Waiting for Benjamin: A Story about Autism


Alexander's little brother, Benjamin, doesn't do things the way Alexander thinks he should. When Benjamin's family learns that he has autism, they hire special teachers to teach him how to listen and talk and play.

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Alexander's little brother, Benjamin, doesn't do things the way Alexander thinks he should. When Benjamin's family learns that he has autism, they hire special teachers to teach him how to listen and talk and play.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Karen Leggett
All the recent public attention to autism has brought waves of books about how to educate and work with children who have autism. Now, there is a picture book for the siblings of youngsters with autism. Benjamin wiggles his fingers and stares into space, but he will not speak to or play with his older brother Alexander. Alexander is predictably angry and frustrated until Benjamin—after many months of therapy—is able to say "Zander." Alexander hopes one day he will be able to ask Benjamin what he is seeing when he looks far away. The story captures some typical manifestations of autism, as well as Alexander's jealousy over the extra attention given to Benjamin and his fear of having friends visit because they may think Benjamin is just weird. The illustrations often appear choppy and unfinished, although a few warmly convey moments of real affection. Written by a person who works professionally with children who have autism, this would be a good icebreaker to help siblings and other youngsters understand autism and express their own feelings more openly. Reviewer: Karen Leggett
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2- Alexander tells about his life with his two-year-old brother, who is not yet verbal and who won't play with him. Benjamin also exhibits strange behaviors. Then he is diagnosed with autism. When two teachers come to the house to help him with his language and social skills, Alexander is jealous of the extra attention his brother receives. As time passes, Benjamin begins to develop some language and is now able to play with Alexander, who is no longer embarrassed to have friends over. Realistic illustrations depict the characters and their emotions. The story's message is obvious and direct, as well as somewhat unrealistic considering that not all youngsters will make the progress shown by Benjamin. Still, the book may be useful as an introduction for young children who have a sibling with this condition.-Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807573648
  • Publisher: Whitman, Albert & Company
  • Publication date: 3/1/2008
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 603,871
  • Age range: 7 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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