Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Autism Awareness Resources for Children

During autism awareness month it's important that we not only think about educating other adults about ASD, but also educate children about Autism/Asperger's. The first book I'll mention is called Brotherly Feelings: Me, My Emotions, and My Brother with Asperger's Syndrome by Sam Frender and Robin Schiffmiller. I first had the pleasure of meeting Sam at a sibling workshop that we put on during one summer. He was a delightful young man and I remember being amazed by how insightful he was for a child his age! When he was 8 years old he wrote this book, along with his mother about what it's like to grow up with a brother with Asperger's Syndrome. In the book Sam first describes what Asperger's Syndrome is and then talks about all the emotions associated with having a sibling on the spectrum, such as a feeling of protectiveness, sometimes embarrassment, unconditional love, etc. He provides examples of why and when he feels the range of emotions and then talks about how he lets his feelings out. This is a great resource for elementary age kids with a sibling on the spectrum-- it's not too wordy and fun illustrations accompany the text. It teaches young children that it's o.k to experience these emotions and to talk to others about how they may be feeling.

Another great book about autism awareness is called the Autism Acceptance book: Being a Friend to Someone with Autism by Ellen Sabin. This book is in the form of a workbook that kids can write or even draw in. It's very educational and is broken up into the following sections:

What Is The Autism Acceptance Book? (How it Works..)
Take a WALK in Someone Else's Shoes 
What is AUTISM?
YOU and YOUR FRIENDS with Autism
GROUP Activities/ EXPRESS Yourself 

In a child-friendly way, the author describes how all people are different from one another and how great it feels to be accepted and included by others. The next section describes what it may be like to have autism and encourages kids to think about what things might be harder or easier for you if you had autism. Then, it discusses ways to be a friend to someone with autism and how to raise awareness by educating other friends and even donating to an autism organization. The pages are extremely colorful and engaging. This would be a great resource for peer mentors in schools or as part of a lesson plan for students, especially during Autism Awareness month. 

I found the Autism Acceptance book at Barnes & Noble but you can also get both of these resources online at Amazon.com

- Molly


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the recommendations! Our little girl is still too young to understand, but I'm going to write down these names so that maybe we can find them when we're ready in a few years.

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  2. Sure, no problem! That's a great point-- wait until your daughter has some questions (and gets a bit older) and then you can approach the subject. I just thought of another resource called "The Other Kid" by Lorraine Donlon. It's a guidebook (with coloring activities etc)for sibs of a special needs child that is more appropriate for younger ones and all the proceeds go to Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities!

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