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How to Talk to an Autistic Kid

illustrated by Hazel Mitchell

While many young people know kids with autism, they often find it hard to relate to them. That’s because the behavior of autistic kids can seem off-putting and antisocial, even though the person with autism wants to be friends. This is frustrating for autistic kids and for their peers, and often leads to avoiding, ignoring, excluding—or bullying and teasing.

In How to Talk to an Autistic Kid, a fourteen-year-old boy describes what it’s like being autistic. With frankness and optimism, author Daniel Stefanski provides personal stories, clear explanations, and supportive advice about how to get along with kids with autism. He answers many questions readers might have about their autistic peers, like: Why does my autistic friend sometimes talk too loud or stand too close? Why does she talk so much about the same topic over and over? Why does he complain about the lights (or the noise, or the smell)? How should I act when we’re together?

Always straightforward and often humorous, this book will give readers (kids and adults alike) the confidence and tools needed to befriend kids with autism.

“Even though my brain is different, I’m still a kid. I like to have fun and want to have friends.”—Daniel Stefanski 

Part of Self-Help for Kids®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support children’s social-emotional health.
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Hardcover $12.99 23654W Hardcover 23654W $12.99

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ISBN: 978-1-57542-365-4
Audience: for kids, teens, and adults with autistic kids in their lives
Reading Level: Grade 3
Interest Level: Ages 8 & up
Guided Reading Level: P
Lexile Measure: 770L
Illustrated: two-color, illust.
Trim Size: 6.75" x 8.25"
Page Count: 48

Praise for How to Talk to an Autistic Kid
“Daniel’s bright spirit and frank manner convince us that he and others with autism are worth getting to know . . . This book offers valuable communication tips to a wide audience of all ages.”—Youth Today

“I just love the feel-good message of this book . . . one of the best children’s books on autism that I have seen . . . This book will help the children and teens of today become the compassionate adults of tomorrow, as they learn how to relate to the increasing numbers of people being diagnosed with ASD.”—Autism National Committee

“Daniel writes from his heart . . . [and] seems to know instinctively that simple tips on how peers can best interact with spectrum kids . . . provide them with the confidence they need to step inside his world and better understand the challenges of being an autistic kid.”—Autism Asperger’s Digest

“Goes a long way toward demystifying autism and its attributes to a young audience.”—Midwest Book Review

“Does an impressive job of speaking directly and succinctly about the issues and offering solutions.”—School Library Journal

“Who better to explain the challenges of typical kids communicating with autistic kids than 14-year-old Daniel Stefanski, who has autism?”—Booklist

“Clearly explain[s] the difficulties with communication and social interactions that frequently accompany autism, while urging readers to reach out to and stick up for autistic children.”—Publishers Weekly

“[Stefanski’s] insightful, matter-of-fact presentation demystifies behaviors that might confuse or disturb non-autistic classmates.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Perfect for introducing the topic of autism to grade school and middle school students.”—Green Bay Press-Gazette

“A remarkable guide for kids. [This] book should be read and discussed in every school classroom.”—Children’s Books Heal blog

“Stefanski, an autistic kid, gives tips on how to be a good friend to autistic teens (like be patient, and don’t raise your voice or yell) in a very quick and easy-to-read way.”—The Unshelved Book Club

“Stands out among the many Autism/Asperger’s books because it humanizes the disorder.”—Lauren Tolman, children’s librarian, Provo City Library

  • Foreword Reviews Book of the Year
  • Learning Magazine Teachers’ Choice Award for the Family
  • Books for a Better Life Awards finalist
  • “Best of the Best 2012”—Chicago Public Library

Related Resources

The Survival Guide for Kids with LD*

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