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HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID by Daniel Stefanski

HOW TO TALK TO AN AUTISTIC KID

By Daniel Stefanski (Author) , Hazel Mitchell (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-57542-365-4
Publisher: Free Spirit

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)