on 14 February 2005
For the parent or carer of an autistic child, play can be a very difficult area. It's often the area in which a child's departure from the "normal" developmental track becomes apparent - toys are not used in the way expected or not used at all, imaginative play fails to develop, and so forth. With "normal" play patterns not pertaining, how do you fill the day; how do you connect with the child; and how do you give them the developmental benefits, the life practice and the skills, that play helps to develop?
This book helps you answer those questions. The play discussed ranges from the very basic - tickle games or rough and tumble - to the more complex, such as helping to model imaginative play for the child. Processes are broken down into small, achievable steps that the child can then combine to get results you might previously have thought were beyond him/her. For imaginative play, for instance, one might devise a short, simple story and put it in book form, then act it out with models, then let the child act it out, then wait to see if they move on to acting out stories of their own invention. It's concrete, it's practical and it works. Perhaps as importantly, it's immensely therapeutic also for a parent of an autistic child: if, over the months and years leading to the diagnosis and subsequently, your child has been turned in your eyes into a medical problem or educational project, this will help you rediscover them as a child and learn again to have fun with them. Buy the book, help the child and feel yourself grow more cheerful as well.
on 18 September 2003
Despite its delightful title, I was frightened that this was going to be another "Aren't I a wonderful parent" book. Instead, it is a book with many practical ideas, in particular for parents of children who have just been diagnosed and children who have a functional age below 10. Although my son received his diagnosis 5 years ago now, I found several useful new ideas. All the playing suggestions are well worked through and describe in detail how you can make a sucess of a play situation. It is also very encouraging to learn that you are not a failure if your child walks away after 30 seconds but this is a valid base on which to build. There is also a useful list of suppliers of playing material at the back for readers in the UK and North America. I would recommend this book to all parents who are looking for new play ideas for there autism spectrum child.
on 4 July 2004
This was the first book I read when we suspected our child was autistic at the age of 2. By the time we got the diagnosis I had already implemented many of the simple play ideas in the book and was getting results. My son is now 4 and making good progress but I still go back to the book for more help and understanding as he moves forward. Everywhere you will read early intervention is the key, but if you want to make a start on your own while waiting for help, this book is a must. I would especially say its good for the under 5. This book shows that parents can make a differnece in a practical set out book.
on 17 September 2003
Despite its delightful title, in the beginning I was frightened it would be another "aren't I the perfect parent" book. Nothing of the kind: it was a very practical book full of useful ideas. It is suitable for children at all levels, but more suitable for younger children (that is, children who have just been diagnosed). My son is 8 and was diagnosed 5 years ago but I found useful tips and also support for what I am doing (in my rather haphazard way). In addition, Julia Moore is good in providing support when you feel like giving up when your child walks away after 30 seconds: she shows how you can build on even a very small display of interest (with bribery if necessary!). The list of suppliers of suitable toys is also useful. I would particularly recommend it for parents of newly diagnosed children but also for parents with children with a functioning level under 10.
I was lent this book from portage early learning services who come around to help my 3 year old autistic son. I got about halfway through it and decided I needed to purchase it. It has practical advice from a mother of an autistic boy who completed studies and worked with other families. As any parent of an autistic child would know every child is different. She starts at the very basic and gives suggestions for more advanced things. She says what worked for other families but perhaps not her. There is a wide variety of games you can create at home that are aimed in some way to educate and everything is adaptable to the individual child and helps get you thinking about what it is that your child would respond to. I have also bought a copy for my sons childminder as it will not only help her working with my son, but there is also a wide variety of ideas for games. Everything is separated into different areas (ie outdoor play, music (or coping with it) etc) I have found it incredibly helpful. At this point parts of it are far too advanced for my son, but I am going to use it as a point of reference for the future. I would highly recommend to any parent, family member or carer of an autistic child.
on 19 January 2011
I bought this book some time ago now and I must say it has helped me a great deal. When my son was first diagnosed I knew that I wanted to participate in his therapy in some way - after all he spends the majority of his time with me. However as I am not trained in ABA nor in any other therapy used with children who have autism, I was at a complete loss to know what to do or where to start.
This book really answered my questions. I didn't need any background knowledge to read it. It was straightforward and clear, without using any of the annoying jargon that you so often encounter in books about autism, and full of simple ideas on how to go about engaging with my son.
The book also reassured me that just because I don't have a psychology degree doesn't mean I can't help my son and engage with him.
I recommend it to anyone who wants to interact with a child on the autism spectrum. Remember, even ten or fifteen minutes a day of play soon adds up over the weeks and months to hours and hours of floor time and best of all, it's not as hard as you might think. Five stars.
on 28 September 2009
This is a fabulous first play book for parents or carers of children on the autistic spectrum. It is full to the brim with helpful and clever ideas of how to engage and play with your child. However, I feel that a lot of the ideas are largely directed towards children who are pre- or early verbal, so some aspects were not useful for my family's circumstance.
Nonetheless, I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone looking for clear and well thought out suggestions of how to play with autistic children.