is looking forward to his class field trip to the zoo. He will see a lion for the first time! But the trip will also require him to confront his biggest fear-
As the sounds escalate throughout the day, none of Joshua’s usual coping strategies seem to be working. But when he confronts the
dragons of his imagination… he
proves himself to be as brave as
the lion he so admires.
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WHAT IS AUTISM ANYWAY?
Today people refer to "Autism" as part of a group of complex brain-based disorders called autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Autism Spectrum Disorder affect a person’s behavior as well as social and communication skills. The Centers for Disease Control describes ASD as a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges.
With all the hype in the media about autism it is difficult not to have questions and fears around the subject. Statistics on ASD seem to be ever changing as it has been termed the fastest growing developmental disability in the United States. The prevalence of autism in U.S. children increased by 119.4 percent from 2000 (1 in 150) to 2010 (1 in 68). (CDC, 2014)
Joshua, the main character in the story, Joshua's Dragon, is assumed to have ASD. Then why isn't there anything in the book that says he is autistic? The truth is, because all people who have an autism spectrum disorder do not suffer from the same difficulties. Some people have trouble paying attention, others may not. Some people who have autism are gifted, others are not. In the story, Joshua has a sensitivity to loud noises. Other people who have autism may not.
Joshua's Dragon is a story about a boy who courageously keeps his dragon under control... in this case his sensitivity to loud noises. Stacey didn't want Joshua's autism to take away from his bravery and perseverance. It is Joshua's determination and will to see a lion that should be acknowledged and applauded. People who have autism have ever changing battles to fight. Joshua represents bravery, heroism, and fortitude. He will be the bridge to discuss autism and other everyday dragons in a way that is meaningful to the audience. After all, EVERYONE HAS A DRAGON!