Book donation helping students build social-emotional skills

Bring On The Spectrum (BOTS) partnered with the district to donate copies of “Amelia’s Adventures,” a book written by a local author about living with Autism, to each of our Niskayuna elementary and middle school libraries.

Author Katie Turner, a licensed mental health therapist, hopes to encourage children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to use their voices and to show the world how they function through her books.

Suzy Sogoian, librarian at Craig Elementary School, said those lessons apply to those both with and without an ASD diagnosis. 

“It’s focusing on the emotions and everybody has good days, everybody has bad days,” Sogoian said. “She talks about how the day just feels like sandpaper. Everybody has had a day that feels like that, everybody has rough days.”

Sogoian said some students are in need of those types of lessons, particularly in post-pandemic classrooms.

“They missed out on learning how to connect,” Sogoian said. “And you can see that it’s really at specific grade levels.”

That’s why Sogoian feels the lessons shared in “Amelia’s Adventures” set the foundation for young learners to understand social-emotional relationships within themselves and others.

“If a kid is maybe non-verbal or they’re not making eye contact with them, that they say, ‘Maybe their brain just works a little differently than mine,’” Sogoian said. “‘Maybe they’re like Amelia and it doesn’t mean that they don’t want to be friends with me. Maybe they just express themselves differently than I do.’”