Hind’s Hands

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Author: Umm Juwayriyah & Juwayriyah Ayed

Illustrator: Emma Apple

Publisher: As Sabr Publications

Year: 2019

Topics: Autism, Special Needs Sibling

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Book Description:

From bestselling author and educator Umm Juwayriyah — a story told by a big sister who learns coping skills to befriend and lead her autistic younger sister. “You see, my sister Hind has Autism. And I know that sounds like a really big word, but it’s not. Autism just means that Allah made her to learn and act and think differently than other kids her age.” In the story Hind’s Hands, big sister Juwayriyah learns just how special her younger sister is, despite the challenging behaviors that she often has to deal with. Author Umm Juwayriyah collaborates with her oldest daughter, Juwayriyah Ayed on this book to help spread awareness about Autism.

Why I like it:

  • I love the author’s definition that “Autism just means that Allah made her to learn and act and think differently than kids her age.”
  • Followed by “Autistic kids are special, just like Allah has made us all special”.  It validates the feelings of the SIBLING of the Autistic child.
  • “Ummi said that I had to try very hard to show her good examples and that inshaAllah with time, practice, and lots of dua, Allah would bless me to deal with my little sister better.” Absolutely LOVE how the author put this. The use of “try very hard” instead of ‘you have to”!
  • Plus I appreciate the honesty – that yes it’s a long process and not very easy, but with time practice and DUA/PRAYER Allah will make it easier.
  • The entire tone of the book is positive!
  • At the end Juwayria gives such an important message on being a leader and being someone the autistic sibling can trust, making dua to Allah, and to making sure your parents are aware of your troubles so they can help you come up with ideas to make things easier.

Things that could be improved:

  • I was hoping to find some “information” about autism for parents who do not know what it is so they could talk to their kids about it. However the book is about the SIBLING of the autistic child and her bond with her sister.

Activities:

  • Talk to your children about Autism
  • Discuss the STRENGTHS and Challenges children with Autism have and MORE importantly talk to your kids about HOW THEY CAN BE FRIENDS and kind to a child with autism and other special needs
  • Kids need to be TAUGHT how to be kind and you can sit down and make a list together about ways to be kind to others.
  • Talk to your local masjid and see how your community can be more inclusive of families with special needs and how you can help. http://www.muhsen.org is an amazing resource for this.
  • Visit autism.sesamestreet.org to read these free ebooks:

Overall:

Its a story about Autism from the sibling’s point of view, where Juwayraia talks about the challenges and friendship she has with her sister Hind! My daughter (sibling of an autistic child) loved reading that Allah made her special too. While we put focus on the autistic child “being special” we sometimes forget to mention that the sibling WITHOUT autism is ALSO special and unique. It is extremely important to give attention to siblings, validate their feelings, and talk to them about their feelings, and help them navigate their role in their family.

Unfortunately there is very little awareness and ACCEPTANCE about Autism in Muslim communities, which affects so many people around the world. I think its an important book to share with friends and family and should be a donated to libraries because there aren’t many books representing Muslim Children with Autism.

Also its relatively inexpensive (under $10!) so please do donate a copy to your Islamic Center or Public Library so that it may help parents who may not know of this amazing resource!

How to Be a Friend to Someone with Autism

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