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The Chameleon Kid

The Chameleon Kid 9010

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The Chameleon Kid
Controlling Meltdown Before He Controls You

An occasional meltdown is a reality of childhood for most children. But for a child with Asperger Syndrome or high-functioning autism, meltdowns are often more frequent, explosive and long-lasting events. In "The Chameleon Kid," an illustrated children's story, Elaine Marie Larson suggests ways children on the high end of the autism spectrum can attempt to approach and control their meltdowns before the meltdowns take control of them. The chameleon adapts his color to his surroundings as well as to his mood and communication needs. Much like the chameleon, the child on the autism spectrum can adapt to his surroundings by altering his behavior in dealing with the emotions that precede a meltdown. By practicing the techniques in "The Chameleon Kid," children can learn to eliminate Meltdown, depicted as a monster, or at least reduce its hold on him.

The dramatic and colorful page spreads literally show readers in front of their own eyes how the Chameleon Kid reduces Meltdown in size and power by using the strategies presented in the book. To add another dimension, common idioms such as have a cow, take a hike and stubborn as a mule and cleverly defined, as these types of sayings are confusing to children on the autism spectrum who tend to be very literal. Tips and ideas at the back of the book, make "The Chameleon Kid" a valuable springboard for further assisting children in learning to better control their emotions. Designed by Vivian Strand.


Elaine Marie Larson is a former preschool, elementary, and adult English-as-a-Second-Language teacher. Her four grandchildren are often the inspiration for her stories and poems. In particular, she has written several books to help one of her grandsons, who has Asperger Syndrome, grow in self-awareness of his many capabilities. Elaine's stories have been included in two anthologies, Christmas Programs for Children and Rainy Day, Sunny Day Activity Book. She has also sold poetry and essays to The Saturday Evening Post, Birds and Bloom, and a variety of other adult and children's magazines, including Highlights for Children. In addition to authoring The Chameleon Kid: Controlling Meltdown Before He Controls You, she has written The Kaleidoscope Kid: Focusing on the Strengths of Children With Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism. A lifelong resident of Minnesota, Elaine lives with her husband in the Minneapolis area.

ISBN: 9781934575222

Reviews (1)

LENEXA, Kansas
June 06 2016
Customer Review: Joanna Keating-Velasco - I just received a copy of Chameleon Kid - Controlling Meltdown Before He Controls You and am in awe of the entire package! It's a hard covered book with a vibrantly-illustrated cover which is sure to catch the attention of any child...or even adults like me. The cleverly illustrated book takes "meltdown" to a new level of learning. While meltdowns and behavioral outbursts are typically beyond a child's conscious control, this book offers ways for kids to take control of meltdown by "taming the monster." "Meltdown" is cartoonized into a cartoonish monster. The book gives young people a bookful of ways to use their own power to push this monster away to avoid the unpleasant behaviors that he can create. By making "Meltdown" visual, it helps young people see this character as something to avoid, but beyond that the book offers pages and pages of ways to do this in a fun and colorful almost comic strip book format. Each page of this 41 page high quality book offers one suggestion to avoid "Meltdown." But, on top of that, each page also offers an idiom (which can be tricky for kids on the spectrum to understand) and better defines that idiom. So, there are SO many levels of teaching and entertainment on this book, that I think it will be a favorite book in many families. Each page section also has a cartoonized large pictured child which makes the book real and not just a comic strip. At the end of the colorful educational and fun ride through this book, Ms. Larson offers a checklist of options that can be used by a child to triumph over "Meltdown." In addition, an activity page offers suggestions of how to deal with meltdown issues that occur and how to think ahead of "Meltdown." With the beginning of school just around the corner, this is a perfect gift for your family, the new teacher or the school library. It's a unique book tackling issues that haven't been so cleverly handled ever. It's such a gorgeous book, it will be the perfect gift. My feeling is that if you buy one copy, you'll want a second or more to give as gifts. It truly is a great piece of work for children of all ages. Kudos to Ms Larson!
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