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Faculty Sponsor

Elizabeth Mannir

Sponsor Department/Program

Women’s Studies Program

Student Department/Program

Department of English and Linguistics

University Affiliation

Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne


With the prevalence of autism on the rise, one would expect to see an increase in literature for young children focusing on the topic. After all, children are more likely to have a classmate or sibling on the autism spectrum now than ever before. However, it seemed that picture books I encountered focusing on this topic were often falling into a pattern of isolating the character with autism or inaccurately depicting the disorder. For my Honors Project, I investigated this corner of the picture book market by analyzing available works. I then identified problem areas with the literature that is currently available and developed a list of evaluation criteria. Finally, I created my own picture book that avoids many of the common stereotypes and tropes.


Children's and Young Adult Literature | English Language and Literature | Social and Behavioral Sciences

The Representation of Autism in Children’s Literature: An Analysis & An Alternative