Great tools for Autism Awareness Month


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, and restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests.

Have you spoken with your child about autism and how to approach neurodivergent people in a respectful manner?

April is Autism Awareness Month and we have found a couple of tools to help you have that conversation.

1. My Brother Charlie – A heart-warming story to support Autism Awareness

Actor and advocate Holly Robinson Peete is helping to highlight this special month with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s global children’s literacy program Storyline Online ®. Known for her roles in television classics including 21 Jump Street, Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper and For Your Love, Robinson Peete is also a bestselling author and proud spokesperson for autism awareness, having shared about the joys and challenges of raising a child with autism for several decades.

Fresh off of her run in The Masked Singer, Robinson Peete brings her talents to Storyline Online by reading her very own book My Brother Charlie, based on her son and co-written by her daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete, who knows firsthand what it’s like to grow up with a sibling with autism. The award-winning book is illustrated by Shawn W. Evans and published by Scholastic Press.

The Peete’s storytelling and Evans’ illustrations bring Charlie’s story to life and illuminate how his brain works in a special way. While it’s harder for Charlie to make friends or show his true feelings, for everything that Charlie can’t do well, there are plenty more things that he’s good at. Charlie knows the names of all the American presidents and can even play the piano better than anyone he knows.

SAG-AFTRA Foundation President Courtney B. Vance is delighted to welcome My Brother Charlie to the Storyline Online library this April to recognize Autism Awareness Month. 

“We are excited to introduce Holly Robinson Peete as our newest reader and author in our Storyline Online family. Whether you are a caregiver, parent, sibling, friend, or an individual who has autism, you will take a valuable lesson away from this heart-warming story about human connection, as well as the things that make us different, make us special,” says Vance. “My Brother Charlie is truly a family affair, which makes the message even more personal and profound. We believe this read-aloud will serve as a guide for anyone who wants to understand someone in their life who happens to have autism, and we hope it will be a wonderful new resource to support Autism Awareness Month,” says Vance.

As with all Storyline Online read-alouds, My Brother Charlie is accompanied by a complementary supplemental activity guide (link) for teachers that aligns with Common Core Standards that strengthen verbal, written and comprehension skills. My Brother Charlie has themes of love, patience, acceptance, family and uniqueness. This book is aimed towards students in 1st through 3rd grades.

With over 900 million views worldwide, Storyline Online has been a trusted educational brand and free literacy resource for teachers and parents since 2001. Storyline Online remains committed to providing extra help to teachers in classrooms and parents with school-age children at home.

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Robinson Peete joins the illustrious cast of Storyline Online readers including Angela BassettKristen BellConnie BrittonKeith CarradineTerry CrewsViola Davis, Rosario DawsonCynthia ErivoSutton FosterJennifer Garner,  Allison JanneyJohn LithgowSeth MeyersChris PineSheryl Lee RalphJustin TherouxOprah WinfreyMichelle Yeoh, and dozens more who have volunteered their time and talent to promote literacy and inspire a love of reading in hundreds of millions of children worldwide.

To watch My Brother Charlie and all of Storyline Online’s read-alouds, visit storylineonline.net. Keep up with new videos by subscribing to Storyline Online on YouTube and following Storyline Online on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

Reading this book to your child and learning more about how we talk about autism is important.

Another helpful tool to better understand the language used throughout the “About Autism Hub”. Created by Autism Speaks, which is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. 

Review the guide below and learn how to better communicate with people with autism.

Great tools for Autism Awareness Month - BC Parent Newsmagazine
Great tools for Autism Awareness Month - BC Parent Newsmagazine

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