April is Autism Awareness Day and Month. Each year we see many who wish to see the title change to Autism Acceptance Day and Month. Parents with children on the spectrum really wish to see a progressive movement from awareness to understanding to acceptance. No better place to start this process to embrace and cherish differences than with young children and I have the prefect book to recommend to make this happen. Teachers, parents, and all caregivers should have My Friend with Autism: Enhanced Edition with FREE CD of Coloring Pages by Beverly Bishop with illustrations by Craig Bishop. The message and illustrations could not be better!
Features of the Book
- Laminated cover, high quality paper throughout and good binding. It is a book to be handled by many little hands.
- Eye-catching, realistic, oh so AWESOME illustrations.
- Pictures that accompany the text avoid stereotyping. The children resemble the mix of students found in our public schools.
- Pleasing font that looks like printing, a bonus for young readers.
- Effective use of color. No white pages at all. Even the Notes pages are off-white.
- Each page is numbered.
- Text and illustrations are well organized on each page. Length and amount of text per page is appropriate for children ages 7 and up.
- Illustrations are always on the top part of the page, repeating this on each page is great for beginning readers.
About the Message
Beverly Bishop wrote My Friend with Autism for her son’s elementary teachers and peers. She explains, “I was determined to help my son with autism fit in with his peers by fostering understanding and tolerance among her son’s friends and schoolmates.”
The author uses a peer narrator to convey her message. This is very effective because her target audience will easily relate to the characters in her book. Listen to this child as he speaks to you:
I have a friend with autism. He is good at many things.
My friend’s ears work really well. He can hear sounds I may not even hear. He is almost always the first one to hear an airplane or a train coming. This is why he sometimes covers his ears even when things don’t seem loud to me. …
Just like me, my friend is good at playing. He especially loves to play with cars, trucks, trains, and things that spin. Sometimes he plays differently than I do, so I watch the way he plays and then I try to do what he is doing, right next to him. Sometimes he will watch me play and then he might try doing what I like to do.
Just like me, my friend does many things very well, and some things are hard for him. And just like me, my friend with autism loves to have friends.
This 2nd edition of My Friend with Autism: Enhanced Edition with FREE CD of Coloring Pages is even better for teachers and all caregivers. This book includes a free CD with a black-and-white version of pages from the book for the children to color. There is also an essential section for the adults on the CD with page by page discussions points, strategies to help a child with autism, and 12 behaviors that suggest autism spectrum disorders.
For teachers, this book in addition to having a teachable theme or message which can be used and reused throughout the year, the students can bring home the coloring pages that reinforce the lessons of the book. Hopefully, parents will also take this opportunity to foster acceptance of differences. Teachers are given permission to make copies of material in the book and on its accompanying CD. Check on the conditions that apply to do this. All of the information on the CD also appears in the book.
Getting to Know a Child with Autism
This 11 page section, called Page-by-Page Notes for Adults, gives added information to friends, family, teachers, parents, and grandparents about autism based on themes from each page in the children’s portion of the book. It is in bulleted format, easy to understand and there are notes that complement each page of the children’s portion of the book. For example there are two notes that accompany page 9, one is
Page 9 – Playing
Many children with autism go through stages of being obsessed with particular toys or subjects. The transportation industry is one of the most common obsessions. A child may line up his toys in straight lines, watch toys spin, or disassemble and reassemble toys rather than playing with them as typical peers do.
Other Excellent Sections
- 18 Signs and Symptoms of an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
- 10 Quick Strategies for Helping a Child with Autism.
- Recommended Reading List
So much to say for a 41 page book! At least now you know why My Friend with Autism: Enhanced Edition FREE CD of Coloring Pages by Beverly Bishop with illustrations by Craig Bishop was the winner of the Readers’ Choice Awards 2012 for Favorite New Special-Needs Children’s Book. When buying this book, get more than one to pass along to others. What better way to promote awareness, understanding, and acceptance of individuals with autism.
About the Author and Illustrator
Beverly Bishop was determined to help her son with autism fit in with his peers by fostering understanding and tolerance among her son’s friends and schoolmates. She wrote My Friend with Autism for her son’s elementary teachers and peers. Beverly conducts autism awareness trainings for law enforcement officers and teaches safety and educational classes around the country for parents, family members, professionals, college students, and other community members. Beverly has also taught in both public and private schools. Beverly and her husband, Thad, have two children who have enjoyed homeschooling and acting.
Craig Bishop worked as an art educator in Michigan Public Schools for thirty years. He retired from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo as an instructor in Art Education, where he also received his early training in art. Craig enjoys painting, illustrating, teaching art classes, and being a grandparent to Henry and Lucy.
Buy My Friend with Autism: Enhanced Edition with FREE CD of Coloring Pages from Future Horizons and get 15% off PLUS free delivery in continental USA! Add the coupon code KIDCOMPANIONS when you checkout of the store for discounts!