I honestly had no books in mind for this assignment! As I am relatively new to this field, I have many books for adults and educators on the subject, but no children's books. After a quick search online, I found In My Mind by Adonya Wong. I was drawn to it because I wanted something from the ASD perspective. As both of my children are undergoing screening for ASD, I am fascinated by how their minds work and I see a lot of the details described in this book in my daughter. The character in the book is a little boy who describes what he sees in his mind, compared to what you (the adult, or educator, or parent, etc.) see him acting out. For example, he describes going on adventures in his mind, as a cowboy, or having great conversations with aliens in outerspace, while the adult simply sees him flailing his arms, or making odd noises and speaking "gibberish". In his mind, he has lots of friends, but on the outside, he appears alone. All of these examples are things I see in my daughter. I used to be confused by her behavior, but I have come to learn there are great, colorful things going on inside her mind that I only wish I could see. I love how the book ends, because it says his world is full of joy and happiness, and the adult can see that too. And, in my opinion, that is really all that matters.
This would be a great book to use with children to help them understand autism; to show them that, even though it may sound like they are just making noise, or making random gestures, they actually may be exploring and imagining great adventures in their minds and we can join right along with them if we just use our imaginations.
Wong, A. (2008). In My Mind: The World Through the Eyes of Autism. Mustang, OK: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, LLC.