My friend Jean Nicol, inventor of The Eating Game, sent me The Autism Acceptance Book: Being A Friend To Someone With Autism by Ellen Sabin. Jean and I are both retired teachers and are impressed with Ellen Sabin’s character-building, activity book for children 6 years and up. Congratulations to the capable team who carefully put together this interactive, educational resource. High Fives to Ellen Sabin, the author, Kerren Barbas, the illustrator, and Heather Zschock, the designer! Their book incorporates all aspects of an excellent product for youths. The need of a resource for helping children learn about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and the different qualities of people with autism has never been greater. Why?
In March of 2012 it was announced that about 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder; (ASD) according to estimates from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. More than ever parents and teachers must help those in their care to embrace differences in others with respect, compassion, and kindness. The Autism Acceptance Book, with its FUN, easy-to-do activities, brings the child to the conclusion that like everyone else, people with autism have their own special skills and challenges. Also like everyone else, each person with ASD may feel and act in different ways. By reading and doing the engaging exercises, readers will understand that their peers with autism also want to be liked, understood, accepted, and included.
About the Book on Autism Acceptance
Ellen Sabin says, “The best way to teach children tolerance and acceptance is by encouraging them to take the time, and make the effort, to understand and respect others.” Her goal that The Autism Acceptance Book will engage and inspire children to do this should have been realized.
One chapter shows children how and why to accept others. Another teaches them how people are different from one another when you consider their looks, skills, challenges, fears, and personality. In What is AUTISM? kids will read that some people with autism have a problem in the way their brains deal with the information that they get from their senses. The main part of the book, You and Your Friends with Autism helps them understand what makes them different and special and how they can be a good friend by helping their friend with autism cope with his challenges. Ms. Sabin has eight sub-sections describing how some people with autism may experience different reactions than the reader does. Some of her topics are, “People with autism may:
- Have very good hearing.
- Notice many, many details.
- Feel much more comfortable when things are predictable
- Like to play in different ways than you do.
- Sometimes have a hard time talking.
- Not understand the way you use certain words.”
The book can be used at home or in classrooms or other group settings. An adult sharing the book with a young reader or a group will find it is an excellent way to start discussions about each topic the book covers. There are hours of activities in the book.
The Autism Acceptance book was the 2006 Winner of iParent Media Award.
Attractive and Colorful The eye-catching cover makes you want to open it. The chapters are not numbered but color coded. The colored dot in front of each chapter title is the same predominant color used in that section; on the entire title page, on the attractive border, the bold subheadings, the bullets, and on even the background for some of the text passages. Every page is a treat for the eyes!
Age-appropriate Illustrations Young readers will relate with Kerren Barbas, the illustrator’s large, true to live characters.
Fun Fonts The text is in an easy to read font style and size for young readers. To keep their interests, font size changes often and appears is many colors.
Page Layouts Bravo to Heather Zschock, the designer, for her creativity! Each page is delightfully different and is sure to motivate kids to read the text boxes in colourful ovals or different sized rectangles all with bold borders.
Spiral Bound The book is easy to open and fold to be able to use it even on your knees because of the rigid covers.
User Friendly A Note To Adults tells them what to do and why it is important. The Table of Contents is simple to follow but has enough detail to locate what the child needs. In the section What Is The Autism Acceptance Book? the child learns what he will get out of the book and how to use it.
Personalization On the cover next to the author’s name the child has a blank line to write his name also. Why? Throughout the book the child is invited to add his touch, write how he feels, include more expressions, jot down questions for a friend with autism, draw, create a Social Story, and express himself on the journal and scrapbook blank pages. When the child has completed the book and hopefully has learned how it feels to “walk in other people’s shoes” to become a good friend he can print his name on The Autism Acceptance Book Certificate.
From her site, “Ellen Sabin is the founder of Watering Can®. She started the series rather unintentionally after writing The Giving Book as a gift for her 6-year-old niece. The Giving Book caught on… The positive reactions to this special gift led to its publication and the creation of a company focused on offering unique products that engage, excite and educate children.
Since the creation of Watering Can Press, Ellen has found other topics that continue to inspire her to write more books. She’s developed books on positive role models, embracing our differences, expanding our understanding of the world, and learning to overcome difficult challenges.
Ellen studied at Emory, at NYU, at the London School of Economics and at Harvard. She’s spent her whole career devoted to working for, or running, non-profit organizations. Among others, she’s worked on efforts to: provide healthcare to the homeless, develop systems to care for AIDS patients, promote the donation of organs for transplantation, reduce infant mortality in developing countries, help refugees, support healthy relationships and empower leadership and self-esteem.
Along the way, she’s volunteered – creating health clinics in rural Mexico, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, serving as a Patient Advocate in an Emergency Room, mentoring, raising funds and advising. She’s found the joys of donating- her time, her energy, her money, and kind acts.”