Why Won’t He Look at Me? A Book for Children Struggling to Understand Autism by Brandie Wiley
This is a short children’s book, with illustrations, that tells the story of a small group of children in daycare, one of whom has autism. The telling of the story gives a picture of what one may experience in the presence of a young child with autism. Some of the differences presented are lack of eye contact, preference for independent play, sensitivity to sound, light, texture, etc., and difficulty expressing one’s self. It is written in a very positive way and is enjoyable for young children.
As a teacher, I decided to purchase this book to help my kindergarten students better understand one of their classmates. They enjoyed the story, although, I admit that I did skip the part about the child not being potty trained yet. I felt that since this student did not have that particular issue, it was unnecessary and would stir up undue drama. If it was known to the class that their classmate had that problem, I definitely would have included it, in the hopes that it would make a little more sense to the little ones. My daughter, age 9, also read the book, since she has an interest in autism. She enjoyed it as well. She noted that it matched up with the things that she had already learned about autism (thanks to her second grade teacher) and that it had some good resources listed at the end.
The author, Brandie Wiley, has always enjoyed reading and writing. Her inspiration for this book came from her three adorable special needs children. I purchased the book directly from her and am honored to have a personalized, signed copy.