Poppi isn’t like the other kids in her class, her brain works differently to theirs. She’s not sick, she has Autism. But what is Autism? How does it affect someone? How do you act around an Autistic person?
Help educate your child on Autism by seeing a snapshot of a day in Poppi’s life, and how the things she experiences are different to how your child experiences them.
Autism shouldn’t be a scary or taboo word, these children just have some social difficulties and acceptance and support is all they need from their peers.
Everybody needs a friend, even the kid you might think is a little bit different.
Poppi Lou is Different is presented as a 32 page, soft cover, rhyming picture book written by Katt Strachan and beautifully illustrated by Sarah Neale and published locally in Tasmania
A note from the Author
As the parent of an Autistic child, over the years I have been provided with so much literature and information on how to “cope” with having an Autistic child, how to tell my child they have Autism, how to “break” the news to friends and family members, the list goes on. This literature is readily available online, in libraries and many other avenues. What I haven’t seen a lot of, is information for the Autistic child’s peers and classmates. Who teaches the child with no Autism experience how to manage an autistic friend or classmate? Noone.
Being a fairly socially inappropriate and awkward child, my daughter often found herself ostracized socially and left out of play at school, this was primarily due to her behaviours. This was something that devastated me. No parent ever wants to hear that their child has no friends and “just walked around alone” during their lunch break. It broke my heart. I cried (a lot), and I sought help but couldn’t really find any. The advice I was given basically boiled down to “It’ll get better as she gets older”. This wasn’t good enough, she was seven years old! How much worse was it going to get before it got better, if at all?. I felt that I needed to rectify this, to educate her classmates. I needed to take action, and hence this book was born.
Once it was explained to the children in the class and they understood that her brain worked a little differently to theirs, they started to make more allowances and became more accepting of my daughter and her behaviours. They now understand that she’s mostly the same as them, she likes the same toys and games and music as them, she just struggles with a few little things. Now they know how to react if she has a meltdown or does something a little peculiar or says something “inappropriate”.
With increasing ability to diagnose children on the Autism Spectrum, we are seeing more children in mainstream school with the condition. I think it’s so important for all children to know that everyone is different, some more than others. Autistic children often cannot help what they do or say, and if their peers were educated and made aware of this, reactions wouldn’t be so harsh and friendships could be maintai