Thriving with Autism: 90 Activities to Encourage Your Child’s Communication, Engagement, and Play

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Help children with autism strengthen their connections―supportive strategies for ages 1 to 11

To guide your efforts to help your child flourish, this book has 90 playful, evidence-based activities. Thriving with Autism provides an easy, effective toolbox to supplement and support the developmental work parents and caregivers are doing with their children. These solutions are designed for kids with autism from ages 1 to 11. The benefits can last a lifetime.

From building better conversation abilities to strengthening social skills, Thriving with Autism delivers practical, everyday ways to connect, encourage, and play. Featuring exercises like Acts of Friendliness, The Human Burrito, and Emotional Charades, this comprehensive guide encourages your child with autism to boost their communication, engagement, and self-regulation skills.

Thriving with Autism includes:

  • Hands-on activities―Make learning fun with lots of lessons that can help kids across the autism spectrum.
  • Simple strategies―Tackle these easy, research-driven activities one by one at home.
  • Engaging and practical―Find helpful tips and suggestions, as well as full-color illustrations that are sure to inspire and delight you and your child.

Now there’s a smart, sensible way to help teach kids with autism necessary skills.



From the Publisher

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergersautism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergersautism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

Some fun, educational activities from the book:

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

What You'll Need:

What You'll Need:

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

autism, autism books, applied behavior analysis, occupational therapy, aspergers

THE BARRIER GAME (Ages 7 to 11)

What You’ll Need: Clay or two sets of blocks or crayons and paper.

Once you’ve chosen the material, you and your child will sit back-to-back. One of you will be designated as the leader, who will call out directions, while the other will act as the student, who will follow the directions. The leader designs a simple structure or picture. Then they describe, step by step, to their student how to make it. The student can ask for clarification during this process. Once all the directions are given, you both turn around and compare your designs. Do they look alike? Where did the student make mistakes? How could the leader have been more descriptive? Discuss the details and giggle over the differences, then switch roles. It’s fun to keep track of how many of the designs match.

THE SPECIAL HAT (Ages 4 to 11)

What You’ll Need: A hat.

Cooperative play is the most advanced form of play a child can engage in. It involves two or more children using the same toys to work together for a common goal. This activity assists children who may appear bossy or inflexible when they play, when in reality, they just need support to let go of their anxiety surrounding novel cooperative play opportunities. Before your child begins to play with you, a sibling, or a friend, designate a leader who wears a special hat during cooperative play. The person wearing the hat chooses what they’ll play and the rules of playing while the others follow along. Make sure to trade off being the leader and give all participants an equal amount of time wearing the special hat.

SHARE THE PEAR (Ages 4 to 11)

What You’ll Need: Any item to hold and pass, and a timer.

Sharing shows caring, and it’s fun! Sharing is a valuable play skill. Children who share well with their peers will inevitably learn to cooperate and make more friends. This activity involves playing a game called Share the Pear, which is essentially a spin on “Hot Potato.” This can be played with any item as long as it’s not highly preferred by your child. You want your child to be willing to share it. Set the timer based on how long you think your child can sustain their attention, and add time as they improve. You, your child, and anyone else available to play will simply pass the “pear” among the players until the timer goes off. The person who’s left holding the “pear” loses and is out of the game. During the game, make sure to encourage your child to be a “good sharer,” which they’ll want to do so they won’t be stuck with the “pear” when the music stops.

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Thriving with Autism: 90 Activities to Encourage Your Child’s Communication, Engagement, and Play
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