I think "Autism and Me-- Sibling Stories" would be a very good book to use with young children, in either a home or school setting, if you wanted to open up a dialog about Autism. In 32 pages, it presents multiple examples of kids of different backgrounds and genders, all of whom have siblings with some level of autism.
The book always maintains an upbeat attitude, but not at the expense of reality. The children talk about the challenges they and their siblings face. They talk about tantrums, for example, as well how hard it is for some of their brothers or sisters to communicate.
The overriding theme of their stories though is not the problems --they are in kept comfortably in the background-- but instead the strong bond of love and respect that exists between the children. I think the author and photographer did a wonderful job capturing and illuminating the affection. Kudos to Steven Vote, by the way, for capturing that love with the camera. You can see it in every picture.
Considerations::: At 32 pages this book is a nice size for younger children.
I can easily see how this book could be used to open up dialog about autism, what it is, and how it affects families. It's cheerful presentation is likely to settle apprehensions that might arise when the idea of 'difference' is brought up. The book presents various problems kids have likely faced if they have siblings on the spectrum, so they should be able to see that it's not just their family with these problems, that lots of families are just like theirs.
'Autism and Me' would be an excellent resource for families with one autistic child and one or more non-autistic children. Often children with siblings who have disabilities may have difficulty relating to the sibling or understanding all of the behaviors/symptoms associated with the disability. 'Autism and Me' offers brief stories, written from a child's perspective, of living with an autistic sibling. Each story describes some of the behaviors/symptoms associated with Autism and also offers effective … more