Insightful Book Gives Young Readers Unique Look at the Everyday Struggles of Autism
Until 1943, autism didn’t have a name; it wasn’t a diagnosis. Children exhibiting autistic behaviors were considered “odd.” Misunderstood, children with autism were mainly neglected and excluded.
In 1943, Dr. Leo Kanner of Johns Hopkins University announced a new understanding. Even though the causes of autism still aren’t fully known, treatment and understanding since the 1960s have allowed autistic children to function and grow in their communities with more compassion, understanding, and friendship.
The number of cases diagnosed increases annually. Autism today affects one in 68 children. This means that most school-age children are likely to meet someone like Rebecca during their school years.
It is the author’s hope that getting to know Rebecca in this fictional novel will enable young readers to meet and reach out to other autistic children with confidence and friendship.
Often times childish responses that are considered to be cruel or unkind, are a result of fear and discomfort in a strange situation. Perhaps Rebecca’s story will pave the way.
This unusual story, narrated by the Fly-on-the-Wall who has the advantage of seeing everything, provides a unique look at some of the everyday struggles children on the autism spectrum deal with. It also uncovers possible potential and amazing abilities often masked by the autism.
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Paul Batchelor, CEO of Developmental Disabilities and Behavior Consultants and author of Help! My Child Has Autism, calls Rebecca & Heart a unique journey, amusing and fresh, addressing characteristics and misconceptions students can relate to. Learning can lead to changes in perspective.
Dr. Stephen Lazoff, MD, Pediatrician, says this book is an absolute accurate portrayal of autism and the challenges. Although it is written for a young adult audience, readers of any age will delight in the storytelling and we can all learn that differentness is not necessarily a bad thing.
This article was featured in Issue 100 – Best Tools And Strategies For Autism