The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo
What a fun way to teach children about autism -- through the eyes of animals - all different in their sizes, origins, color and demeanors.
The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo, is an illustrated, rhyming children’s book that connects the characteristics of various zoo animals to the major social skills characteristics of children with autism spectrum disorder. The book demonstrates how some animals exhibit specific characteristics, unique behaviors and special needs, capitalizing on their strengths. The goal of this book is for children to recognize their characteristics and learn how to use them for greater success in home, school, and community.
This resource can be used with children and their peers to talk openly about diagnosis, challenges and differences, read by them or with an adult. Professionals can also use the resource in schools or clinics. DOWNLOAD THE FREE ASD ZOO COLORING BOOK AFTER CHECKOUT.
Charming, relatable, and beautifully illustrated, The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo is an excellent tool for teachers, clinicians, and parents to explore the diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder with their children. While each stanza of the book eloquently tackles one common aspect of ASD, for me, its biggest strength is the list of characteristics of each animal in the story and the ready-made activities at the back of the book. This creates lots of great ways to discover and understand the strengths and difficulties of ASD, while also celebrating our differences and diversity.
--Joshua Muggleton, trainee clinical psychologist with Asperger Syndrome; author of Raising Martians: From Crash Landing to Leaving Home
Josie's book is a fantastic read, full of fun rhymes and vibrant colors a book every child will love. Each page tackles a different characteristic of ASD in describing animals in the zoo that demonstrate those characteristics. For each characteristic, the book then goes on to ask readers whether they identify those characteristics in themselves and suggests strategies to support them while maximizing their strengths. As such, it is a great tool to use with children to help them understand their diagnosis and inspire conversation about strategies.
--Damian Santomauro, BSc (Hons), University of Queensland; author of Asperger Download
The ASD Zoo of Kalamazoo is a great resource for initiating a discussion about autism spectrum disorders with children. Featuring zoo animals displaying autistic traits, the book engages the interest of children and explains autism in a way that they can relate to. Teachers can use the book in a classroom setting to talk about autism with a mixed class or one-on-one with students on the autism spectrum. The book is fun, inclusive, and affirming. The Teaching/Learning Activities section provides engaging learning activities. I wish this book had been around when I was little!
--Jeanette Purkis, master s of fine art from RMIT University, a TEDx speaker, and author of Finding a Different Kind of Normal: Misadventures with Asperger Syndrome and The Wonderful World of Work: A Workbook for Asperteens
MEET THE AUTHOR
Josie Santomauro lives in Brisbane, Australia, where she is a full-time writer. Her son, Damian, was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at the age of five; he is now a PhD candidate and researcher in the field of autism. Josie is published in over 25 resources on ASD (one in Italian), including Friendly Facts, Asperger Download, and Space Travelers. Josie has also written over a dozen fiction books for children and young adults under the name Josie Montano. She regularly presents seminars and workshops on ASD, and was awarded the Parent/Carer Award Autism Queensland Australia in recognition of her outstanding achievements. She received a certificate of recognition as a community mentor from the Naturally Autistic People Awards, BC, Canada. Josie offers consultations with parents, educators, and caregivers. She also volunteers as a peer supporter to fellow members of her state emergency services.