“Understanding Jason”, the new book written by Marsha Rae Osborn and illustrated by DeOnna Mills, tells the story of a group of typical students who learn from their teacher how to accept and help an autistic student, Jason, fit in with their class.
Told in playful rhymes with accompanying colorful illustrations, “Understanding Jason” delivers a powerful message to children about respecting people’s differences. The story begins in an average classroom, where the students notice that one of the boys, Jason, is a little different from everyone else. Osborn writes:
“We don’t understand,” kids say, “Why does Jason act that way? He is different from us all, He can’t even catch a ball.”
Their questions about why Jason won’t or can’t talk to them opens a dialogue with their teacher about the ways in which Jason is different and similar to them. The teacher points out that while Jason might find it difficult to talk to the other children, play games with them and do simple tasks like opening jar lids, he is also a kid who can do many other activities. She reminds them of how well he can climb, name animals and learn sign language and numbers.
Through their conversation as a group, the students begin to understand how to include Jason in their class activities. The teacher impresses upon her students the need for compassion and kindness with other children who may be different from themselves, asking them to appreciate those differences. Ideal for children between kindergarten and second grade, “Understanding Jason” offers young readers and listeners alike insights into the world of autism.
Marsha Rae Osborn is a Registered Nurse and the mother of two twin boys, one of whom has autism. She lives in Alabama with her husband and children. “Understanding Jason” is her first book.
For more information: www.authorhouse.com
- Reading level: Ages 9-12
- Hardcover: 24 pages
- Publisher: AuthorHouse (July 1, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1438944039
- ISBN-13: 978-1438944036