Tony the turtle books are helping kids with autism come out of their shells
There is no shortage of books on autism. But for parents who are struggling to balance their daily demands with the needs of an autistic child, a textbook may not be the ideal way to get the information they need.
What are Autism Spectrum Disorders
ASD is characterised by difficulties in social interaction and communication and a restricted, repetitive range of interests and activities. Global studies show that one child in every 160 has an ASD, but recent studies report a much higher rate.
Coming to the rescue of such families are the Tony the Turtle books. The books are making a big difference in the lives of children on the spectrum and the families who care for them. They are the creation of Valerie Sheehan, a home-based tutor in England, and the books offer parents, children, and caregivers tested methods to support everyone in getting through everyday activities with low anxiety and minimum stress.
Story books for children who see & feel the world differently
Sheehan was moved to start writing these books after she found that there was a huge lack of resources in the area of ASD. She began writing little stories to help families after the initial diagnosis. The feedback was very positive.
Soon she started making rhymes and she titled the books Tony after her father, who died three weeks after the first books were published.
The concept of the books is that everybody learns and the child identifies with the character that helps parents plan for their day.
Many children with autism go into their shell when they are faced with lights and noise and go into a shell. The books teach that going into your shell sometimes is alright and. The books encourage parents to help their child out of their shells, but there are times when it helps the child to stay in.
There is a strong emphasis on the visual aspect of the books that helps increase independence and reduce anxiety. In the future, Sheehan hopes to get the books into mainstream classrooms.
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