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The Autism Detective : Investigating What Autism Means to You ISBN: 9781787753044
Brownless, Elaine and Burns, Mai-Ann
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2021
This very complete book on autism and all it's various ramifications will be of great use particularly to parents and children who have just been diagnosed. With a style and approach that will appeal (comic strip style graphics with speech bubbles and lots of computer interest) the book will give families a very good idea of what to expect, and the children will enjoy the mystery aspect. Scully and Kit, black family brother and sister, are the detectives (along with their cat Minnie), and in the beginning of the story they get an assignment from their boss at Mission Not-So-Impossible asking them to find out about autism and diversity, using their computer skills and the help of six kids who have volunteered to help them in their quest. First they check computer information and find out a lot about autism and how it affects different people in different ways. The approach is a positive one, with much emphasis on the good things that those with autism can do because their brains are 'wired differently', but is also honest about some of the negatives. After their initial 'finding out' period, they go on to interview the six volunteers, the purpose of which is to find out which if any of them are autistic. In the process, they ask each child five separate questions: their hobbies, interests, and friends, things they hate or fear, tricky problems, and then what is special in their lives that we haven't heard about before. This last question is the one where two of the six kids tell us about their autism, a boy and a girl. The point of this is that we learn all about the things in the autistic kids' lives that are much the same as their contemporaries, even though the autism does make differences. The book begins with a preface and some information for parents and professionals, and ends with a long session of FAQs, and some Brain Puzzles, as well as a glossary and some further reading suggestions. As the reading is extensive in this book, it is probably best to be used with an adult, particularly with younger children if reading ability is a problem. There is much here to absorb, but the interest level is kept high, and the graphics are a delight. Available from Amazon, from The Hive, from good book shops, and from the publisher: www.jkp.com
Age: 8+