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From the Publisher
About the Author
Pat Thomas is an author, journalist, and campaigner specializing in the field of environment and health. She qualified as a transpersonal psychotherapist in 1991 at the Centre for Psychotherapy and Counselling Education in London. She currently lives in London, England.
I SEE THINGS DIFFERENTLY
A First Look At Autism
Books in the “A First Look At…” series promote interaction among children, parents, and teachers on social, health, and emotional issues.
This book is intended for children who have siblings, classmates or friends with autism. Its aim is to promote understanding by explaining what autism is and what it feels like from the perspective of the child with autism. It also acknowledges the difficulties that those who are not autistic sometimes have in understanding those who are.
From the book:
We all need friends to love and support us. So if you know someone with autism, try to be a good friend.
Be kind and patient and don’t expect him or her to “grow out of it.” That won’t happen. He or she will always see the world a little differently from others.
With love and support from everyone around them, people with autism can learn to feel a little happier and safer each day
How To Use This Book
Tackle Myths and Misconceptions
Children hear all sorts of things outside the home about what autism is and isn’t. Some of this information can be confusing or wrong. Parents of autistic children and teachers have a crucial role in promoting an understanding of what autism is. To help children understand what autism is like, do your homework, be clear about what autism is, where your child sits on the spectrum, and how other families or classrooms can positively support a child with autism.
Children are naturally curious and they want to understand and help. The questions in the “What about you?” sections can be useful prompts for understanding things from a child’s point of view. Use them to begin discussions about autism. Remember, however, that telling doesn’t guarantee understanding. With very young children you may have to have this conversation — or read this book with them — more than once.
Find Ways for Them to Help
Siblings or classmates of autistic children can be a great support — if they know what to do. Find age-appropriate ways of encouraging interaction. It could be as simple as helping the autistic child with his or her homework, or just sitting quietly together. Help them learn to feel confident in following, rather than leading, the autistic child’s agenda.
Talking about autism can help classmates to be more understanding. Invite parents of children with autism to come into class and talk about their experiences and their children, and to answer questions. Discussion helps reinforce the message that we all have things we are good at and things we are not so good at.