Saturday, February 20, 2021

NYT - Your Kids Aren't Too Old for Picture Books

I have long felt we should spend more time with picture books,

so this opinion piece by Pamela Paul caught my eye. Ms. Paul is

the author of  "How to Raise a Reader."

“My kid has outgrown picture books.”

I hear this often when enthusing about a new picture book and offering to pass one along to a friend. It’s the kind of thing parents will say with a certain amount of pride because of what it implies: My child is now reading independently and no longer requires the crutch of pictures. Just as he once relinquished the binky, he has moved on.

I hear this and I think, “Poor kid,” and also, “Poor parent.” Nobody moves on from picture books. At least, nobody should.

For the full piece click here

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Free Comic Book Day 2020


Except, of course it isn't.

The event has been postponed until later this Summer.
Will comic book stores still be here?

I don't know. Some will probably have to close. Maybe
to open up again, maybe not. They are usually crowded little
places on the margins or great big places full of everything
pop culture. I hope they will find a way to survive.

Comics remain a great way for visually oriented kids
to connect with stories, and the comic books themselves 
are not in quarantine.

Here's a link to some comics especially created for the younger/younger at heart set.

The Power Rangers have never gone away, and here comes the pink ranger to save the day!
Personally, Power Ranger popularity baffles me, but the art looks good, if busy. You be the judge.

DC offers up more girl power with a perplexing title about 
a school competition:

Um, okay.

Sonic and Once Upon a Space-Time (featured at the top of this post) seem the sunniest titles of the bunch, and perhaps the ones with the most appeal to boys.

Once Upon a Space-Time is
an entry from the creators of Jedi Academy.

Rounding out the group is Disney Villains with a story featuring Ursula - so if your favorite reader with autism is a Disney fan,
they've got you covered.

For more about these titles and others, here's the link to the original article again.

Remember there's probably a comic book, maybe old, 
maybe new, with whatever tv show, cartoon, or movie you or 
your favorite reader enjoys. 

This may be a good time
to reach out to that local comic book store and see if they're 

Happy Reading! 
We are #togetherapart

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Get Fuzzy - As Described by My 17 Year Old

Two Years Ago

I asked my 17 year old son to tell me about what he had been 
reading. As you can see below, he didn't describe it
in a book review type way, so I didn't post it.

But  -
it might be useful for others to see his process.
So here it is. My son's words are in blue.

"What have you been reading?"

"It's a comic strip. The Get Fuzzy book that I got for Christmas is "Scrum Bums."
In one of the parts of the book, Rob reads a book. He says it's about a guy that dies in the Louvre. Satchel the dog says, "Wait, he dies in the loo?" Bucky Katt adds, "He must have eaten some bad shellfish." Rob replies, "No, the louvre." Bucky says, "Louver, he was killed by a window treatment?"     
Rob says, "It's a museum, Bucky." "

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Social Stories for a Pandemic

Covid-19 is here, and we need to tell our children about it.
Children with autism may have more anxieties about the virus, or find the disease harder to understand than children not on the spectrum.*

Fortunately, we have social stories.
Here is a link to one from Green Mountain Self Advocates
about what Covid-19 is:

Here is another from Carol Gray:

Social Distancing is vitally important right now, but may be
very confusing. Tennessee Disability Pathfinder shares this
story from Easter Seals Chicago to help explain the concept:

Change social stories to suit your child. Use fewer words 
if that works better. 

Of course, you and your reader can create your own.
If you have the time, it may even be a fun project to
make your own Quarantine Time book with photos
and captions about your family's experiences in
this extraordinary time.

Stay safe.

- Spectrum Mom

*Many children without autism are also having a difficult time.
Social stories may be useful for them as well.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Free Comic Book Day May 4

Free Comic Book Day is almost here!

Every year on the first Saturday in May, the comic book world gifts us with fun, weird, delightful and sometimes horrifying comic books. None are designed for readers with autism, but many
may have great appeal for neurodiverse readers.

The comic books to be given away this year cover an astounding  range of popular culture.
If you're into Pokemon, Minecraft, or Dr. Who
there's a comic for you.
If you remember British funnies, or Little Lulu,
there's a comic for you.

Since many kids with autism have special interests like anime (My Hero Academia) Disney (Disney Descendants, Incredibles 2),  or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, comic books can tap into that and give them a reason to read.

Younger and younger at heart readers may enjoy Go Fish,  A Sheets Story, and Gillbert.

This year FCBD is also Star Wars Day, "May the Fourth be with you" as you look for this year's Star Wars comic book.

Perhaps your reader's passion is  - comic books? That's well covered with Catwoman, Spiderman, and The Avengers - not to mention some less well known caped crusaders - Hope or Dragonflyman anyone?

Not all free comic books are available at every location, but
most comic book stores should have a good selection. Remember, choose carefully.
Some comic books are gory, sexual or both. Riverdale is now an emo teen hang, just like the tv show. But there's plenty of great stuff. Whether you/your reader want silly jokes, save the world action, or a sweet story, you'll probably find it on FCBD 2019. 

Here is a Super link to all the fun:

Friday, December 21, 2018

Someone Else's Ideas for Gifts

Happy Holidays!

I wish you the brightest of holidays with the happiest of New Years.

Alas, still no time to blog, so here's a link to a monetized site with a few more ideas if you're still shopping to bring joy to your very wonderful family. Be aware items are sponsored and the site uses cookies (and not the leave out for Santa kind).

From "Growing Hands On Kids"

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Free Comic Book Day 2018

The First Saturday in May means .  .  .

Usually I have a few recommendations, but I am unsure which titles have clear story lines this year. If you or your kid have trouble with cluttered visuals/picture storytelling - I've made a few guesses.

Fifty titles this year, but remember not every store will have them all and popular titles may go quickly.
For the younger set there will be Adventure Time, Disney Princess Ariel, Invader Zim, Sparks!, Dr. Who, and Bongo Free for All
  (Simpsons stories) as well as many other titles. Judging by past books, Dr. Who, Ariel, Star Wars and Howard Lovecraft's Big Book of Summer Fun will probably offer clear storytelling. Also,
 comic book stores (hooray for comic book stores!) often
put out a wide variety of comics to give away from previous
years and other sources, so you should be able to find
something fun and appropriate.

If you haven't been around comics in a while, be aware they
can get very dark if intended for teen/mature readers. Archie, Betty, and Veronica act very differently in a Riverdale comic - recommended for teens and up.
There are only four of the fifty rated mature - you may want to give those a miss because of nudity and language.

For more information and to find a participating store near you,