You’re 22 years old, fresh out of school. It’s your first day as a teacher, and you learn that one of your students is a 6 year old autistic boy. You are given a stack of reports and files that tell you, in detail, how “bad” this little boy is and how hard it is going to be to teach him. You want to sneak out the back and run away. And right then the school administrator – grinning, animated, excited – finds you and says: “You’re going to be Jacob’s teacher. That’s fantastic. You’re going to LOVE this kid!”
This is an incredible book. If you are the parent or teacher of a school age autistic child, you should buy, read, absorb this book. If you know someone in those categories, you should buy and read this book, and then give it to that person.
The first chapter alone, a description and discussion of autism unlike any I have seen in books about autism and teaching autistic children, is worth the price of the book. I’m not an educator myself, but found much that I could use as a parent to help my school system create a more inclusive program.
What struck me the most about the book is that although it focuses on inclusion of autistic children in schools, it is really advocating for the inclusion of ALL students. Something I hadn’t considered before reading the book, and I would guess that most others haven’t really considered either.
A while back on my blog I asked the question, “Why doesn’t every child have an IEP?” Some might say that is just not possible, or necessary. This book explains how to have a program in which every child can have an individual educational experience and, more importantly, why it should be this way.
Not just for our autistic kids. Not just for our “normal” kids. For all kids.