THIS IS DREW
by Catherine White
Illustrated by Inna Eckman
ages 4 to 8
Autism can be hard to understand, even for experts in the field. Join us as we meet Drew and teach his classmates about living with autism. Thoughtful examples illustrate differences in interpreting situations, allowing children to ultimately foster empathy and compassion for those who see the world a little differently.
With easy to understand situations, the general characteristics a child with autism might display are presented and brought to light so that others might have a better understanding.
Drew is just like any other child, except he sometimes acts and behaves a bit differently. He doesn't always understand how others feel or how he should react to certain situations. But he's still a wonderful person who wants to simply be friends.
I appreciated how this book views autism. Too often, people have developed exact ideas of what autism should look like thanks to several movies and don't understand that it's not that simple. Drew is presented as a very normal kid...in most ways. But he has trouble understanding feelings and the meaning behind certain situations, and sometimes, simply doesn't know how to express himself. This book explains the basic aspects of autism as they generally appear. But the thing with autism is that it never is exactly the same in every person. Just several of the traits are similar to different degrees. So, kudos to the author on that end.
As for the book itself, it's written in a way listeners will understand and brings across situations they can relate to. With simple explanations, it becomes clear why kids with autism react the way they do. And yet, the author makes sure to point out that these kids aren't really that different in many respects. It's a great read for opening up children ages 4 to 8 to autism and gives them a better understanding of those who have it.