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Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome Hardcover – April 1, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—A third-person past-tense narrative tells the story of Sam, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. Positive qualities are listed first: "Sam loved to giggle…. Sam was a happy boy." Next come some of his challenges: he is afraid of loud noises, he has trouble making friends, and he does not like change. When he leaves the house at night, walking all the way to the local fairgrounds because he loved the Ferris wheel so much, his parents know that something must be done. They take him for a check-up and receive the diagnosis. The doctors and therapists give them some suggestions for helping their son at home and at school. The book concludes with Sam playing the cello at a school concert. Because of the interesting story line, the positive approach, and the notion that others can learn to help Sam instead of expecting him to change, this is an excellent introduction to the topic. The pictures are bright and lively, showing mostly happy faces. The book concludes with 10 helpful tips to remember when a friend or a classmate has Asperger's. A useful introduction for both children and adults.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Recipient of The 2010 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award, which recognizes high-quality children's literature that includes positive and realistic characters with developmental disabilities


"Because of the interesting story line, the positive approach, and the notion that others can learn to help Sam instead of expecting him to change, this is an excellent introduction to the topic. . . . A useful introduction for both children and adults."  —School Library Journal



"An excellent book."  —Tony Attwood, PhD, author, The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome



"This book should be in every elementary school library to encourage other children to help a child who has Asperger's Syndrome."  —Temple Grandin, PhD, PAS, author, Thinking in Pictures and Animals in Translation



"Every parent and teacher of a young child on the ASD spectrum should have a copy."  —Susan J. Moreno, MA, founder, MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome



"A delightful and factual description of a young child with Asperger's. Bravo to the authors!"  —Maureen Barber-Carey, EdD, executive vice president, The Dr. Gertrude A. Barber National Institute



"Helps children accept each other's unique aspects—what a great way for teachers to promote an accepting environment in their classrooms."  —Heidi Harbers, PhD, CCC-SLP, highly regarded pediatric speech language pathologist



"Children will enjoy the appealing illustrations and good writing as they learn about a complex neurological disorder that affects so many."  —The Plain Dealer
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Skeezel Press (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974721719
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974721712
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Coat on September 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I gave this book five stars, only because I could not give it more.I have never written a book review before, but after much thought I felt compelled to do so for this book.

The genius of the book is that woven into a wonderful story and captivating artwork is a transcending message about Asperger's Syndrome. As a parent of an Asperger's child I have found this message helpful in explaining my son's unique behaviors to his teachers and classmates, friends, and family. What is most wonderful about the book is that is does not treat the Asperger's child as an individual with a contagious disorder, but simply a child with some differences from the norm and a differing perspective. Sam triumphs in demonstrating that a child with mild Asperger's can succeed if those around the child afford some latitude for the child's actions and understanding that simple things can be troubling and hindering.

I wish this was required reading for all. The promotion of understanding sure would make life easier for these kids.
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Format: Hardcover
After reading through several books that focused on various disabilities, I chose Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome as my favorite children's book about a disability. Asperger Syndrome is a disability that is part of the Autism spectrum. The story opens by describing a young boy, Sam, who has an infectious laugh, loves to play music on his cello, and lives more comfortably with routines. At school, the other students get annoyed by Sam's constant humming and tease him by taking away pieces of his puzzle so he can't finish it. Sam's parents begin to notice how Sam is different from other children his age and take him to the doctor. The doctor explains to Sam and his parents that he has Asperger Syndrome, which is a form of autism. As a team, Sam's parents, sister, teacher, and peers work together to understand Sam. At the end, Sam performs in the school concert and is fully accepted and supported by everyone. This book would be great to read to a class of young students because it explains how children with Asperger syndrome need extra support yet are very similar to everyone else. The book has great, colorful pictures and shows how students with differences such as Asperger's should be included in activities just like other students. If I knew that I was going to have a student with this disability, I would read this book to my class and openly discuss how being different isn't always easy, what things we could do to be sure that a student like Sam would feel welcomed in the class, and how to provide him with support if he becomes frustrated or upset. Especially helpful, in the back of the book is a list of 10 tips for interacting with a child with this disability which I would also go over with my class and remind them that supportive friends are the best friends.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book to read to your child with autism. My children love to read this and recently realized that they, too, have Aspergers, like Sam in this book. It is also a great book to read to typical children so they can learn about autism spectrum disorders.
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Format: Hardcover
I let my 5 year old Asperger's child check this book out at the library and did not read it first. Big mistake. This book not only has my child upset and terrified about going to school and other kids being mean to him but also has planted the seed of wandering off alone at night in his mind. This is not a good book for children with Asperger's and it is not a good book for helping other children understand it. I wish I could wind back time and un-read this terrible story to my child. My only hope is that he will forget about it soon. I learned a lesson from this book... NEVER read a book to your child before reading it yourself first.
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Format: Hardcover
Not only is Understanding Sam a well told story that captures attention by bringing a simplistic, yet effective and realistic understanding of Asperberger's syndrome to all; but also boasts absolutely brilliant, colorful and emotionally heart tugging illustrations. ---truly captivating and a most useful book in terms of fostering the kind of understanding, tolerance and acceptance we want to instil in our children and society as a whole.
Very well done.

Linda L. Gens
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Format: Hardcover
The book I read was “Understanding Same & Asperger Syndrome”. I decided to read this book because I didn’t know anything about Asperger syndrome. I also read this book because when I skimmed through the book I saw some really good pictures. The book was a page turner; you always wanted to know what Sam was going to do next. Sam was a very difficult person. Sam wasn’t basic like the rest of us. Sam enjoyed things like doing puzzles and playing the cello. One of my favorite parts of the book was when Sam left the house in the middle of the night to go to the fair. I really liked this part because it was a text-to self. The part of the book I hated when the kids at Sam’s school was bullying him. the book seemed as if it was based on a person’s real life, I could even visualize everything that was going on. Over the entire book was very good and suitable for all ages. In the book you will learn to except and to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.
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