Forty-two children's picture books portraying characters with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) were evaluated to determine how symptoms of ASD are being portrayed as well to determine common themes found in these books. Books were evaluated using behavioral checklists created using symptoms found in common ASD diagnostic rating scales for both autism and Asperger Syndrome (AS). Of the 42 books, 35 books had characters with autism and 7 had characters with AS. The most commonly found symptoms were relating to people, verbal communication, and taste, smell and touch responses. Personal characteristics such as gender and race were identified as well as other common themes: point of view and changes in characters with autism. Overall characters are being displayed realistically and positively. This study is relevant to teachers, librarians, and others who are interested in how accurate portrayals of individuals with autism in children's literature may help them be accepted in society. A list of books used in this study is located in the appendix.
College and Department
David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Weaver, Charlene, "Characterization of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children's Picture Books" (2008). All Theses and Dissertations. 1360.
Autism, Children's Literature, Picture Books