This is one of the first books I purchased after realizing that my son was on the spectrum. Being a librarian, researching book buys is something I do every day, and I applied myself to finding helpful autism books with gusto. I was looking for something that would give us a list of suggested play therapy activities that we could pull off at home and was hoping that my mother-in-law would get into the spirit and do some of these with him as well. She didn’t, but that’s not really the point, now is it? 😉
I found Early Intervention Games by Barbara Sher. Sher is an occupational therapist specializing in pediatrics. She has written a number of books designed to help teach skills to autistic children. This one is excellent.
The first two chapters are an explanation of the sensory processing issues that impact autistic and SPD kids. She explains the goals of the games presented in the book and specifically how they will help the child. I like her style and tone – informative enough to be useful to a range of knowledge levels on the subject and conversational enough to remain friendly and non-condescending.
The following chapters are broken down into games specifically targeting the following areas: social gross motor games, social fine motor games, and water games. Following these chapters is a useful appendix of games indexed by sensory system or skill stimulated.
The Games are laid out a little like a teacher’s lesson plan, which makes them quite easy to implement. Each Game includes the following: title, goals, materials, setup, directions, variations, what is being learned, and modifications. What I found especially helpful is that Sher has included suggestions for what to do if a child is not responding in the manner intended that might help to make the activity more successful.
Early Intervention Games is a great resource for teachers, therapists, and families seeking to develop social and motor skills in very young children.
You can also visit Barbara Sher’s website www.gameslady.com for more information and to see videos of some of the games being implemented.