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I Have a Question about Death: A Book for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Other Special Needs ISBN: 9781785927508
Gaines, Arlen Grad and Polsky, Meredith Englander
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017
There are few books explaining death to children with autism or other special needs, so this one fills a real gap. There are three separate sections to the book. The first tells a complete story in text and stick figure, brightly-coloured illustrations. It asks lots of questions about death and answers them in simple but truthful words. The child in the story says he 'likes when there are answers to my questions', but in questions about death, sometimes there aren't complete, definite answers. For instance, when he asks 'Why do people die?' he can't get a complete answer. The same is true for 'What happens to people when they die?' He learns, too, that at funerals there may be noise and people trying to hug him, and it may be necessary to take a break away from all the activity. There are things to do after a person has died - perhaps make a memory box or talk to someone close about the person you loved. It's okay to cry too and to laugh if you feel like it. The second section of the book tells the same story but basically in pictures with very little text - this for children who work best with visual representations and also for those who want to re-read the story by themselves. Many of the same pictures are there but with only a few words attached. The third section is for parents and carers and helps them to use the book effectively. The book could be useful with neuro-typical children too, and in families where there are a mixture of special needs and neuro-typical children, it will prove invaluable. Bright and full of colour, it will provide solace and information in a beautifully produced book.
Age: 6+