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Title: A is for Autism, F is for Friend
Author: Keating-Velasco, Joanna L.
A Is for Autism, F Is for Friend provides a unique glimpse of life from the perspective of a child who has severe autism. It is told through the voice of Chelsea, an 11-year-old girl, who has severe autism. Chelsea sees kids on the playground and at the park and wants to get to know them, but social interaction can be tricky for her. As Chelsea explains some of her behaviors and challenges, she compares them with issues that all kids face. By demystifying her autism, she underscores the many things she and her schoolmates have in common, prompting a typical child to think, "Hey, I experience that, too!" Giving Chelsea a voice provides a rare insight into what a child with autism faces daily. Chelsea discusses issues of eye contact and explains echolalia. Chelsea cheerfully shows us that if we look closely, we are sometimes more similar than different. She brings a fun and clear voice for children who cannot articulate the challenges that autism presents. A Is for Autism, F Is for Friend provides an enjoyable discussion-oriented format for teaching our youth about autism.