Babies are Noisy – Anne-Marie Harrison
A social story type book with drawings, designed to help children (both autistic and not) understand and deal with the introduction of a new baby into their life. This book is well-paced and written to an appropriate level for a child. It tells the story of a boy, Andre, and what he sees during his mum’s pregnancy and what the baby is like once he is born.
When babies are born, big brothers and sisters often have to be looked after by other grown-ups. I had to go to Grandma’s house and to Mummy’s friend’s house too. I had a picture diary so I knew where I was going and that I would be going home again. This helped me feel OK.
There are lots of sections throughout that give advice on what a child can do to help self-regulate in a situation that they find stressful involving the baby including going to the hospital so mum can get check-ups, how things change once the baby arrives, and what to do if the baby is crying.
I didn’t feel good about all this mess and change. I was glad I had my special cushion. I put it in a quiet place, next to my favourite toys, where I could listen to my music and wait until the visitors had gone.
The book might be too long for some children to sit through, but the style it has been written in makes it easy to take sections of the book and adapt them into your own social story. So you might choose to chop the book up into 3 different parts and design your own social stories surrounding ‘Pregnancy’, ‘When Mum Goes Into Hospital’, and ‘Once the Baby is Here’, using this book as guidance on how to write it.