Robin and the White Rabbit: Story to Help Children with Autism Talk about their Feelings and Join In

Posted in Autism/Aspergers, Guest Post, Special Needs Children by - November 14, 2017
Robin and the White Rabbit: Story to Help Children with Autism Talk about their Feelings and Join In

If you are raising an autistic child or teaching children with autism you will be pleased to learn about this adorable children’s autism book: Robin and the White Rabbit: Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In by Emma Lindström (author and illustrator) and Åse Brunnström.

Tony Attwood is an English psychologist who lives in Queensland, Australia. Mr. Attwood is an author of numerous books and resource papers on Asperger’s Syndrome. In the foreword for this book, Attwood wrote, ” Using activity cards as a basis for communication, this inspiring picture book for 4-10 year olds shows how children on the autism spectrum, or children who find it hard to communicate with their peers, can learn to express themselves through simple question and answer exercises.”

All who help children with autism to communicate their feelings more clearly can use this picture book to help children to fit in more comfortably with their peers. They can learn how to explain their difficulties and express their feelings through the use of visual communication cards. The story also includes themes of friendship, encouragement and affection, and can be used to explain the world of autism to typical peers.

What is being said about this book?

“Robin and the White Rabbit will enchant children with its delightful illustrations and sweet story of courage and friendship whilst giving educators a valuable tool to help children understand and express their thoughts and emotions.”- Kathy Hoopmann: Author of:

“Children with autism have powerful feelings but often can’t find a way to express how they feel. Now here’s a book that offers those who work with ASD youngsters a means of helping them.
Many of those who work with ASD children will be familiar with the use of pictorial symbols to facilitate communication but this picture book deals specifically with helping youngsters understand and express their feelings… Emma Lindström and Åse Brunnström offer a very useful and empowering tool that can be used in school or at home; there’s no judgement involved; and the final explanatory pages speak directly to the listener (via Robin) and the reader aloud (via the book’s creators, Emma and Åse).”
– Red Reading Hub, Jillrbennet’s Reviews of Children’s Books

Guest Post

 Robin and the White Rabbit:

A Story to Help Children with Autism

to Talk about their Feelings and Join In

 by Emma Lindström and Åse Brunnström

Description

In this tale we meet Robin, a child sitting alone, feeling unable to join in with the other schoolchildren having fun in the playground. Feeling frustrated and lonely, emotions build up until they form a bubble around Robin, separating Robin entirely. Can anyone help?

Through delightful illustrations and photographs, this picture book helps children who struggle with social isolation find a way to communicate with those around them. It can be read by children themselves or with adults as a learning tool, helping children learn to express their feelings through the use of visual communication cards.

Purpose

Both Emma and Åse believe in the importance of communication in ways other than the spoken language. Emma’s belief is guided by her experiences as a support teacher in preschool, and Åse’s in the various projects she has participated in and from her experiences at the Konstfack College of Arts.

The child called Robin (purposefully gender neutral) in the book may not be so involved in other stories. It is not a child who goes on wild adventure or comes up with exciting ideas. It is not even the troublemaker in the class. So why did we want to write about this child? Because this child is also a great kid! We just have to listen and explore who this person is.

You have probably seen them – maybe you have been there yourself – the child who sits there break after break watching what the others are doing, but never joining in, the child that without fail is the last one to go out to the playground, or perhaps the one who goes directly to sit by the tree time after time. These children are not seen as exciting or worth listening to. For some children the only escape route is exclusion, when things get too much or the surroundings demand that everything is done in a way that they do not understand or feel part of.

In a certain sense, this is a harsh book, but it is not without light and warmth. All that the book requires of us is that we scratch the surface of the child’s world. In this book, a small white rabbit does just that. A white rabbit with a blue shoulder bag loaded with visual communication. In the book we focus on words for feelings, and activity cards as a basis for communication. It is a book that can be read as a story for children; whether they live in exclusion and/or are in need of visual aid, or just want to hear a story. It is also a book that can be read by educators, parents or other adults with the aim to discover new perspectives and gain inspiration.

For a more in-depth and personal look at why Åse Brunnström chose to write Robin and the White Rabbit.

Audience

This book is specifically written and designed to help children on the autism spectrum (aged 4-10), but it is also suitable for children with speech and language difficulties or other communication problems. The book is best used as a tool by parents, professionals, pre-school teachers, primary school teachers, and special education teachers.

Extract: Two pages from Robin and the White Rabbit

“Robin picked up the “climb tree” cord and put it at the top of the scale.

It’s fun to climb trees, but I don’t want to do it all alone. Do you want to climb with me?” asked Robin.”


 

The other children were playing football, but Robin sat alone under a tree. Suddenly, a white rabbit appeared. “Oh dear, Robin. Are you sitting all alone under the tree again? I think it’s time I got my blue bag.”


 

Words (see below) were tumbling around in Robin’s head. Robin felt lots of different things at the same time. Robin wished that someone could understand these feelings.

distressed  angry  irritated  sad  confused  unhappy  tearful  anxious  uncomfortable  despondent  unsure   rage  hopeless irresolute  grief   doubt   distressed  frustrated   worried   afraid   nervous


Page from Robin and the White Rabbit: A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In by Emma Lindström and Åse Brunnström

Another page from Robin and the White Rabbit: A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In by Emma Lindström and Åse Brunnström

Author Bio

Åse Brunnström has a Master of Education in Visual Arts and Design, and has dedicated the best part of a decade to investigate the different ways in which visual communication can be approached to help hard to reach children. Åse’s experiences have solidified her goal to create a universally accessible resource for professionals, teachers and parents who need it.

Links to Follow:

Illustrator Bio

Emma Lindström (photo) and Åse Brunnström Authors of Robin and the White Rabbit A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In Emma Lindström is a preschool teacher with several years of experience supporting children with special needs, now specialising in visual aid.

“Although I have always liked to draw and paint, it was all new to me to communicate with someone using images, until the day I was persuaded to try. I was working in a preschool with a child who, like the child in the book, seemed to be surrounded by a bubble. I was fortunate enough to meet Marie – an absolutely amazing special educator. She helped me to replace the anxiety I had of making mistakes with a healthy curiosity to find more ways to break through. It doesn’t need to be more difficult than that. This is where I started my journey. I could not have imagined that there was a whole world of communication that I had not discovered before!”

Buy Robin and the White Rabbit: A Story to Help Children with Autism to Talk about their Feelings and Join In  Amazon.com Amazon.ca 

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.
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