A few years ago, we moved. We needed more room, expecting another, our lives changed…again. As we found ourselves settling into our new surroundings, I longed to write a book. A book that explained to our neighbors, to the kiddos that surrounded ours (19 on our block alone), what our oldest son has and what it means for his interactions with them. I wanted to be able to explain how he sees the world, the difficulties he overcomes each day, what his interests might be, and how they could still be good friends with him despite what makes him different from them.
I never wrote that book. But Beverly Bishop did.
Beverly Bishop, along with Craig Bishop who completed the illustrations, wrote “My Friend With Autism”. This has become my favorite book for children in the special needs arena. Why? It’s real, it’s accurate, it’s respectful, tasteful in explanation, hopeful in its outlook. The book points out the strengths of children with autism, the differences in challenges that children with autism have from typical peers, as well as how all children, regardless of challenges are similar.
Beverly Bishop easily takes the behaviors that might seem ‘odd’ to typical children and shows how unique, beneficial, special and magnificent these actions can be. How a child, like my son, can spot airplanes or birds when they seem nothing more than specks in the sky; or how he can hear a train miles away, a distance far enough for it to be missed in the chaos, yet he hears it as clearly as if it were before him.
What I didn’t expect in this book was the Notes section. This section not only includes a more “detailed explanation of each page of the children’s portion of this book”, but also includes ideas for helping a child with autism, behaviors that may suggest a child has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and other recommended reading.
“My Friend With Autism” by Beverly Bishop carries my highest recommendation. The new enhanced version includes a brightly colored pages and a CD full of printable coloring pages for children and additional suggestions for adults. A book suitable for teachers, children, family members, neighbors and friends, I have ordered and am donating“My Friend With Autism” to my son’s school for children to learn from and enjoy for years to come.
About The Author:
Beverly Bishop was determined to help her special needs son fit in with his peers, and to foster tolerance and understanding among her son’s friends and schoolmates. She wrote “My Friend With Autism” for the teachers and students in her son’s elementary school class. By helping others understand autism, she is able to encourage tolerance and a positive approach to Classroom integration for special needs children. She teaches high school computer classes and is the technology coordinator for a private K-12 school. The illustrator, Craig Bishop, taught art in the Michigan public schools for thirty years.