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Autistic characters can help children on and off the spectrum

You probably remember reading picture books as a young child. You may have had story time before bed. You read books about characters that solved problems. You watched as they struggled and learned life lessons. While you read about these characters, you ultimately saw yourself. You used these characters to learn your own lessons. You may have channeled their strength to take on your own struggles.

Books work like mirrors. They are meant to be a tool. If you have a child on the Autism spectrum, you will want them to have the same reading experience. You will want other children to read books with characters like your child.

These books allow children with autism to see themselves:

  • When My Worries Get Too Big! By Kari Dunn Buron. This story gives techniques on how children on the spectrum can calm themselves.
  • Different Like Me: My Book Of Autism Heroes by Jennifer Elder. This story introduces famous people, such as Albert Einstein, and how they had and lived with autism.
  • Armond Goes To a Party by Nancy Carlson. This story follows Armond, who is autistic. He goes to a birthday party and becomes overwhelmed. The reader sees Armond’s reactions and how he deals with his feelings.
  • Troy’s Amazing Universe: M is for Mall by Kennedy Tosten. This story is all about Troy. Readers get to see all of the aspects of the world that lives inside Troy’s mind.

These books are great for siblings, friends and classmates to better understand their autistic peers:

  • Slime and All by Janet Ann Collins. This story is about a worm that is lonely because he is different. A boy befriends the worm despite their differences and introduces him to other kids.
  • Understanding Samantha: A Sibling’s Perspective Of Autism by Dustin Daniel. This story follows younger brother David as he tries to understand his older sister Samantha, who has autism. This story really focuses on sensory issues.
  • Leah’s Voice by Lori DeMonia. This story follows two sisters who face the challenges of explaining autism to their friends, and meeting children who are autistic. The importance of inclusion and acceptance are main themes.

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