Looking for a book for kids with autism? Are these problems with your autistic child: rigidity of thought, problems with transitions, and cannot accept changes in routine? Are school assemblies, holidays and vacations extremely difficult for your child? How can this need for sameness; the same clothes, the same foods, the same seat, be altered? How can we teach flexibility of thought to persons with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Tah Dah! I have found a great book for kids with autism, Curvy Herbie and Straight Nate: A Lesson in Curved Line Thinking by Pamela Mari with illustrations by Dawn Rebuck.
Curvy Herbie and Straight Nate are the adorable characters created by Pamela Mari and brought to life by illustrator, Dawn Rebuck. To encourage children with autism to try new things and accept changes Pamela Mari wrote a twenty page picture book which is an innovative teaching resource for parents and educators. It is based on a theory of “Curved Line Thinking” by Alice Womer, MS, CC-SLP.
Who is Alice Womer? Ms. Womer, who wrote the foreward for this book, has served as a speech-language pathologist and educational consultant with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, for 29 years. Womer was responsible for direct treatment with students with ASD in self-contained classrooms as well as integrated settings. Also, she provides consultation and training to educational teams regarding the communication needs of students with autism spectrum disorder. She has presented locally and at the national level.
About the Book
Short and sweet, simple but effective are words that come to mind. The book, Curvy Herbie and Straight Nate, is a concrete way to show children that doing things differently and trying something new can be fun. Sharing this book with a child with autism can open the door to discussions about the advantages of being a “curve line thinker”. Together you can then work on helping the child become more flexible.
In the story Nate, the non-flexible fellow, misses out on a fun time playing in the park because at that time he was “suppose/scheduled” to watch TV. Finally when Nate agrees to accompany Herbie, the adventuresome, spur of the moment decision maker, and try out pizza they become best friends. All children want to have friends and often the rigid, Straight Line thinking of children on the spectrum makes relationships with peers difficult.
- The illustrations are only in black and white and the two boys are just stick figures but Dawn Rebuck, the illustrator, has skilfully drawn facial expressions that help young readers understand the story.
- Perfect for sharing the book during “reading circle time”, the spiral binding makes it very easy to fold the book to present just one page at a time. The illustrations are large enough so a group of children can see them well.
- The book is printed on card stock and the front and back covers are laminated.
- The last page of the book, the inside back cover, is for children to fill and draw a picture about their efforts to be a “Curved Line thinker!” By using a dry erase marker this page can be reused many times.
A sheet of paper entitled, A Lesson in Curved Line Thinking is included with the book. It would have been better to have this information as part of the book so it does not get misplaced. Their message to parents is clear, helpful and the suggestions are great. Another loose page accompanies this one, somewhat like the one on the back cover, for the child to keep a chart to record anytime he uses curved line thinking. Parents are told this type of record keeping is also used in school to reinforce the student’s to become more flexible.
About the Author
Pamela Mari is mom to a son on the Autism Spectrum. She is the author and self publisher of the book for kids with autism, “Curvy Herbie and Straight Nate: A Lesson in Curved Line Thinking. Co-owner of Exploding Pen Productions a publishing, writing and graphic arts company with her sister-in-law. Both are now stay at home moms, who design and publish newsletters, coloring books, story books, achievement charts, certificates, banners, activity sheets, etc.
Buy the Book
You can purchase a copy of “Curvy Herbie and Staight Nate: A Lesson In Curved Line Thinking” by contacting them by email at sales@explodingpenproductions. Read about the book on their web site. They also include a “Lesson in Curved Line Thinking” guidance sheet to help in working with your child when you purchase the book. Follow their Facebook page.