Autism Awareness

Today I am honored and so very excited to help shine a light on resources to help us understand students with autism and other special needs.  Here are five of our favorite books that tackle this topic.

Looking After Louis by Leslie Ely finds the young narrator taking notice that Louis is different but taking him under her wing and helping him out at school nonetheless. But will she think it's fair when he earns extra recess and she's not the one who gets to go with him?

In He's My Brother by Joe Lasker, we never really know what Jamie's "invisible handicap" is, but throughout, we get to know from the brother's perspective what it's like to be Jamie's sibling. I especially like the way it switches between black and white and color as we journey through his feelings with them.

Lori Mitchell's Different Just Like Me journeys with a young girl who travels through town noticing all sorts of accommodations that help people who are different, just like she. It even has a page with Braille numbers on it.

Based on real-life siblings Ryan and RJ, My Brother Charlie, by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete, is the sister's viewpoint of who her brother is and how their needs differ. My favorite part:
Charlie has autism. But autism doesn't have Charlie.

 Understanding Sam by Clarabelle van Niekerk and Liezl Venter takes a sensitive look at Asperger Syndrome and the eccentricities that can come with being on the spectrum. Sam is different, but it's not until he goes missing that his parents realize that they might need to seek professional help.

Here are two that are on my list; 
click them to read the reviews that piqued my interest!

Sometimes students with special needs have a difficult time
 identifying and understanding their feelings, so I created a
Feelings Booklet 
that you can download {here} to help in that area. 

Print the pages on card stock and hole punch in the corner so your students can keep them on a ring. Or staple it along the top or side and let them have a little book. Encourage them to draw themselves or cut out pictures from a magazine that'll match the feelings on each page. 

Then let them talk about times when they've felt that way. 
What happened first? What happened next? What happened last?
 Teachers have also used Social Stories for these kiddos 
with great success.

A story that eloquently explains raising a 
child with autism is Emily Perl Kingley's 

What are your go-to resources for Autism Awareness?


  1. What a beautiful, heart-touched post, Barbara!

    I love using picture books for topics like this. I find that big kids respond just as well (sometimes more so) to picture books as the little ones.

    I had the pleasure of meeting Lori Mitchell several years ago (I think she's from the San Diego area?). That book has always been special to me.

    The broken heart in that child's picture said more than words ever could. Luckily he/she has a loving, caring counselor to help mend the hurts...

    Thanks for all you do and share.

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Oh, Kim ... you always bring such JOY with you to the Corner. Thank you for your kind words. I do LOVE Lori's book ... simply powerful! I am so tickled to be a part of this collaborative; stop by tomorrow for an entire list of all of the bloggers who participated (like you!) and links to their freebie resource and post!

  2. Thank you so much for your great post!

    I'm going to have to get these books on a wish list.I'll be doing this feelings booklet with my son.

    1. Thank you, Lorena, for stopping by the Corner. I would LOVE to hear how your son does with his booklet. I've never really made anything like this before, so it's a first and was kind of a challenge for me. Luckily my son (and IT guy!) helped with the set up!

  3. Great post Barbara! Thanks for the book list! I am always looking for books that speak to the heart!

  4. I really like this post Ms Gruener. I spend a lot of time with kids with autism. They are some of my very favorite kids and I think that I have a real connection with them. I frequently get called in to help out with kids who are having a tough day. I'm kind of a counselor just like you! I'm keeping a list of these books and will be checking them out! Thanks so much for sharing!

  5. Thank you for the mention of my review. I am giving away a copy of Leah's Voice this Thursday on the blog. Your readers can enter to win at :


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!