Ian's Walk: A Story about Autism

Ian's Walk: A Story about Autism - Laurie Lears, Karen Ritz You know how you read The Cat in the Hat and you thought, that's fun, but why were these small children left at home all alone? That's how I feel about this picture book. Why did the two young girls have to take their younger brother Ian who is autistic to the park all by themselves? Of course, he gets lost and it's really scary. The sisters ask a couple adults if they've seen a little boy and the adults are totally unhelpful. ("No, perhaps he's watching the baseball game.") These grown-ups are so uncaring! Don't you think if you met two frantic girls looking for a lost little boy that you might want to assist them instead of carrying on with your life in this blase fashion? The basic message I got from this book is that if you have an autistic sibling your life is really stressful and you have too many responsibilities for a kid your age and no grown-ups will help you. Which I don't think is necessarily the case at all and is a big downer. So I wish this book had been a little more positive.

On the plus side, the illustrations are beautiful and look true-to-life. And the book also explains in simple terms that a little kid can understand some sensory and communication issues that an autistic person might have.