There is something wonderfully satisfying for young people who are autistic to find characters in books that share the same challenges that they do. i especially like the book ‘Delightfully Different ‘ by D.S Walker which is about a girl with Aspergers and sensory processing disorder. Ms. Walker found a delightfully different approach to portray the struggles of a young girl and those of her family arising from raising a child with special needs. Mia, the daughter, is partially based on the author’s child. While all the characters in her book exist only in the author’s imagination, Walker’s YA novel brings them so well to life that any parent, teacher, or young girl, dealing with the same issues can relate, learn and find hope.
The book ‘Screaming Quietly’ which I grabbed on Amazon is written by Evan Jacob. Screaming Quietly features a character with autism and his older sibling who has difficulty at first to accept the challenging behaviors of his autistic brother. Tweens and teens who have a sibling with any special need will be able to relate to Evan Jacobs’ novel for kids in grades 7 to 10.
Finally i would recommend a comic book called ‘Melting down that i was lucky enough to read the other week.
Melting Down is the 61 page fictional story of a young boy, Benjamin, with Asperger’s disorder and other additional challenging behavior. Benjamin tells his readers that whenever there was a change he got upset, he also had trouble getting along with the other kids his age, and he never understood the rules of their games. Then we follow Benjamin and his mom as they visits many doctors and therapists.
Nathan Lueth did an excellent job with the illustrations. The language used is easy for all kids to understand and with the true-to-life illustrations most children, tweens, and teens will understand Benjamin’s story and be encouraged by it.Youth with the same problems as Benjamin should be able to relate to Benjamin as he struggles with school, side effects of medication, and his uncontrollable meltdowns. These comic books are also helpful for all kids so they can understand what some of their classmates are going through. Understanding often leads to compassion and hopefully to less bullying.