Helping Children Understand Autism

A long time ago (or so it seems) one of my youth ministry colleagues had a profoundly autistic child. I really had no idea of what the issue was, but it was incredibly difficult for their family and friends. While we have lost track of our fellow-workers we have not forgotten our introduction to autism. It was pretty cool to discover that Briana Pacelli had actually written a book for children about understanding autism. Briana is a bright young woman of many talents who just graduated from high school. She attends our church and plays in the worship band sometimes. The Kindergarten Adventures of Amazing Grace: What in the World is Autism was her senior project. Her younger brother (who was diagnosed with autism at age 5) is the illustrator. It is a cute story about understanding and accepting children who are different – and might help a few adults as well as kids. There seems to be a lot in the news about this issue. I like that Briana took time to learn about it and help others do the same.


2 responses to “Helping Children Understand Autism

  • Julie

    Hats off to Briana! Educating others about autism is so important, as its prevalence continues to increase. I have just published a children’s book, Howard the Fish. The main character is based on my illustrator’s daughter who was diagnosed with high-functioning autism at the age of two. You can learn more about the book and my company’s mission at

    Another excellent resource for educating others about autism is the book A is for Autism, F is for Friend by Joanna Keating-Velasco. Joanna has the gift of genuine compassion and her writing reflects that. A local autism support group leader actually purchased several copies of Joanna’s book and gave it to local teachers to read to their classes, thereby increasing awareness in her school district.

    Again, thank you to Briana, and thank you for sharing her information with us.

  • Joanna Keating-Velasco

    What a wonderful post. My friend, Julie, of Juka Books, Special Books for Special Kids, just told me about Briana’s senior project. I, too, just finished working on a project with a local senior high student who has Asperger Syndrome. His goal was to create a book which would help other kids during their elementary school years – which was a time in his life that, due to his autism, was very challenging. He received an A on his project and presentation and is currently considering getting it published.

    Briana’s insight to create a book to teach other kids about autism is a great goal. It’s one of my current passions…let’s teach the “typical peers” about autism in order to educate them in hopes of creating a more welcome and understanding environment for kids on the spectrum.

    You can see a video in which I created that is a video summary introduction to autism. It’s free and downloadable. It actually coincides with my first book, A Is for Autism, F Is for Friend.

    The more people we educate about autism and how to best interact with those who have autism, the better our world will be.

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