Autism matters to us — because it matters to you.
At Barefoot Books, we've always been passionate about telling stories that open children’s hearts and minds to all kinds of differences, including invisible differences like neurodiversity. “Neurodiversity” refers to the fact that every individual brain is wired differently, and that individuals with differences like autism spectrum disorder (ASD) should be accepted and celebrated just the way they are!
Many of you — like many of the parents and educators in our Ambassador community — are parents and educators of neurodiverse children who are on the autism spectrum. So this April — Autism Month — we’re excited to place special emphasis on empowering children on the spectrum. But we need YOUR help!
How you can help support the spectrum:
For every order over $60 USD, we'll donate one Barefoot book to an organization that empowers children on the spectrum!
Become a Barefoot Ambassador in April, and we'll donate 3 books to an organization that supports kids on the spectrum — and give you a rare discount!
Looking for books for a child on the spectrum? Check out these therapist, parent and educator recommendations:
The Animal Boogie
"My son Brian loves The Animal Boogie. He's 12 and has autism. Like many children on the spectrum, he has a particular interest — his is jungle animals, so of course this book is perfect! It can be hard to get him to stay with books for long, but we have found over and over again that books that have a melodic rhythm to them and lots of repetition are always big hits!"
—Heather, occupational therapist and friend of Ambassador Dena Davis
"We use the yoga cards as a form of therapy at home. The hard pressure and physical sensory input is amazing for calming my son when he is feeling highly stressed or anxious, but is also great when he is sensory-seeking."
—Ambassador Paula Granell
Busy Bear Set
"My daughter, who has been diagnosed with autism, absolutely loves Barefoot Books, especially the Bear books. She loves that in all the different stories she can find the things she loves most: the sun, a cat, bears, etc. The books have vivid, colourful pictures with lots of scenes, allowing us to ask her what she sees in the illustrations. She gestures towards particular items, and we say the words. We are happy to have been given the opportunity to teach her through Barefoot Books."
—Angie, customer of Ambassador Gretchen Brown
The Real Princess
"The books with story CDs can be really nice, either to use with headphones to block out sound or excess stimulation, or to take and 'read' by themselves when they want a break."
—Ambassador Marissa Christensen
"My students across all age ranges have LOVED listening to Barefoot Books singalongs on CD. I found my students were engaged, and genuinely enjoyed listening to the wonderful songs that correspond with the books. Many of my students have behaviors that tend to make it hard to sit and attend; however, they sit for longer periods of time, with less behaviors, when it's time to listen to the Barefoot Books on CD, and they attend to the beautiful illustrations. I've even had a student request "The Pirate Song" (Port Side Pirates)!
"Thank you, Barefoot Books, for showing my students that they, too, can enjoy reading!"
—Sarah Kaleko, M.S.Ed, Special Education Teacher (Multi-Handicapped/Functional Life Skills)
Canadian donations: Autism Canada
"See the Spectrum Differently” — that’s the empathetic, empowering message of Autism Canada. Founded in 1976, Autism Canada prioritizes providing individuals on the spectrum and their families with the knowledge and resources that they need to thrive. Autism Canada is passionate about finding ways to “work together to make a difference,” and we’re so honored to have the opportunity to support their mission this April!
United States donations: Asperger/Autism Network
We care about empowering girls — and so does the United States-based Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)*. Research shows that fewer girls are diagnosed with autism than boys, prompting AANE to provide special resources for girls on the spectrum and their families. Founded in 1996, AANE also offers a wealth of resources for all neurodiverse children and their families: school referrals, safety skills training, college and goal-setting consultations, parent and grandparent support groups and more! We’re excited to be donating books to such an inclusive organization this April!
*Note: We are so inspired by the impact our community is already making with this incredible campaign! If we surpass AANE’s space limitations due to high donations, we’ll introduce a second organization to also benefit from our campaign. Have one that is close to your heart? Submit your recommendation for consideration.