Title: Motivate to Communicate: 300 Games and Activities for Your Child with Autism
Authors: Simone Griffin and Dianne Sandler
Genre: Autism – Parenting, Communication, Games & Activities, Special Needs
Rating Out of Five: 5
ISBN: 9781849050418 (pbk)
This book presents a large assortment of games and activities (& approaches to each one) to do with your Autistic child that aim to help motivate and promote some or more communication with you and/or other peers. One of the best books I have ever read or come across in this particular subject.
My son was diagnosed with Autism about two years ago now and I’m still so surprised at how little information is readily available. Before getting a team in place to help him this past winter, I was increasingly frustrated and completely unsure of how to deal with it as I could never get a straight answer from anyone or it was presented in too technical of terms.
For the amount of reading material that I have been through, I would say that less than 15-20% of it is actually useful to any degree. The spectrum is HUGE, which means that information about one aspect (or many) of it might not even apply to my situation in the slightest, therefore rendering it utterly useless to me.
This particular book supplied games/activities to do with all the senses, which is really important, and kept specific things sectioned off together. For example, any activities that required ‘Balloons’ would be kept in the same section. So if this was a touchy item for your kids you could just skip that section and move onto something else. Or, if they really liked them then you knew exactly where to go! My son has issues with touching some textures, so while I might try some of those activities to gauge his reaction, it wouldn’t be something I do often. Now bubbles, stickers and water are another story! We can never seem to have to many of those things 🙂 (Seriously. Like ever!)
Another, great thing about this book was the coaching in how to respond to your child before, during and after each activity/game to maximize his/her interaction with you throughout it. This helps with keeping them focused on the task, while keeping it fun and helping transition from one game/activity to another or finishing one up.
Unfortunately, this isn’t something you just pick up or figure out automatically. It is learned over time, with huge amounts of patience thrown in there, because you need to transition from what would normal interaction with a typical 5-year-old to one with autism. This is, also, very different for every child too, depending where they sit on the spectrum. For my son, comprehending basic communication is difficult, it can be extremely frustrating for him and, often, his reaction is way more excessive than it needs to be for the situation. But for the most part I treat him like I would any other kid, the only time this changes is when I need to know what he needs or wants. When we get to that point, it then becomes very simple so it doesn’t confuse or overwhelm him. Or, we use sign language to prompt or visualize what he wants to say. Anyway… I’ve tangented again a little bit…
If you haven’t already got a super, wonderful group of B.I.’s (and/or a O.T. or SLP) working with you and your child, I really recommend it because it makes a big difference and you have a constant source of ideas and information to help you out as well!
A great, instructive and insightful read, absolutely fabulous! I wish there was more like this one out there!!