A mother shares her insights and at-home exercises tailored for early autistic learners in this how-to parenting/education guide.
For Adams (The Needs of Billy and Other Autistic Children, 2014), it was soon apparent, watching the struggles her autistic son, Billy, faced in school, that she’d have to provide additional assistance at home. In her new workbook (her first was focused on special needs kindergartners), Adams first offers commentary on what she found to be particularly helpful to address the early learning needs of her own son, which she believes will be applicable to other autistic and special needs children. Her insights include that parents must be aware of and address attention-span limits and also use “the obsession,” such as taking advantage of a particular child’s ability to focus better when there is a consistent underlying noise. The bulk of her book consists of simple and generally one-page exercises that families can use with their children, “so parents can get all the information in one book instead of having to shop at different places for different materials.” These exercises include many focused on visual identification: of animals, parts of the human body, differences within a group, and more. Math and science topics are naturally part of these lesson kits, including fill-in-the-blank sentences to guide the child to find out and record body measurements. The workbook wraps up with two short stories to prompt conversation and reading comprehension. Adams has done a commendable job in collecting an array of exercises that will save parents time and money trying to find sources elsewhere, providing many avenues for discussion and reinforcement of math, spelling, and other key fundamentals of early learning. Adams’ inclusion of a sign-language lesson could have used more explanation (such as how and when to use such a language aid), and this book’s black-and-white illustrations are rather crudely drawn, which may lessen its appeal to some. Still, most parents should appreciate this clear and simple workbook, particularly since it was created and road-tested by a concerned mother.
An activity-packed primer backed by the power and authority of a passionate parent.