Gaining Acceptance … and Friends … Through Special Interests
Teacher's Choice Award Winner!
New England Book Festival Winner!
Use special interests to make friends! As highlighted in this prestigious New England Book Festival-winning 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 isolates him from other kids, but his parents and teachers help 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's more like them than than they thought. 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 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. In 2009, they presented at the National Autism Society of America conference in Chicago. Barb and her husband, Jerry, have one other son, Eugen Kavan, who is from Romania. The family has taken several trips together – by train!