-Promote or at least not deteriorate self esteem
-Apply to all autistic kids, either by acknowledging that everyone's different or by talking about very general characteristics
-Not scare kids. You'd think I wouldn't need this category, but I read a book for kids that tells them that POISON might cause their autism. Which is just ridiculous on so many levels.
After all that I came up with the following list. If you're looking for books to help you explain autism to your kids, I really recommend these!
1. Different Like Me: My Book of Autism Heroes
- It gives kids autistic role models to look up to. Enough said.
2. Ian's Walk
- Okay, so I mostly got this one because it came recommended by sources I trust. It's about a sibling's perspective of their autistic brother. I'll let you know more after I get it.
3. Autism Is...?
- A short, sweet picture book in which a grandma explains autism to her grandchild. Self esteem affirming, and basic enough that it applies to most kids. This is good for younger children. I've already given out one copy to a family, so I'm buying another for my lending library.
4. Can I Tell You About Autism?
- You know, out of all the books, this one did the best job I found of actually explaining how being autistic can affect kids in a kid-friendly way. It's a picture book, but more detailed and advanced than Autism Is...? and it's got a parent's section in the back, too. I wish it had more sections focusing on the strengths of autism (which is why I would couple it with Different Like Me if I was presenting it to kids), but overall it's a great book.
I'm going to add a fifth story to this list, one which I didn't buy because it's available for free on line. It's called "Movement." It might be good for older readers and adults, and it is one of the most powerful reads. I highly recommend, it's a great exercise in empathy.
Tell me what you think of the books!