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Since gaining my masters in autism, I have delved into a vast array of literature on the subject, discovering a plethora of insightful and enlightening books that cater to both adults and children. Many books explain how autism affects a neurodiverse person, and some books explore autistic characteristics in children. Among these, the BEAR books, written by Val Jones and illustrated by the talented Leanne Coelho, stand out as exceptional resources for promoting understanding and empathy towards individuals with autism.

‘BEAR – a story of autism and difference’

The first book, ‘BEAR – a story of autism and difference’, takes readers on a captivating journey that explores the challenges and strengths that an autistic person may encounter. This beautifully crafted narrative not only educates children and adults alike about the complexities of autism but also encourages them to replace judgment with an appreciation for difference. By reading this book alongside a child, one can foster a sense of understanding and belonging in the autistic child, demonstrating that their unique qualities are not only valid but can also be celebrated as strengths.

‘BEAR – and the lost tooth’

The second book, ‘BEAR – and the lost tooth’, is a heartwarming tale that delves into the fears and uncertainties that an autistic person may experience when faced with unexpected changes. In this story, Bear loses his tooth, and the ensuing confusion and anxiety are palpable. However, with the help of ThereBear, Bear learns to navigate this unfamiliar territory and find comfort in the support of a trusted friend. This book serves as a gentle reminder that even the most frightening experiences can be made more manageable with the right guidance and understanding.

What sets these books apart is the resources and activities available on, which complement the stories and provide valuable tools for further exploration and learning. These supplementary materials not only enhance the reading experience but also facilitate a deeper understanding of autism and its impact.

In conclusion, the BEAR books are a fantastic addition to the growing library of literature on autism. Their engaging narratives, coupled with the vibrant illustrations and supplementary resources, make them an invaluable resource for parents, educators, and children alike. By fostering understanding and empathy, these books help to create a more inclusive and compassionate world for individuals with autism.