With so many children being diagnosed with autism-spectrum disorders, numerous new advice books are becoming available. This is one of the more useful ones.
With a broad intended audience of 8- to 13-year-olds, this effort risks being too simple for older readers or too complex for the youngest ones. Most of the time it finds middle ground, although it definitely leans toward being most appropriate for the younger end of that range. Somewhat juvenile ideas such as crafting a crown to be worn by a person speaking (to focus attention there) and a section on appropriately using the bathroom will likely offend older readers. Beginning with a brief description of autism-spectrum disorder, it then systematically moves through some of the more challenging aspects of the disorder. It explains in clear language strategies children can train themselves to employ to improve functioning in the neurotypical world and why these might be useful. These ideas range from watching videotapes of their own interactions with others and personal-hygiene advice to ways to identify impending meltdowns and avoid or minimize them. A lot of the advice is highlighted in color, and additional text boxes that describe children with ASD are printed on brightly contrasting, perhaps distracting, backgrounds.
A generally useful and easily readable effort with lots of practical advice, especially appropriate for gradeschoolers and their caregivers. (Nonfiction. 8-11)