Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We Now Return to Our Regular Program

Andrew Lost #12: In the Ice Age
Who doesn't like the familiar? Popular culture confirms that 
however much we scream for novelty what we really want is 
more of the same in slightly different packaging.
For kids with autism, familiarity is more than a preference, it's
a necessity. Kids are not comfortable with doing things for
the first time and kids on the spectrum need more 
preparation for doing/understanding new things than most.
That's why I recommend 
(could I sound more like a commercial?)
the series! 
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the series offers the familiar
with just a touch of the new. This allows kids with autism to
get used to familiar characters and situations and just have a
few new ideas to process in each book instead of having to
start from scratch.
I talk about a lot of series in these posts. One of my boy's
contemporaries with a similar diagnosis adores the 
most mega volumed series of them all - 
Osborne's The Magic Treehouse.
He will never run out and he learns a little about the Civil War, Medieval times, and other history and mythology along the way.
My son prefers Greenburg's Andrew Lost series which
has quite a few volumes too. Both boys started when these 
series were age appropriate (2nd to 3rd grade) and have stuck 
with them.
As you can see from the book cover (thanks Amazon) 
my boy and I have now read twelve of Greenburg's simply 
but clearly illustrated never-ending cliffhangers. 
Every volume leads directly into the next with
plenty of explanatory notes. 
Like Osborne, Greenburg includes
facts with the magic. Though both my boys have to be 
repeatedly told that there is no such thing as a shrink ray 
(which are ubiquitous in popular culture-
from The Magic School Bus to the The Electric Company
-I guess kids love the idea of other people getting smaller? 
Or adults think they do? But I digress), 
they seem to retain a few of the facts as well.
Whether he's learning facts about the Ice Age or not, 
I value the books because he knows these characters 
and can remember them from book to book.
Series authors I have suggested in this blog:
Greenburg, J. C.  Andrew Lost
Kinney, Jeff  Wimpy Kid
Osborne, Mary Pope  Magic Treehouse
Rylant, Cynthia  Lighthouse Family
Stilton, Geronimo   
Speaking of knowing what to expect, 
you can expect a new post every Wednesday
from me,
-Spectrum Mom

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