Just about everybody knows a person who is on the autistic spectrum. Children living with autism often feel or act differently to other kids, but the great thing about All My Stripes is it not only stresses the unique gifts that we all have to offer, but also lets kids with autism and their parents, caregivers, teachers and siblings know that kids on the spectrum have something to contribute to the world too.
The book is fantastic for using in the classroom or kindergartens so other kids can understand what it is like to have autism and how something like the feel of paint can upset or cause issues for someone who has sensory processing issues for instance. Once kids have ‘grasped’ a concept like this it makes understanding somebody in their class who is on the spectrum a lot easier. I have read the book in several classrooms and have seen kids have a great ‘lightbulb’ moment as it helps them to relate to, and understand, the kids who are autistic at their school a lot better.
The analogy of using a zebra’s stripes is a great way to get kids engaged and encourages more understanding of anyone who is on the spectrum. The book has a great reading guide and note for parents and caregivers at the end.
Not only does All My Stripes break down barriers, it promotes discussion which, in a classroom of primary school aged kids, is a great thing especially when trying to get kids to understand something as complex as the autistic spectrum.
As a dad to a child on the autistic spectrum I have lent the book to not only kids but also adults so that they too ‘get it’… and like everyone who reads this book, they really do.
Reviewed by Senior Constable Bryan Ward from the New Zealand Police