Book Review: Motivate to Communicate!

Motivate to Communicate:  300 Games and Activities for Your Child With Autism is a great resource for parents, teachers, therapists, and other caregivers to help motivate children with autism and other communication disorders.  Written by Simone Griffin, a speech therapist, and Dianne Sandler, a special education teacher,  this book aims to help us use everyday objects to entice children to communicate.

It begins with a chapter explaining how motivation plays a powerful part in encouraging children on the autism spectrum to interact and communicate.  The authors caution parents to consider their child’s strengths and interests before embarking on any one of the activities.  They also include a list of useful websites to find toys and resources for special-needs children.

Following the introductory chapter, the book is broken into the following chapters:

1.  Motivate Me with Food

2.  Motivate Me with Party Toys

3.  Motivate Me with Social Games

4.  Motivate Me with Outside Games

5.  Motivate Me at Home and School

Each of the chapters explain dozens of play activities utilizing everyday objects such as utencils, sand, balls, puzzles, mirrors, balloons, etc.  There are very few activities for which one might need to purchase materials.  Most of the needed items are already in your home or available at a Dollar Tree.

Following the activity chapters are lists of useful links.

I really like this book and the simplicity of the authors’ approach to at home therapy.  The explanations for each activity are clear and easy to implement.

My only complaint about this book would be a lack of a skills index for targeting specific needs.  Other books of this nature have such an index.  I hope they think to include one if updating in the future.  Overall though, this is a great addition to an ASD library for parents of young children on the spectrum.

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