While at my children’s library, I found this lovely resource, “Looking After Louis,” by Leslie Ely and Polly Dunbar, a story about a boy with autism and his classmates as he is mainstreamed in the regular classroom. It is a simple, accurate picture of many higher functioning children on the autism spectrum as they navigate the classroom possibly with an aide, as is true in Louis’ case. Louis’ buddies encourage him to try crayons, play soccer or roll on the tire at recess. Louis repeats what they say, instead of answering them but that doesn’t stop his friends from engaging him. Classmates rejoice in little steps of progress–if Louis’ foot even touched the soccer ball, much less kicked it. Some classroom rules are modified to make way for Louis’ success.
This is an excellent book for a classroom teacher to read to her students to prepare for a child on the autism spectrum who might be joining their class or to start discussion in a class where a child is already included in their group.