This is my review of blogger Deidra Darst new book Artie is Awesome that you can purchase now on Amazon here. Here is a link to Deidra’s Teachers pay Teachers site with Artie materials as well. Would you like me to write a review of your next book/product for my website to promote to our 150,000 monthly readers? Contact me here for more details!

Cover of the book ‘Artie is Awesome’

Oh how I enjoyed reading this new children’s book called Artie is Awesome that focuses on Artie, a child with autism who communicates via a communication device. Deidra Darst is an autism mom who joined our community at A Special Community to receive exclusive benefits that authored this book and hosts the popular Facebook Page and website The SLP Mom. She says about the book “My son knows autism, because he lives it everyday; however, I knew that many of his classmates had not had the opportunity to meet anyone on the autism spectrum.  I wrote this as a way to reach kids at an early age, because understanding and acceptance come with exposure.  Autism, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) – these need to be normalized and brought into the mainstream to create a better world for everyone.”

What a fantastic message Deidra has here. I’ve always had a bias too for a ‘rhyming book’ that is done here in her work which is a perfect length for a children’s book at 30 pages.

There were two key takeaways for me here on the book that I wanted to briefly discuss. The first was the use of a communication device. While many parents I know of in our community are self-publishing children’s books today I still see a lack of children’s books that discuss nonverbal autism. Websites such as Autism Speaks indicate that around 1/3 of our loved ones have nonverbal autism. I myself was nonverbal till I was 2.5 before I was diagnosed with autism at 4 (today as an adult I’m a full-time professional speaker). I thought to myself while reading Deidra’s book about how much my parents would have appreciated a book like this while going through the initial diagnosis process which took over 18 months.

Secondly, a theme I see far too often in books that look at inclusion have tended to be focused on ‘be a friend to my child because of their struggles.’ In this book though it focuses on ‘be a friend to my child because when you give them the opportunity you might have more in common then you would have realized.” I know for some of my readers I sound like a broken record at this point but Dr. Temple Grandin, one of the leading autism self-advocates on the planet says, “Different, not less.” Deidra nails this message in Artie is Awesome.

I’d highly recommend this book without reservations to children, educators, therapists, family members and anyone who simply wants to encourage inclusion in their local communities. Thank you Deidra for a thoughtful read that I hope touches many.

Would you like me to write a review of your next book/product for my website to promote to our 150,000 monthly readers? Contact me here for more details! Thank you! Best, Dr. Kerry Magro