Dear Reader,

There’s a great new book for kids called Autism and Me: Sibling Stories, in which 14 kids, ages 5 to 17, give or take a year, tell readers what it’s like to live with a sibling who has autism. And they tell it like it is.

They say:
*their sibling is not like “regular” people, but they are also unique, or
*their brother or sister’s out-of-control behavior is frustrating, painful, or embarrassing, or
*they wish their sibling could speak or write or run fast, or
*their brother or sister is not dumb, or
*they are proud of their sibling’s accomplishments, like remembering details most people would forget, or never notice to begin with, or empathetic with teammates when they’re upset, or
*how much they enjoy and love their sibling, and

Author Ouisie Shapiro, whose niece Arie and nephew Luke are featured in the book, selected “telling,” sensitive, but not sappy, lines from her interviews with these children to illustrate how autism affects them. Photographer Steven Vote captured sibling interaction and, most important, the love between them in touchingly intimate photographs.

Kids who have siblings with autism will recognize themselves and their brothers or sisters in the essays and photos in this book. Perhaps they will want to write their own essays. Perhaps they’ll be comforted to know other kids think and feel some of the same things they do.

Kids who don’t have direct contact with autism will learn important information that will help them understand why people who have autism behave and think differently than other people, and it will help them develop empathy for these people.

Teachers and other adults will gain a new perspective about the many and  varied manifestations of autism. I’ve read this book several times, and each time I come away with something new.

I recommend another book about what it’s like to be close to someone who’s “different” than other People: Best Friend on Wheels, by Debra Shirley.


3 Responses to “In AUTISM AND ME: SIBLING STORIES, Kids Tell It Like It Is”

  1. 1 Steven Vote 05/18/2009 at 8:39 pm

    Hello Faye,

    Thank you for your very nice review. 🙂

    Steven Vote (photographer, ‘Autism and Me: Sibling Stories’)

  2. 2 Faye Quam Heimerl 05/18/2009 at 9:24 pm

    Hi Steve,

    I’m glad you like my review. Your photos caught the “normalness” that comes through when children love one another. You don’t have to speak to love.

    Thanks for your book!


  3. 3 TheraP 06/05/2009 at 6:39 pm

    Hi, Faye. You’ll have to figure out who this is. But don’t blow my cover!

    I just came across your email from a while back. And realized there were website and blog links. So followed them!

    I myself am taking a break from blogging.

    Hope all is well.

    Peace. (you know who….)

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May 2009
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Photo Credits: Header - Barbara McNichol, Author - Bernadette Garcia

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