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Trainman 9062

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Gaining Acceptance … and Friends … Through Special Interests

Teacher's Choice Award Winner!

New England Book Festival Winner!

As highlighted in this prestigious New England Book Festival (2010) honorable mention book, intense, all-consuming interest in a special topic is one of the core characteristics of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.  While often viewed as a barrier to social interactions with others, special interests can be "turned around" to become strength, 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, 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.  His classmates now respect Stefan for his vast knowledge and have come to 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, MS.


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 confer¬ence in Chicago. Barb and her husband, Jerry, have one other son, Eugen Kavan, who is also from Roma¬nia. The family has taken several trips together – by train! 

ISBN: 9781934575703

Reviews (2)

LENEXA, Kansas
June 10 2016
Customer Review: A. H. Carman - This is a great story to read about a child with Autism. It makes it a little easier on me knowing what my child whom has Autism may have to deal with as they get older
LENEXA, Kansas
June 10 2016
Customer Review: Carrie Devalk - For anyone who knows someone with ASD, this charming and touching account of a young boy with Asperger's Syndrome confirms the special feelings toward individuals who are like Stefan. The colorful watercolor illustrations add warmth and depth to the story. This book should be in everyone's library, but it is a must-have for elementary educators.
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