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Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

I Am Utterly Unique


A while ago an Autism-Community member asked me for a book recommendation for her son who has Asperger’s. He is 5-1/2 years old and in kindergarten. He now knows he has Asperger’s, and seems to understand, but his mother wanted to get him a book to give him a little more information.

I just want to stop here and make a comment. I think it’s AMAZING she has decided to talk to her son about his diagnosis. Many families struggle with the decision to disclose to their children information about their disability. While this is ultimately a family decision, it is my opinion that not talking to your child about the situation has more potential to do harm in the long-run. Even if you don’t think your child will understand you, there is no harm in relating to your child this information. By being honest with your child about their ASD (autism, asperger’s, PDD-NOS, etc) you can potentially reduce the risk of social-emotional issues surrounding being accepted. If their family is willing and able to talk to them about how they’re different and help them understand what they can do to advocate for themselves (or talking to them about how the family is advocating for them) then the individual is more likely to have a better quality of life.

So with that said, let’s get back to recommendation! I Am Utterly Unique by Elaine Marie Larson is a book for children 4-8 presented in an ABC format. From A to Z, the author uses this format to explore and celebrate all the unique talents, interests and abilities a child with an ASD may possess. There are many things to be gained from this book including self-awareness for the child with autism, a good read for peers and siblings, and a conversation starter for friends and family members. Talking about the diagnosis can be difficult, but with this book it may be just what a parent needs to break the ice with their child with autism or with any one else they’re hesitant to talk to about the disorder.

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