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Waiting For Benjamin: A Story about Autism Hardcover – March 1, 2008

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Waiting For Benjamin: A Story about Autism + My Friend Has Autism (Friends with Disabilities) + My Brother Charlie
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 620L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company; 1 edition (March 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807573647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807573648
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,258,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—Alexander tells about his life with his two-year-old brother, who is not yet verbal and who won't play with him. Benjamin also exhibits strange behaviors. Then he is diagnosed with autism. When two teachers come to the house to help him with his language and social skills, Alexander is jealous of the extra attention his brother receives. As time passes, Benjamin begins to develop some language and is now able to play with Alexander, who is no longer embarrassed to have friends over. Realistic illustrations depict the characters and their emotions. The story's message is obvious and direct, as well as somewhat unrealistic considering that not all youngsters will make the progress shown by Benjamin. Still, the book may be useful as an introduction for young children who have a sibling with this condition.—Wendy Smith-D'Arezzo, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Alexander is trying to work out his feelings for his younger brother, Benjamin, who is autistic. He is especially jealous that two teachers come each day to work with Benjamin. After Alexander finally acts out his rage by spilling water onto Benjamin’s bed, his father comes up with the idea of taking Alexander camping—just the two of them. Eventually, Alexander feels wanted again, and learns to appreciate Benjamin for the brother he is. The text has verb tense issues and the portrayals of the characters are inconsistent in the illustrations. An author’s note at the beginning introduces the disorder to adults, but missing is a note for siblings that would explain more about the condition, including conversation starters to help the unafflicted sibling feel empowered to ask questions and discuss his or her feelings. However, this book is a serviceable introduction to having a younger sibling with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, especially given that there are few books for young children on this topic. Grades 1-4. --Bina Williams

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Candice J. Conway Simpson on April 11, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm a mother of 2 Autistic boys. I rented this book from the library and I am so disappointed- seriously words like "wacko" do NOT belong in a book about Autism. None of my boys would be like this book-and I have one who is not Autistic...I am seriously disappointed, and those who know me know-I don't leave reviews like this-sad sad night when I attempted to read this with my kids. I'll stick to other good books that describe the happy life Autistic children can lead when loved.
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By Alicia on September 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Waiting for Benjamin is a great story about autism. The author, Alexander Jessup Altman did a great job using a brother's perspective and conveying the character's thoughts about autism. This book is about a boy named Alexander who has a brother who has autism named Benjamin. In the beginning we start to understand how Benjamin acts towards Alexander and the relationship that they have. Alexander wants a brother he can play pirate ship, and build castles with, but Benjamin is not interested in playing. This upsets Alexander and he begins to resent his little brother. One day Alexander brought his friend over, his friend called Benjamin "wacko" Alexander said that he wished he had no brother. When the parents finally took Benjamin to the doctors, they came home to explain how Benjamin was different than Alexander. They explained to Alexander that someone was going to come and help Benjamin to listen, talk and play. Once Benjamin's new teachers came Alexander was curious about what they were doing and teaching him in the basement. One day Alexander decided to go downstairs and listen to the lesson. The lesson seemed really easy to Alexander and he was jealous. Later Alexander gets to spend time with his dad by camping outside; his dad states that maybe Benjamin would be able to join them some day. Alexander didn't think so. Alexander then brings a friend home and they walk in on Benjamin playing a game. Emory makes the comment that "he looks like Arthur pulling the sword out of the stone." Later on in the story Benjamin and Alexander begin to play games and get along much better. Also at the breakfast table Benjamin starts saying Alexander's name. Alexander begins to understand and accept his little brother for more than a brother but a friend. I would use this book in my classroom because it shows progression in acceptance. It also shows some of the characteristics of autism.
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Format: Hardcover
The story Waiting for Benjamin is a great book for introducing children to autism. It describes an older brother's confusion as to why his younger brother won't play with him or talk to him. The book gives a small and understandable explanation as to what autism is and why children with autism may act a certain way. It also shows what a child with autism must do, such as having personal teachers come to the house, in order to learn and be included into society. Alexander, the older brother is confused as to why Benjamin gets rewarded for small things, such as saying blue, and he does not; even when he knows more than Benjamin does. Alexander's parents have to explain to him that Benjamin has to work very hard to do small things. At the beginning of the story Alexander is embarrassed of his younger brother, but eventually he begins to understand autism and befriends his younger brother. This book would be great to use in a classroom when introducing disabilities such as autism. It describes the disability itself and shows family involvement. I would read this book to a group of young children to show them how to include and accept children with disabilities, whether it be in the classroom or outside of the classroom. Reading this book to a classroom would be even more effective if a student or students knew someone who had autism. This would allow the children to have or share personal experiences, which would in return make the book more relatable. The main goal of reading this book to children is to have them understand that although it may be hard to get along or understand someone with autism, it is always important that you show support and love to them. When this is done, the outcome may be an understanding of the disability, which can lead to an unexpected friendship.
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Format: Hardcover
This story is a wonderful resource for families, especially to help siblings process and understand a complicated disorder.
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