Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded EditionTen Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew. Finished 5-13-14, rating 5/5, autism, 200 pages, expanded version pub. 2012

Brimming with insight, compassion, and spirited humor, Ellen Notbohm’s timeless book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism. This updated edition delves into expanded thought and deeper discussion of communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical role adult perspectives play in guiding the child with autism to a meaningful, self-sufficient, productive life. An all-new section explores ten more essential, thought-provoking “things” to share with young people on the spectrum as they cross the threshold of adulthood, and a thoughtful appendix offers more than 70 questions suitable for group discussion or self-reflection. A perennial autism bestseller, Ten Things now sounds an even more resonant call to action, carrying the reader farther into understanding the needs and the potential of every child with autism.

from Goodreads

This book is a must-read for anyone who knows a kid on the autism spectrum, and that’s pretty much everyone!  The author has a son with autism and this book was written so that she could help others see what it took years with her son to learn and in that respect it is a very hopeful and encouraging book for parents because her son has defied every low expectation ever placed on him.  She does not wallow in the struggles but offers explanation and understanding.  Every child on the spectrum is so different, but most share issues with communication, social, and sensory issues to varying degrees and this book helps you recognize where each child has strengths and weaknesses.

At only 200 pages this is an easy one to recommend and gives a layperson great insight without going into scientific or medical detail.  I loved it so much that I gifted it to Gage’s teacher at the end of the year (she will be his teacher next year too).  I think this should be required reading for all teachers who have a kid on the spectrum in their classroom.

Here is a taste of the ten things just so you all know even if you decide not to read the book.

1. I am a child.

2. My senses are out of sync.

3. Distinguish between won’t and can’t.

4. I’m a concrete thinker.

5. Listen to all the ways I’m trying to communicate.

6. I’m visually oriented.

7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do.

8. Help me with social interactions.

9. Identify what triggers my meltdowns.

10. Love me unconditionally.


This was from my personal library.

15 thoughts on “Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew by Ellen Notbohm

  1. Lloyd Russell says:

    My wife is a speech and language pathologist at a charter school. She’s just finishing her 1st year there. She’s got a caseload of about 33, and nearly 30 of them are on the autism scale. She is definitely interested in looking into this book.

  2. Carol says:

    Sounds like a good read for just about anyone. Two of Amber’s close friends have brothers on the autism spectrum, so I personally would get a lot out of it, I think.

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