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A New Social Skills Book For Children With Autism To Practice Playground Socializing and Play Is Available From Windsurf Publishing


A New Social Skills Book For Children With Autism To Practice Playground Socializing and Play Is Available From Windsurf Publishing

Windsurf Publishing announces a new book for children on the autism spectrum that targets social skills, communication practice, and social awareness for playground play and activities.

Greenwich, CT (PRWEB) January 6, 2011

Maureen Mihailescu has done it again with “Social Skills Practice for the Playground for Children on the Autism Spectrum.” She now offers a new book that is easy to use with children with autism to help prepare them for playground socialization and activities. Rather than a how to do it book where a parent or therapist has to create materials, Maureen Mihailescu's book is ready to use with children who need this kind of social intervention. Maureen uses photographs of social scenes at the playground and provides targeted questions that stimulate social perceptions, social language, social problem solving, and social awareness of one's own feelings and of others. Many of the questions are rephrased and target similar behaviors or responses. However, the book is to be used with children with autism to become more competent in answering social questions, role-playing social situations, and understanding social opportunities and activities at the playground better. The book is designed to be adapted to the social awareness and social language complexity skills of these children. A parent or therapist can prompt for simple language or more complex language and problem solving skills, such as feelings being hurt, or even possibly feeling rejected. This is where the adult adapts the book to the individual child's needs based on the child's current abilities and how you want the child to progress. One of the main goals here is to get children with autism, whether they are minimally verbal, or highly verbal, or socially awkward, to start thinking socially about other children at the playground and how they can approach, communicate, and play with other children in socially appropriate ways. Children who are non-verbal could benefit from the photographs and questions while a parent or therapist creatively integrates their own communication system.

It is common for children with autism to be left out at the playground when they do not have good communications skills, are socially awkward, or have some behaviors that would be considered strange or odd to others. Even children who have the best behaviors can be left out because they do not really know how to join in and play with others or how to communicate effectively with other children. Sometimes these children have word retrieval problems. When they do speak to other children, their words, phrases, or sentences are often incoherent or grammatically messy. When typical children see and hear these behaviors at the playground, they often do not look to play with these children with social deficits. And, unfortunately, many typical children do not understand how important their peers with autism need someone to play with or a friend.

Most schools in the United States try to address social skills for children on the autism spectrum in school (Individualized Education Plans) IEPs if they have one. However, very often the goals of those IEPs are socially deficient and do not provide enough opportunities targeting social behaviors with other children during recess, natural playground times, and even sports. Maureen Mihailescu has seen IEPs that have the same expectations year to year that really are not effective or adequate in progressing a child with autism socially. Very often the social language and social skills goals and objectives in an IEP are created merely to satisfy some legal requirements of an IEP on paper or to provide convenience to teachers and therapists. Very often goals and objectives are not truly data driven and no one is really measuring the real progress a child makes year to year. This is particularly alarming because children with autism desperately need systematic social programming in order to progress and acquire the social competencies of typical children. In addition, many schools do not provide autism awareness among typical children or after school social programs with typical peers. As a result, children with autism do not have enough social opportunities with typical peers to learn from them and make genuine friendships. This not only results in a less than normal social life for children with autism but also can be isolating to them. This will most certainly effect how they later are able to communicate with others in life and establish friendships as teenagers or adults. Without having social competencies, children on the autism spectrum can remain socially isolated and often misunderstood. This should not be acceptable in school district policies or in society in general.

"Social Skills Practice for the Playground for Children on the Autism Spectrum" can help to prepare for many of these social skills when it comes to playground socialization and play. The question should not be "what are these children doing?" as is most often asked of children with autism by therapists, but "what can I do and say?" and "what can I do and say next?" For example, if a child on the autism spectrum requires help figuring that out and putting that together, that's the job the educators and parents have to help those children learn to do just that and pull them out of social aloneness. Children on the autism spectrum deserve to have as socially healthy and happy childhoods as all children. If they were not so misunderstood and often dismissed based on disability, people would see how smart, sensitive, and talented children with autism can be and the virtues of their strengths instead looking only at their weaknesses.

Maureen Mihailescu (Lagana) has also written “What Can You Expect When You Fly?” to help prepare children with autism for air travel. She has written other books as well for everyone and has plans for more autism books in the near future. Maureen has a master's degree in psychology and is also raising a child on the autism spectrum. She has first hand experience in understanding children on the autism spectrum, specific behavior and learning challenges, and has had training in applied behavior analysis, speech and language pathology, and the universal design for learning.

“Social Skills Practice for the Playground for Children on the Autism Spectrum” is now available on Amazon internationally. It is intended for children of ages 4 through 12. Windsurf Publishing LLC has plans for publishing another book like this for even younger children and plans to have these books available in other languages as well sometime this year. Windsurf Publishing LLC's website address is:

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