Guest Author - Bonnie Sayers
Readers will gain insight into the daily lives of children within the autism spectrum. Those with siblings will find similarities from their own household that will help them realize they share a bond with other families that words cannot express. The message conveyed equates autism with the box. There are times that Matthew is out of the box engaged in his own world and with those on the outside.
Due to difficulties being non-verbal a child with autism cannot engage in play with typical peers, as evidenced in the portrayal of Matthew looking out the window at children playing soccer. It is obvious to the casual observer that Matthew is aware of his surroundings at times, and is able to find joy in scenes of nature and wildlife.
The colorful and lively illustrations depict the atmosphere surrounding an autistic child. It can be dark and gloomy, as well as bursts of sunshine captured with no child in sight or the contentment found at watching the waves hit the rocks at the beach. I had to explain the parallels of the box, ball and ice cream to Nicholas, who is ten years of age and high functioning. He recalled how his brother Matthew used to pick the paint off the walls when he drank a certain kind of milk.
Autism is described in verse with the calmness of the illustrations sharing the tranquil moments Matthew has throughout his days. Matthew’s Box is a good book to share with neighbors, community members, school personnel and other families so they can get a glimpse of the isolation that affects not only the child on the autism spectrum, but the entire family. Since my youngest son is named Matthew, it was fitting to make the purchase of Matthew’s Box.