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My family is different cover

My family is different

A workbook for children with a brother or sister on the autism spectrum

Author: Carolyn Brock


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Format: A4 Paperback
Availability: We regret that orders cannot be accepted during the coronavirus outbreak
My family is different - A workbook for children with a brother or sister on the autism spectrum
Carolyn Brock
Published by
The National Autistic Society

Updated and revised in 2016.

Aimed at young children aged five to eight, this colourful workbook is full of activities and games to help siblings understand their autistic brother or sister.

It aims to encourage family members to talk honestly about their feelings and the impact that autism has on their lives, as well as celebrate difference and encourage brothers and sisters to help each other.

A vital resource for parents, this book is also suitable for professionals working with young children with a brother or sister on the autism spectrum.

Carolyn Brock, the author, is the mother of a young man with Asperger syndrome. She is a teacher who has worked in special schools for may years. She also ran support groups and courses for parents of children on the autism spectrum, including those with Asperger syndrome in Nottingham.

Print format
Full colour, illustrated by Claire Lythgoe and original games designed by Jess Abbo; photocopiable
Number of pages
First publication
Last revised
Product number
ISBN / supplier product code
Dispatch partner
Primary distribution partner
Typical delivery
7 working days
Subject Caring
Edited reviews

This book is a workbook for children between five and eight who have a brother or sister with autism or Asperger syndrome. I filled in the book with my younger sister, Katie. She's 10 and has autism. We enjoyed the book I read out the questions and got her to tell me the answers, sometimes she filled in the pictures too.

I think that this would be a good book to help explain autism to a brother or sister, or even for using in a school. The activities included drawing and word searches, and were fun to do my favourite one was when we had to draw and talk about Katie's favourite things. Katie could read some of the book, but I think that little children might need someone to help read it to them, and to explain some of the long words like conversation.

The book was the right length and had good information, but the paper was a bit shiny and we used felt tips because I think pencils wouldn't work so well. It was good to have a book about a different family, because every family is different.

Sarah Tamsin Hunter, aged 11
Author and illustrator of My sister is different, also published by The National Autistic Society

Children who have an autism spectrum sibling often know there is something different about them.  They may even know it is called autism. However, trying to explain what this means in a practical way that the child can find relevant can be a struggle. There are many books that help do this but, most often, they are story based.

However, as we know, behaviours of autism are very varied, so children may find it difficult to relate to the behaviours of the child with autism in the story and the behaviours of their brother or sister. Carolyns book is a practical solution to this. It is fundamentally a workbook containing practical puzzles, games and drawing. It looks at the family as a whole, then draws inward looking at both the child with and without autism. It gives a chance to compare behaviours, showing that their behaviour is not wrong, merely different.

This is a book to be worked through over time with a parent. It offers opportunity for further discussion, to help discuss feelings of a situation. It is as useful starting at the beginning as it is finding a page relating to a specific situation. Children often need short spells of input to truly understand things and this book can be used as reference over and over again as the sibling grows and can more fully understand autism.

Aimed at 5-8 year olds, it can be used for a wider age range as a practical workbook or an aide to discussion. I am sure many parents will find it a refreshing and positive approach to help children go some way to understanding their siblings more.

Carrie White, teacher and parent of a child with autism and neuro-typical children

Autism Helpline Number: 0808 800 4104
Last updated: 24/03/2020 16:03:16