Every seven minutes a child is bullied. And for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, he or she can be the victim of bullying once a week or more. It’s a tough subject, but psychologist Suzanne Breckwoldt, Ph.D., has decided to broach it gently in her new children’s book CRAIG MEETS DAVE And Learns About Autism, Bullying and Friendship.
Craig, a green bear, was introduced in Breckwoldt’s first book, The Story of Craig Winston, An Adopted Bear. By dealing with difficult subjects in a children’s book format, Dr. Breckwoldt touches on issues that children often can’t, or don’t, verbalize. “There are many subjects that children want to talk about with their friends, parents, and teachers,” says Breckwoldt, “but they just can’t find the words. Perhaps they can’t even recognize the emotions they are feeling. I hope my books open a door for discussion. Craig Winston is a very friendly bear.”
In CRAIG MEETS DAVE, Craig and his best friend, Ben, befriend Dave, an autistic bear. Dave is often bullied by his classmates, and Craig and Ben become targets because of their friendship with him. Dave’s mother has explained to Craig and Ben that Dave has his own special strengths and weaknesses, just like any other bear. By being friends with Dave, they learn about autism, tolerance, bullying, and the true meaning of friendship.