How to Talk to an Autistic Kid

( 5 )

Overview

Kids with autism have a hard time communicating, which can be frustrating for autistic kids and for their peers. In this intimate yet practical book, author Daniel Stefanski, a fourteen-year-old boy with autism, helps readers understand why autistic kids act the way they do and offers specific suggestions on how to get along with them.

While many "typical" kids know someone with autism, they sometimes misunderstand the behavior of autistic kids, which can seem antisocial or even...

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Overview

Kids with autism have a hard time communicating, which can be frustrating for autistic kids and for their peers. In this intimate yet practical book, author Daniel Stefanski, a fourteen-year-old boy with autism, helps readers understand why autistic kids act the way they do and offers specific suggestions on how to get along with them.

While many "typical" kids know someone with autism, they sometimes misunderstand the behavior of autistic kids, which can seem antisocial or even offensive–even if the person with autism really wants to be friends. The result of this confusion is often painful for those with autism: bullying, teasing, excluding, or ignoring. How to Talk to an Autistic is an antidote. Written by an autistic kid for non-autistic kids, it provides personal stories, knowledgeable explanations, and supportive advice–all in Daniel's unique and charming voice and accompanied by lively illustrations.

Always straightforward and often humorous, How to Talk to an Autistic Kid will give readers–kids and adults alike–the confidence and tools needed to befriend autistic kids. They'll also feel like they've made a friend already–Daniel.

 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As the title suggests, Stefanski, a 14-year-old with autism, has written a book that aims to demystify the disorder for children who may not understand it. Addressing readers kid-to-kid, Stefanski writes, "Not all people with autism are exactly alike, just like not all 'regular' kids or teenagers are exactly alike." Brief chapterlike sections clearly explain the difficulties with communication and social interactions that frequently accompany autism, while urging readers to reach out to and stick up for autistic children. Friendly grayscale cartoons, accented with teal, underscore Stefanski's emphasis on the importance of compassion, patience, and respect. Ages 8–up. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

“Clearly explain[s] the difficulties with communication and social interactions that frequently accompany autism, while urging readers to reach out to and stick up for autistic children.”—Publishers Weekly

“While the book is short and written in language that is easy to understand, it does an impressive job of speaking directly and succinctly about the issues and offering solutions . . . This book could be used as a read-aloud, with a teacher or therapist working either with a mixed group of children or those on the spectrum, giving them words to use in social and school settings.”—School Library Journal

Best of the Best 2012—Chicago Public Library

“Perfect for introducing the topic of autism to grade school and middle school students.” —Green Bay Press-Gazette

Gold award winner in ForeWord Reviews’ 2011 Book of the Year Awards

Who better to explain the challenges of typical kids communicating with autistic kids than 14-year-old Daniel Stefanski, who has autism? “Even though my brain is different, I’m still a kid.” And like any kid who’s been ignored, Daniel can often feel lonely. Through his casual and frank first-person narration, accompanied by two-tone digital illustrations, he recognizes that autistic kids may look and sound different when trying to communicate, but they still want to be included. After explaining how autistic kids have trouble understanding figures of speech and body language, often get “stuck” on one topic, and may have sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights, etc., he offers suggestions on how to engage autistic kids and give them social cues (“Excuse me, could you step back just a bit? I need a little more space”). The teen also addresses bullying (and yes, he can tell the difference between laughing with him and at him). Daniel’s insight, courage, and hopefulness make this an accessible guide to bridging the gap of diversity.—Booklist

“I just love the feel-good message of this book . . . one of the best children’s books on autism that I have seen . . . This book will help the children and teens of today become the compassionate adults of tomorrow, as they learn how to relate to the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with ASD.”—Autism National Committee

Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family

Children's Literature - Cathi I. White
Children who are autistic have difficulty with communication. At times, they do not know how to talk to others or know what to say. Even though they have this difficulty, they still desire to communicate with others. The author, who is an autistic teen, wrote this book to give people ways to talk to and communicate with children who are autistic. For example, children with autism do not want to be ignored. They like to be talked to and listened to just like anyone else. The author also explains that children with autism do not hear the same way others do. They take words at face value. Figures of speech, such as "bug off" have to be explained to them. Another good tip for communicating is that children with autism do not understand body language, sarcasm, or slang. Because of this lack of understanding, they can struggle to make friends and get along with others. When people speak they usually look each other in the eyes. Children who are autistic have trouble making eye contact. Sometimes others think they are not paying attention or are being rude, but they are not. Children with autism just want to be treated like others—with respect, kindness, compassion, honesty, and acceptance. Readers will be educated as they learn about more ideas the author has in this wonderful book. This informative book would be excellent for anyone who works with children who have autism and would be an excellent tool for the classroom. Reviewer: Cathi I. White
School Library Journal
Gr 4–8—Stefanski, 14, a high-functioning "autistic kid," shares his insights and experiences. His voice is straightforward and he has a clear message to convey: "We're all human." The author describes characteristics that make autistic kids different, giving neurotypical children a way to understand and appreciate these differences. He also instructs readers about what they can do and say to normalize interactions. While the book is short and written in language that is easy to understand, it does an impressive job of speaking directly and succinctly about the issues and offering solutions. Simple line drawings depict teens, although there are more boys than girls; this is not unrealistic, given that boys are diagnosed on the autism spectrum four times more often than girls. While the wide variety of people represented on the spectrum is not addressed, this book could be used as a read-aloud, with a teacher or therapist working either with a mixed group of children or those on the spectrum, giving them words to use in social and school settings.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575423654
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 239,072
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 770L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Stefanski is fourteen years old and autistic. He has a passion for writing and drawing and likes to declare proudly "I'm autistic and artistic." A talented golfer, Daniel has participated in the Special Olympics and other competitive golf events. At age four, he was adopted from an orphanage in Bulgaria and flew 18 hours with his new mom to his new home in Valparaiso, Indiana. An animal lover and shelter volunteer, Daniel is surrounded by the love of his mom, dad, stepfather, brother, and five dogs.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 11, 2011

    Tackles A Sensitive Subject (Autism) With Grace And Humor. A MUST READ!!!

    How To Talk To An Autistic Kid is a very endearing picture book with wonderful suggestions on how to speak and interact with an autistic kid in a more respectful and kind manner. The book highlights the importance of really accepting and treating autistic kids just like any other kid, because even though they are different in some ways, they are very similar in other ways. It also teaches kids to not be afraid of befriending an autistic kid. Written by a 14-year-old autistic kid himself, this book offers a unique point of view that you really won't get from mainstream books about autism that are more impersonal and make you feel like you are just being given information. What's great about this book is that you can put a face to this autistic disorder, of someone who is actually experiencing it first-hand. I don't know if you can get any more sincere than that! How To Talk To An Autistic Kid really personalizes the whole reading experience in an extremely engaging way. Daniel tackles a sensitive subject with grace as well as humor at times. This book offers priceless advice in a fun, very approachable, easy-to-read set-up, with easy-to-follow tips, and includes many colorful illustrations to reiterate each point. And by the end of the book, you really feel like you got to know Daniel, who is more than just an autistic kid. Daniel does a great job of really pouring his heart out in this book in an effort to help make the lives of autistic kids a little easier and better socially, not only at school, but any place where they are among non-autistic peers. Adults will also find this book helpful and it will heighten their understanding of autistic behavior in kids and learn what to do in certain situations. I am really glad Daniel decided to write this book. By doing this, his contributions to the autistic society will be endless. And even decades from now, autistic kids as well as non-autistic kids will still be benefiting from his words of wisdom, and he will have touched so many lives because of it. Daniel is truly an inspiration. So whether you are a teacher, classmate, parent, sibling, relative, friend, librarian, or neighbor of an autistic kid or you just want to learn more about autistic behavior and communication, I HIGHLY recommend that you read this book. Because if you don't, you will really be missing out on something very special and important. If you are a parent of an autistic kid, let your kid's school know that this book is a must have. It will really help your child feel comfortable and accepted by their classmates at school.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 18, 2011

    Highly Recommended from Grandmother of an Autistic Child

    How To talk to an Autistic Kid is an awesome book. It is written by 14 year old Daniel Stefanski, who is on the spectrum. He has done a remarkable job educating both his peers and adults. It is a short book, some may call it a picture book for the middle school age. I think we can all learn from it. I am raising an autistic child. It is not easy watching him struggle to have conversations with other who do not understand. I would like to ask every teacher out there to get this book and find a way to share it with your classroom.
    I love the way Daniel talks about how autistic children "hear" and "see", (or not see), things. He also brought up important things like getting stuck, not remembering to share, some of the different behaviors that some autistic children do and even the sensory issues. I love the section on Be a good friend where Daniel says, Don't feel sorry for me. I have autism, but I'm cool with who I am." This is my wish for Jr. Daniel reminds us to reach out to children with autism. He also asks us to stand up for children with autism from the bullies and then tells us how. And he calls us the hero. To me he is the hero.

    I recommend this book to adults and children, and not just the age level it is geared to. I think younger children will be able to relate to it. My grandson is 4 and while he did not get everything, there were parts of the book where he said that is like me. It is never too early to begin planting the seeds of acceptance and understanding. We can all learn from it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2012

    Uuuhgg

    DO NOT GET THE SAMPLE!!!!!!!!!!! IT IS CRAP!!!!

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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