I have been very fortunate to have been given a sneak preview of the first book that is being launched in a new series of autism books being aimed at children. It was something I couldn’t wait to share with readers of this blog as I’m sure it will be useful to many families.
The title of the book is called Autism with Lola – Playing with Bourbon Badger and is written by author Jodie Isitt.
Jodie writes from experience – she is a mum to three children and autism is at the heart of family life. I’m pretty sure this gives her one of the best starting places as you can only write about a subject when you live and breathe it on a daily basis.
No doubt this will have given Jodie the inspiration she needed to write such beautiful stories:
“I finally knew I wanted to create a series of stories that would help typically developing children understand and have knowledge of those children who found normal everyday situations that bit more difficult.”
The story centres around friendships and uses a social story to embrace differences such as what it is like to live with anxiety or autism. The book teaches children about embracing neuro-diversity and how to be kind to one another using very cute and accessible woodland characters.
In this first book of the series we get the chance to meet Lola Rabbit – Lola is the central character and has autism. Lola’s classmates find it difficult to understand Lola and she becomes quite isolated, until she is approached by Bourbon Badger, an understanding child from her class and a beautiful friendship ensues:
The story has been designed and created in such a way that it teaches inclusion and demonstrates to typically developing children ways that they can help children who function in a different way to themselves. Bourbon Badger joins in with Lola’s interests and creates a friendship that is built on trust and having fun together.
In order to enter Lola’s world, Bourbon Badger joins in with what Lola is doing, rather than trying to find connections that might be there from his own interests.
It is quite an important message to share, my eldest daughter with PDA will often let you in and enjoy your company if you start by joining in with her interests – it is essential to not assume what she may enjoy or simply try to find common ground.
The same approach is essential for my youngest child (who is not yet diagnosed) if you copy and repeat her playing style then she will eventually let you in – this usually involves collecting marbles and dice!
I think what this book cleverly does is show the difficulties behind Lola’s behaviours and creates an emotional story that children will connect to. Overall, it illustrates the beauty of kindness which is heart warming for any age group.
At the end of the book you will find advice from the experts – useful suggestions are given and can be implemented for children who experience speech and sensory issues, such have been shown in this story.
Autism with Lola is available to pre-order ahead of it’s release date in June (a quick link can be found here) and news will follow when the remaining books from this series will launch.
Having had a glimpse of this wonderful resource, I cannot wait to see what other stories will be added to the series and I would like to thank Jodie for contributing to the growing literature that is now available on autism.
It would be great to share this resource with fellow parents, professionals and practitioners so that we can support children with autism and give them the understanding they deserve.
*Disclaimer* no payment was taken for this book review and all views expressed in this post are my own.