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Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes by Eve B. Band + Emily Hecht

October 28, 2010
Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes by Eve B. Band + Emily Hecht
Autism Through a Sister's Eyes: A Young Girl's View of Her Brother's Autism Format/Length: Paperback, 80 pages
Genre/Subject(s): Nonfiction, autism, family relationships, learning, special needs
Age Range: Elementary school (Grades 3-6)
Publishing Info: Arlington, Texas : Future Horizons, Inc., c2001.
Amazon Link Rating: ★★★★★

Short Summary: Emily talks about her experiences with and feelings about her older brother who has autism.

Review: Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes is told from the perspective of Emily, who was ten years old when the book was first published. Band is a clinical psychologist who had been working with Emily’s older brother Daniel for several years when their parents decided they wanted her to meet with Emily to help with her understanding of her brother and his autism. After their first meeting, Band promised to find a book for Emily that would be more relevant to her experiences with her brother’s high-functioning autism than the one she had that was about a more classically autistic child and his family. After several sessions and no such luck, they decided to work together to create a book describing Emily’s experiences with her brother. What resulted was this book in which Emily relates her experiences with her brother and discusses her feelings while providing useful information about autism.

Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes provides a lot of useful information in a child-friendly format. Emily’s real-life experiences are told through short, illustrated chapters. It’s clear that she cares about her brother, but it also shows that she can be frustrated with him at times and that such frustration is normal. This honest depiction of a child’s experiences with and feelings toward an autistic sibling is extremely valuable, and children in similar situations will appreciate being able to read about the experiences of someone with whom they can relate. They will doubtless have a lot of questions about autism, and this book can help answer a lot of them. It can also help children who have classmates and friends with high-functioning autism or Asperger’s Syndrome learn more about them and become more understanding.

This book is recommended for elementary school libraries and the children’s section in a public library.

Notes: Also includes a glossary of terms about and related to autism, several discussion questions for parents and children, and a list of resources for further information.

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