The English language can be confusing and apparently illogical, especially for people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who interpret meaning in a literal way. Why should an announcement that cats and dogs are falling from the sky indicate heavy rain? And what have chickens got to do with being a coward?
It's Raining Cats and Dogs is a stylish insight into the mind of someone with an ASD. It beautifully illustrates why people with ASDs have problems understanding common phrases and idioms that others accept as part of everyday speech. The quirky drawings will entertain and inspire those on the spectrum, giving them the confidence to recognize figures of speech, feel less alienated and even use idioms themselves. The drawings will form instantly memorable references for those with ASDs to recall whenever they need to and will be helpful for anyone curious to understand the ASD way of thinking. They will enable people on the spectrum and their friends, families, teachers and colleagues to better understand and communicate with each other.
"The pictures are funny and thought provoking and each saying has the 'translation' included underneath. I think it would be a useful 'tool' for inclusion in any classroom and a great way to encourage children and adults alike to think about language and context... it could be a very useful resource for anyone studying English language or teachers and trainers supporting those who are learning English."--Inclusion Now
"The book is helpful for both those on the spectrum and the neurotypical people who surround them. There are excellent, clear explanations for how and why these sayings are confusing. Simple line drawings clearly show the literal interpretation of each phrase. The meaning, in nonfigurative language, appears under each picture. The book could be used in many ways with all children and would make a nice companion to Peggy Parish's Amelia Bedelia books for elementary school children. The foreword by Barton's mother as well as the introduction by the author also give helpful explanations and background, making the book more accessible to a wider audience."--School Library Journal
Michael Barton is a final year student studying Physics at the University of Surrey, UK. He gives talks to a wide range of audiences about his experiences of being at the high functioning end of the autistic spectrum, emphasizing the positive aspects and relating these to the traits that scientists exhibit. Michael is an accomplished musician, playing jazz piano, bass guitar, French horn, drums and percussion (including spoons) with a variety of bands. Michael is also the President of the University Judo club and is a keen rock climber. For more information see www.michaelbarton.org.uk. He lives in Guildford, UK
96 pages. 2011