I See Things Differently (A First Look at Autism)) ISBN: 9780750289481
Published by Hachette Wayland, 2015
A very nicely balanced and not too detailed book about autism for KS1 and lower KS2. The pictures tell the story as much as the text, and they are warm and supportive. We see children doing things that are unusual, things that autistic children might do, and the point is made that these things do not seem strange to the child doing them, that autistic children have different ways of coping because their brains work differently. 'Our brains help us make sense of the world', and autistic children can feel like other people are from 'a distant planet'. There are some descriptions of what autistic children may do, such as being sensitive to loud noises, repeating words, not looking at you when you talk, moving the body in unusual ways, being upset by small changes, etc. There is emphasis on the fact that autistic people may be really talented and skilful in things like music and painting, maths and computers, and while they may find making friends difficult and are prone to being loners, they need support and love just like everyone else - and this can help them feel safer in an environment that is often confusing. As a tool for use in a family with siblings with autism and in schools to explain autistic behaviour to classmates, this could not be bettered. What About You boxes ask questions of neuro-typical children about their experiences of being with autistic children, and the whole book is realistic as well as supportive and understanding. A page for parents and teachers at the end gives emphasis on the importance of making the non-autistic children in a family or classroom feel loved and important too - a point often missed in books about autism. There is also a list of other books to read, both for children and adults and a few websites.