TalkAbility: People Skills for Verbal Children on the Autism Spectrum
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©2006. By Fern Sussman. In her first book, the very popular More Than Words, the author focused on helping young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) develop interactive communication skills, be it through words, signs, pictures, or any other means. In this new book, aimed specifically at parents, she switches her focus to promoting social communication skills in children with ASD who already have verbal skills, while still retaining her clear, easy-to-understand writing style. Chapters 1-9 focus on parent-child interactions, and the following practical strategies are presented: helping parents understand their child's learning style (visual vs. verbal) and sensory needs, as well as their own interaction style (calm vs. exciting, directive vs. responsive); helping children notice and understand nonverbal cues; understanding the basics of good conversational skills; encouraging their child to have more conversational interactions; helping their child understand, or "tune in" to, other people's perspectives; introducing new verbal learning strategies, such as time words and problem-solving ideas; using reading books with their child to practice "tuning in" skills; helping their child learn to tell successful stories; and using the power of pretend play to expand their child's abilities. Chapters 10-13 focus on helping the child learn to interact with other children, and the key strategies provided include: identifying the child's existing friendship skills and which ones they will need to work on; planning and preparing for an initial play date; being an effective "play coach" during the play date; and using visual cues to discuss friendship skills with the child, including using Social Stories™ and video modeling. (Softcover; 202 pages.)
©2007-2008. Autism Society of North Carolina.