Pros: Positive, Easy to read, appropriate for kids and adults, a must read.
As a mother of a child who has autism I've made it a mission to read, read, read and read some more just about anything related to autism that I can get my hands on. There aren't a whole lot of kids books written about autism, so when I learned about In My Mind - I wanted to read it. The author, Adonya Wong, happens to be a mother of a child with autism also, and one who I have quite a bit of respect for. In the effort of full disclosure, I share with you that I "know" the author through several online communities and blogging. I actually received a copy of this book in December before it became available to the public in early January 2009.
Before receiving my copy I was excited to read it, and also a bit skeptical too. You see, the premise of In My Mind is that it attempts to show what is going on inside of a child with Autism's head. What I would do for just a moment inside of my child's mind - right? The book is described as follows:
“In my mind, I see many colors, bright like a rainbow, shooting about like comets in a night sky.” Take a closer look… What do you see? In My Mind, by Adonya Wong, explores the inner world of an autistic child—the world that no one else can see. From exciting adventures to silly games and conversations with friends, look closely and see how a child with autism sees the world…and how the world sees him.
In My Mind is categorized as juvenile non-fiction and just 28 pages long. It is brightly illustrated and features a young boy who I believe was drawn to resemble the author's son. The book takes things that a child with autism may do - like hand flapping, 'odd' speech, solitary nature - and puts a story behind it.
For Example - On a page you'll see an illustration of the little boy in an outer space setting having a conversation with an alien. The text reads: "In my mind I'm having the greatest conversations". When you turn the page you see the same child but this time talking to a green balloon and the text "What you hear is a child making odd noises or speaking gibberish".
As I turned the pages of In My Mind, I am impressed and touched by it. My son does things that to an innocent bystander just look wierd, and this book puts autism and behaviors like the flapping or self-talk into a positive light. Immediately I could see that this book belongs in school libraries and inclusion classrooms - anyplace where children with autism are - this book should be. I've read this book with my 3 year daughter (who does not have autism) and have been using it as a vehicle to explain to her about her older brother. I love the positive message and how it doesn't stigmatize autism but instead celebrates it as a different point of view.
Just as I would suggest to people who don't know much about Autism to read the book by Ellen Notbohm:
Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew I also have to extend my recommendation to In My Mind. Though billed as a kids book I know many adult that would be educated by reading it.
Positive Autism Awareness - A resounding yes.
In My Mind is available from Amazon.com and Tate Publishing for just $9.99.
View the Book Trailer:
More kids autism book reviews:
Herman's Hiding Places
Who Took My Shoe?
My social Stories Book
The Way I Feel
I Am Utterly Unique: Celebrating the Strengths of Children With Asperger Syndrome And High-functioning Autism