Manners Are…? — Fifth Book in the Series Autism Is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

Posted in Autism/Aspergers, Reviews, Special Needs Children by - July 21, 2014
Manners Are…? — Fifth Book in the Series Autism Is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

Manners Are…? — the fifth book in the Series Autism Is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan just came out in May 2014. We have already written about the other books in this much needed series of books for children with autism. We also have a wonderful interview with Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan. Find the links to these posts at the end of this one.

Jennifer Lackgren, the illustrator, brings Ymkje’s characters to life with her large, colorful drawings which will keep the interest of kids be they in your home or at school in your reading circle. The grandmother of a young child with autism, Ymkje’s target audience are autistic children but all children can benefit from the lessons found in this wonderful series of children’s books.

Manners Are…?—A New Autism Is…? Book by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan

The author, Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan, explains why she wrote this fifth book, Manners Are…? 

I am very excited and happy to tell you that Manners Are…?, the 5th
book in the Autism Is…? series of books for children with autism, is now available.

I wrote Manners Are…? when at age five, my grandson bumped into another customer while out shopping. I asked him to apologize, but he couldn’t understand why, as it was obviously an accident. I told him that apologizing was having good manners, to which he questioningly replied, “Manners are…?” It was a perfect opportunity to teach him, so after we returned home, we made a list of the most important good manners together, which I later put to rhyme and included in this book, “Manners Are…?”

I found that posting a Good Manners Chart, and offering a Good Manners Certificate after my grandson filled up the chart with stickers, was a Good Manners Award from Manners Are…? — A New Book in the Series Autism Is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan great incentive and visual way to reinforce particular manners that needed focus at any given time. I have included a sample chart and certificate in the back of this book, which you can cut out, photocopy, or laminate if you wish. Once copied or laminated, you can fill in the blanks with additional manners that you would like to focus on with your child.

Even with charts and positive reinforcement, learning good manners doesn’t happen overnight and is a continuous process. Just the other day, at 8 years old, while my grandson was pushing the shopping cart for me at a grocery store, he energetically moved forward, shouting, “Watch out, you guys!” to people in his way. I explained to him that was not the right way to ask people to pass, and that the well-mannered way to say it was, “Excuse me, sir or ma’am, may I pass, please?” He picked it up quickly, and was so pleased when someone commended him for his good manners.

Of course, there are many more manners than the ones included in “Manners Are…?”, but these were what my grandson needed to learn and focus on first. I hope that they can be a good start for other children with autism too, and that this book will make it just a little easier for you to teach them.

Excerpt from Manners Are…?

Manners are the way certain things are done.

They make being with people a lot more fun.

Everyone likes it when you do things right,

Behave correctly, and are quite polite.


One thing that’s expected and you should do

Is always politely say “please” and “thank you!”

It’s rude to take something and not say “please” first,

And not saying “thank you” is impolite at its worst.Manners Are…? — A New Book in the Series Autism Is…? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan


When you’re done eating, it’s polite to wait

Until others are finished and emptied their plate.

Unless you asked, “May I please be excused?”

And your request was kindly approved.



Now, no one is perfect, we all make mistakes.

It is not always easy to learn what it takes

To be well mannered and very polite.

So just say, “I’m sorry!” when you don’t get it right.


About the Author


Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan author of  Autism Is…? series of books for children with autism.

Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan is a writer, editor, and proofreader. In 2006, she assumed the care of her 6-month old grandson, Logan. There were signs of autism at an early age, and the diagnosis became official in 2009. She has been his advocate, and passionate about promoting autism awareness ever since. Logan is the inspiration behind Manners Are…? and other children’s books she wrote for him. You can find out more about her and her books at



Read Also:

Buy Autism Is…? Series for Children with Autism : 

All 5 books are now available in high quality Kindle version. They were just finalized in the summer of 2014 and after converting them to Comic book format, they display very well on Kindle devices. The  old Kindle version of the first book has been replaces with a much better quality one. Anyone who already purchased the paperback can match the Kindle version for only $1.99 instead of paying the full price.

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.