Jay and Ben childrens book by lulu delacre illustration


Jay and Ben is an interactive book developed for use with children with developmental and learning differences and disabilities, including—but not limited to—autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, and language delays. The book is designed to help educators, parents, and caregivers teach children about language, reading, story comprehension, functional skills, and basic concepts.

Children with learning differences and disabilities exhibit a broad range of behaviors and abilities, and they require individualized instruction. Jay and Ben may be used in a variety of ways to promote each child’s educational progress and growth.


The PRocess



With the help of Katharine Swanson, a special education teacher, I wrote about the things Jay can do on his own like making his own breakfast. I wrote about Jay wishing for a friend, a wish that comes true in the form of a magical horse named Ben. Clear visual representation of the text, through sequential illustrations along with picture symbols (based on the commonly-used Boardmaker® Picture Communication Symbols), enables children to gain understanding of the story plot and to recognize printed words.



I based the illustration of the book in the comic strip format. The sequential format lends itself to explain a skill step by step. We created a prototype of the book and tested it on the field prior to deciding what was the ideal trim size for the intended audience of the book. 



reviews + AWARDS

"A unique book ....a fine tool and an engaging book/game sure to be enjoyed by children with and without learning differences. While extension activities are suggested on the final pages, the bottom line is that books like this can generate even more ideas to share narrative, symbol, learning, and fun with all children." – Reading Rockets, WETA