Allergy Busters: A Story for Children with Autism or Related Spectrum Disorders Struggling with Allergies ISBN: 9781843107828
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2004
While this story is aimed at children on the autistic spectrum, there is nothing in it that could not be of use to non-autistic kids. We meet Karston, who at 3 began to have what he calls Very Big Headaches (migraines) and Very Big Stomach Aches. He was ill most of the time until he was 5, when he was taken to the Mayo Clinic (this is an American book) where allergies to sugar, milk (casein), dust and mold were diagnosed. He explains about the different types of allergy, food and environmental, and he is honest about the problems his allergies can cause, such as frustration, anger, lack of concentration, etc. He also tries very hard to ignore the allergies, but discovers for himself that he feels terrible when he does so. He also hates all the medicine he has to take. Being a resourceful lad, he develops a four point plan - The Allergy Buster Plan. After signing up to the four 'keys', one is given a 'Certificate of Achievement' and made a member of the Allergy Busters Club. A similar certificate is given for members of the family who can become 'Allergy Buster Helpers'. One of the strengths of the book is a section of recipes free of dairy products, gluten, refined sugar, corn and soya and includes such things as pizza and cake. There is also an interesting section on developing an effective reward system for helping children learn various behavioural issues - this probably more useful for families with a child on the autistic spectrum. Karston has a jaunty, idiomatic style, and the black and white drawings, linked to short sections of the story, are an effective way of presenting the information. Available from Amazon or from the publishers, www.jkp.com.