I am Special: Introducing Children and Young People to their Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ages 10+)
Author Peter Vermeulen 2008.
'Clear. Easy to understand. Deals with sensitive issues, bringing hope at the end'.
Review: I am Special is a well written workbook for children over ten years of age with autism. It is easy to read and provides a nuanced approach to facilitate understanding of autism. Autism is explained as a disability of the brain that negatively affects the way the person with autism interacts and communicates with other people. It explains that autism impedes the flexibility and fluency of the person's thoughts and actions. This book has theoretical and practical aspects and describes children with autism as different from those without a disability. It also accounts for the variability among young people on the autism spectrum. Children with autism are seen as unique and special with certain talents and also remarkable restrictions to certain aspects of their lives. This workbook aims to guide children with autism, providing a step-by-step guide to explaining and helping them to understand and come to terms with their disability. It could be used on an individual and/or group basis. The procedure and process for this are explained. I Am Special is therefore seen as a guidebook for the expert and a workbook for the child in order to foster a deeper understanding of the child's body, inside out, to better help the child with autism to know, grapple and cope better with her/his disability.
Autism & Anxiety
When My Worries Get Too Big! A Relaxation Book for Children Who Live with Anxiety (age 5-9)
Author Kari Dunn Buron 2004.
'Child friendly format. Suitable for young primary school children with a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder who experience anxiety when faced with transitions'.
Review: This is a book which will be of particular interest to parents of primary school children under the age of 8 or 9 who have a diagnosis of an autistic spectrum disorder. It would be of particular relevance to children who experience anxiety when facing unanticipated changes or transitions and who are likely to react to such changes with negative behaviours. A central idea in the book is the concept of a stress scale on which children are asked to rate the intensity of their feelings from 1-5. In addition to developing children's ability to identify the intensity of their feelings, the book aims to help children make a connection between the triggers for their uncomfortable feelings and their likely behaviour response. Anxiety-management strategies include the use of distraction and a relaxation sequence. It is a book which children would find very accessible.