April is Autism Awareness Month. To celebrate and spread awareness I’ve invited one of my Sensory Story Time moms (who is the director of a nonprofit focused on hooking parents of children with autism up with the information they need to get their children the best services) and her son to come talk to us about autism.
Uniquely Wired by Julia Cook
HaveYou Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud
Of all the books I’ve bought for my collection about autism Uniquely Wired by Julia Cook is my friend (and our guest for this program) Kim’s favorite. Not only did it strike her, but her son with autism constantly refers to the book. The book is told from the first person perspective of Zak who is very definitely differently-abled, rather than disabled.
The premise in HaveYou Filled a Bucket Today: A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids by Carol McCloud is that everyone carries an invisible bucket. When their bucket is full they are happy and when their bucket is empty they are sad. Our buckets are filled by other people. Their kindness fills up the bucket, and when they are not so nice it empties our bucket. The book discusses ways that you can fill your friend’s and family’s buckets, and by doing so fill your own.
For our activity today everyone will get a bucket and demonstrate ways to be kind, thus filling each other’s bucket. We felt it was important to include kindness in our Autism Awareness Story Time to encourage the neurotypical kiddos to be advocates for their schoolmates who are differently-abled.
We’ll be using tear out pages from Ed Emberley’s book Glad Monster, Sad Monster: A Book About Feelings to identify emotions and talk about how we can help someone if they seem unhappy or worried.
This story time is taking place during my after school story time slot which is only 45 minutes. The books are a little bit longer than I usually read, and with the two activities I don’t think we’ll have time for a craft so I’ll be sending this worksheet home:
You can find the worksheet here.