By Arlen Grad Gaines and Meredith Englander Polsky
Tackles: Divorce, specifically written for children with autism/special needs
Age Range: 5-11 years
This book is an interesting one because it covers the already difficult topic of divorce, but is designed to do so in a way that helps children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or other specials needs to better understand. The story is told in two ways, one longer story with clear pictures and more detailed text and the same story told with less text and the same simple pictures. This is to cater to different learning styles that children may have. The author said that this was also done so that the first version could be read with an adult and the child had the option to read the second story independently. The language is very concise, and I enjoyed that this book asks straightforward questions and gives straightforward answers. It does not try to paint a picture of the ideal divorce where everything turns out okay like other children’s books tend to do, instead it just gives facts and simple answers. Below is an example of the same question answered different ways in each version of the story.
There is also a section in the back of the book that gives advice to parents and caregivers including paying close attention to transitions and routine, emotion guidance, and sensory support. I appreciate that this is included, because tough topics like divorce can often be difficult to explain to young children, and this can help with that. It also takes into consideration special considerations for children with ASD or other learning disabilities.
I appreciate everything about this book. It is clear that its design was carefully thought out and effort was put into creating the preface and advice for parents. I think books in this style for children with special needs are far less common than they should be, and this is something that push to see more of. I also appreciate that it is accessible for children who want to read it alone, because topics like this can be tough and sometimes children don’t want to open up about it with an adult.
10 out of 10 stick figures.
Buy it here.