Autism Is...?


Children - Educational
24 Pages
Reviewed on 10/03/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Donna Gielow McFarland for Readers' Favorite

Autism Is...? by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan is a delightful, positive and affirming picture book for young children. A boy hears his grandma tell a friend that he has autism and asks her what it means. In an upbeat manner, Grandma tells the boy all the neat things his brain can do and explains how that tires him out sometimes. She even explains that his brain is different from those of the other kids at school and that is okay. The book has simple and colorful kid-appealing illustrations by Rob Feldman on each page. A very nice touch and added bonus is there are ten little pictures to search for throughout the book and these are drawn by Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan’s grandson, Logan, to whom the book is dedicated.

I found Autism Is...? to have an enthusiastically positive message. It would be excellent to read to young children who have autism, but it also could be read in a classroom to explain autism to neurotypical children. Autism takes many forms and Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan’s book is definitely tilted towards higher functioning children who explore everything or use big words. The boy in the story has a keen interest in bugs, but it would be easy to relate to other interests as well. Inspired by her grandson, Ymkje Wideman-van der Laan is passionate about promoting autism awareness and she also includes a brief informational note to parents and caregivers. Autism Is…? encourages a positive self-image and awareness. Highly recommended!