Books by Daniel Stefanski

Released: April 1, 2011

In his first work, Stefanski provides clear, sometimes blunt, often humorous advice for readers on how to interact with autistic classmates. An authority on this topic—he is a 14-year-old boy with autism—he begins by describing autism. Importantly, he gives recognition to the fact that autistic people are a varied group, just like those without autism. "Autism is a disorder that affects how my brain works. (Yes, it does work!)" He describes, using a brief paragraph or two per page, some of the traits many autistic people share: a sensitivity to some kinds of sensory input, a failure to recognize social cues (body language), "getting stuck" on a particular topic, standing too close to others, unusual habits, conversational difficulties, etc. For each trait, he offers down-to-earth suggestions for resolving problems: "Excuse me. Could you step back just a bit? I need a little more space." His insightful, matter-of-fact presentation demystifies behaviors that might confuse or disturb non-autistic classmates. Simple cartoon illustrations in black, gray and two shades of turquoise accompany the text, making it accessible for an even younger listening audience than the older primary/middle-school students it describes. It's a thought-provoking introduction to autism that should be welcome in families with autistic members and an essential purchase for every primary and middle-school classroom. (Nonfiction. 7 & up)Read full book review >