Use special interests to make friends!
Teacher's Choice Award Winner!
New England Book Festival Winner!
As highlighted in this prestigious New England Book Festival honorable mention book, intense, all-consuming interest in a special topic is one of the core characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. While often viewed as a barrier to social interactions with others, special interests can be "turned around" to become strengths, resulting in very positive social outcomes, even friendships. Beyond the potential for friendships, special interests have also been found to increase self-esteem and success in academic areas.
In this warmly illustrated children's book, Trainman Gaining Acceptance … and Friends … Through Special Interests, we meet Stefan, who has a deep interest in trains, roads, and maps. At first, Stefan's near-exclusive interest in transportation-related topics isolated him from other kids, but his parents and teachers helped turn his unique talents into an asset.
As his classmates get to know Stefan, they come to respect his vast knowledge and recognize that he is more like them than different. This book is an ideal addition to any autism awareness program at the elementary level. Illustrated by Michaelin Otis. Foreword by Kari Dunn Buron.
MEET THE AUTHORS
Stefan Witt Kavan and Barb Kavan, a mother-son team, wrote Trainman Gaining Acceptance … and Friends … Through Special Interests based on Stefan’s own experiences in the hope that it will provide inspiration to other members of the autism community and those who know and love them. They have presented at the National Autism Society of America conference. Barb and her husband, Jerry, have one other son, Eugen Kavan, who is also from Romania. The family has taken several trips together – by train!