As a mother of a child with ASD, I struggled to find materials to share with my son’s cousins and peers on the complexities of ASD, what to expect, and how to interact and have fun with a person on the spectrum. So, I was thrilled when one morning in the wee hours before dawn, inspiration jolted me awake, screaming, “Goldilocks has autism!” (Pictured below are sample pages from the book.)
In my retelling, I highlighted those traits and included others a person with ASD might exhibit, such as echolalia, stimming, and repetitive behaviors and interests.
A discussion guide also explains each autistic trait, offers suggestions on how a peer could react, and then guides children into suggesting their own.
For example, in one scene, Baby Bear says to Goldilocks, “I am a bear,” and she repeats it. Children are taught the term echolalia through a simple definition. They are also taught why someone with ASD might speak using echolalia. Then readers are asked what they should do when someone with ASD speaks using echolalia and are given suggestions.
The world belongs to everyone. I hope through Goldilocks; we can teach children to understand their autistic peers, family members, and neighbors. We can all help move the needle toward full inclusivity of those living with neurodiverse conditions such as ASD.
To all children on the autism spectrum—may Goldilocks help your friends and family understand you a little more! – Amy Nielsen
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