpartners.org), as part of a Therapy Dog Team with her Goldendoodle, Finn, has opened doors for her to work with people of all disabilities in classrooms, clinics, retirement homes and community centers. Pet Partners requires extensive training to become a certified therapy team. The program utilizes positive human-animal interactions to improve the physical, emotional and psychological lives of those they work with.

She lives near Seattle with her husband and their two children.