Their second book is slightly more complicated than the first. It deals with an issue that many families with autistic children face: recognizing emotion.
The interactive story is about a child sitting inside on a rainy day. Throughout the story they imagine their toy plane pushing away the clouds so they can play in the sunshine. During the story, the child gets to insert pictures — acting out the emotion — to correspond. For example, images show boredom when looking at the rain, fright when flying in the air and excitement when the sun shines.
"Once you put them in the context about what is happening around them, they're like, 'Oh yeah, this is a time when I would be scared,' and they try to apply this understanding to real life," she said.
Alex is the "test driver" of their books. His mother said Alex gives them a thumbs-up.
"He really mastered identifying the facial expressions and understanding why are we supposed to feel this way in this part," she said.
Ayriyan said Alex has definitely applied the book to real life.
"After that, he would always look at somebody's face and be like, 'Is he happy or is he sad?'" she said. "It was a turning point for him to see himself within the context of the story."
Besides facing difficulties at the bookstore, an observation during one of Alex's therapy sessions gave the parents the idea.
When Alex was a toddler, his therapist cut out images of his parents as a teaching method. The parents thought it would be a useful teaching tool to incorporate personal pictures into books as a means of recognizing and contextualizing the material.
Although the book hits "cybershelves" at Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com Feb. 14, it is already in several local bookstores, such as A Whale of a Tale Children's Bookshoppe in Irvine, the Laguna Colony Co. in Laguna Beach and Martha's Bookstore on Balboa Island.
Kathy Wales, co-owner of the store, said "I Can Fly Super Duper High" is clever, colorful and easy to use.
For more information, visit Vazukids.com.