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We all have a red beast inside us.
Most of the time it is asleep, but it can be awoken, and when it wakes, its eyes and ears shrink and its mouth gets really big and loud.
No, I haven't gone completely mental! The book, The Red Beast, is a book designed to help autistic and Asperger's kids cope with anger. I have a son with Asperger's and I bought this book on the recommendation of a lady who works for a local autism charity, when I was telling her about an incident that my son had at school, where he bit a child who was bullying him.
The book is in simple language, with bold pictures to illustrate the story. The illustations were actually done by a young man who has Asperger's himself, but has gone on to have a successful career as an illustrator and winning an award for creative excellence.
The story is about a boy called Rufus, who has Asperger's. One day, he is playing outside in the playground, when a ball hits him in the stomach. Rufus reacts angrily, and in the picture, you see him turn into a red beast, who hits out at the boy who kicked the ball.
The story then explains techniques that the techer uses to help the red beast shrink and get smaller and go to sleep, so that rufus can go back to normal, things like squeezing a stress ball and popping bubble wrap. Another strategy is counting slowly to 20, and as he does, you see the beast shrink and fall asleep.
At the end of the book, there is a section for parents and teachers, showing good ideas for anger management that have been tried and tested.
My son loved the book, but having a rather literal brain, he couldn't quite understand the bit about having a red beast inside us, as he took it literally! The techniques in the book worked really well though, especially the couning, and I say to him "make the red beast small" and he will count slowly until he is calm.
He took the book to school and the teacher used it in a lesson with the whole class.
I really like this book and I think that it would be useful for any child with anger issues, not just kids with Asperger's, as the ideas in the story could be used on anyone, even parents!
The lady who wrote the book is a parent of an autistic child, and she is an expert in special needs education.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has a child with anger issues.