Helping kids learn about accepting and including kids with autism
Review from Louise Sattel
I know that many of you have joined SIGNING FAMILIES as a fan because you have an interest in learning more about sign language. However, I know that many of you are here because you have a child with learning challenges or differences, such as Autism. This note is for all, but especially for my friends who have their hearts in the "land of autisim".
I met Julie Coe and Sondara Brassel at the 2009 Autism Expo in Maryland. They were sitting at their exhibitors table with a very engaging book- The Friendship Puzzle. When I saw that this book was based on a true story, had an endearing and important lesson about acceptance and unconditional friendship and was supported by the incomparable Dr. Rebecca Landa from the Kennedy Krieger Institute, I knew that I had to read it and share with you my thoughts.
The Friendship Puzzle is devised to help children learn about the disorder of Autism. Also, in a very wonderful way the story also acts as a teaching lesson for adults as group activities and discussion questions are added to the end of the story. The illustrations are beautiful. The story flows effortlessly as you learn about little MacKenzie and her new friend, Dylan.
As a School Psychologist I would truly recommend this book for any child and adult to read together. A wonderful "tool" for starting discussions whether at home, in a classroom or even a scout troop.
I have read many children's books that address the topic of making friends from different backgrounds, etc. I have not encountered one that has a well developed story followed by added information and content in the form of proactive activities and discussion questions. Also, there is additional information for adults to read and learn, including about the IAN Project.
I highly recommend The Friendship Puzzle. I believe this book will make an excellent addition to libraries, family support centers and of course, your home.
For more information about the book visit either http://www.friendshippuzzle.com/ , or the FACEBOOK fan page for the Friendship Puzzle
For more information about the Interactive Autism Network (IAN) Project go to http://www.ianproject.org/
Thanks for reading this note. Now go and enjoy The Friendship Puzzle.
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