Tag Archives: Resource

A Children’s Picture Book That Children With Aspergers Can Relate To

28 Mar

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I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy of a fabulous new children’s picture book from Flashlight press, all the way in the US.

And how gratefully received this was! Its a picture book like non I’ve read before! One that highlights one of the common autism traits I know all to well… The ability to be that little bit too honest!

I actually found myself laughing out loud as I read the book “Being Frank” as there was one particular part that reminded me of an incident at little man’s school! Actually it was almost the exact same scenario. In the book Frank is a little too honest (as the title suggests) and on one occasion he tells the teacher that her breath smells funny and is therefore sent to the principal as a result of his honesty. Ok, little man didn’t inform the teacher of her funny smelling breath, he instead told the head teacher that his breath smelt like his grandmas dogs.

Anyone who parents a child on the autism spectrum can easily spot the trait in Franks honest manner. Franks motto is that “Honesty is the best policy” He tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Only he soon begins to realise that its not always appreciated, especially by adults. Frank is only being honest when he tells his mother she has lots of wrinkles as a result of her glaring at him, and even worse, when his mother is stopped by the police for speeding and frank informs the policeman that his mother was aware she was speeding as he had already told her so.

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Frank learns with the help of his grandpa that yes it is important to be honest but its all about being tactful when you do.

Its all about a “Little more sugar and a bit less pepper!”

This is a real enjoyable and funny story with some lovely but all the same , hilarious illustrations. I think children with Aspergers in particular, will really be able to relate to frank. The book could well be used as a great social skills training tool and resource. Its one I’ll be recommending to families of children on the autism spectrum for sure.

Being Frank
Is written by Donna Earnhardt, and illustrated by Andrea Castellani

Being Frank was a runner up in the About.com readers choice awards

Sadly its not widely available here in the UK but its really worth getting one shipped over.

Check it out over at Flashlight Press

Teaching Communication Skills To 3-5 Year Olds

29 Oct

I receive emails on a daily basis from worried parents of toddlers or young children.

Many of these emails stress the same concern… My child still isn’t speaking or is speaking little for their age compared to that of their peers.

For others its their child’s lack of understanding of language or how to use it that’s the concern.

Little man was a very early and advanced speaker, only he failed to use certain words in the correct contents, had poor social interaction and would normally dominate conversation. His listening and communication skills are improving all the time now that he has weekly speech and language therapy (SALT) at school. This just proves its never to late to start a programme though the earlier we are taught the skills we need the better, especially in those with autism or any other communication disorder.

Its natural for us parents to worry if our toddler isn’t using communication at the rate we expect especially if we have their siblings to compare them too. But despite the worry its important to note that its not always due to a medical or developmental problem… Some children just develop that bit slower than others, where some just require a bit of help along the way.

Whatever the reason I believe it is important for all parents to encourage communication from an early age… If you feel that development is slow progressing or even too advanced, early intervention is the key.

Those with experience will know just how long waiting lists are for Paediatricians or Speech Therapist… But there are things we can do as parents at home.

I was extremely impressed to hear about a new developmental tool called “chatting with children” I haven’t really seen anything of this kind before and feel its something that could make a whole lot of difference to parents everywhere.

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Chatting With Children is an activities pack designed to build the language development in children aged 3-5. Even better its been developed by Kate Freeman a qualified Speech and Language Therapist.

The pack from I Can (the children’s communication charity) is the third in its series following Babbling Babies and Toddler Talk (also created by Kate Freeman).

Chatting with Children is a stunning pack of 30 fun and interactive activity cards aimed at helping parents and practitioners develop young children’s communication skills. The pack also comes with a well written top tips activity guide that has been designed to help its user get the most from it.

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Inside this kit that resembles a hard back book, you will find 30 beautifully illustrated cards that make up a number of activities designed to encourage the language and communication of children aged 3-5 years. Each task is simple yet provides effective ways of enhancing speaking, listening and understanding skills. The kit has been Designed in association with Studio Conran and illustrator Owen Davey, who has designed each beautiful activity card to feature an activity designed to develop a different aspect of communication.

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What I like most about this pack is that this is a tool recommended to professionals such as therapist & practitioners yet its simple enough for a parent to use at home meaning we have the tools of the professionals at hand to work with at home whenever we want to.

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The fact that the pack has been created by Kate Freeman A Speech and Language Therapist who holds over 15 years experience, gives me even more confidence when using the pack and applying each individual activity.

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Each activity is so simplistic and easy to follow that there is not really any excuses for not being able to try it on a daily/weekly basis. Its not time consuming whatsoever as there is always little if no set up involved.

Toddler Talk and Chatting with Children are each available in paperback for £7.99 or hardback for £12.99 and its available over at the I Can website

In my opinion this is beyond reasonable, I expected it to cost a considerable amount more considering the market its targeted at. I normally find most tools designed with the aim of encouraging a child’s develop within any area, to be over priced and beyond most families reach. So I’m seriously impressed with what I Can are providing here for little money!

What’s more every last penny of the proceeds are put back into the registered Charity “I Can” so they can continue to provide help and resources to parents like you and I.

Any parent with a question or concern about their child’s communication can contact the I CAN Help Enquiry Service for a call or email from a speech and language therapist – visit www.ican.org.uk/help

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. I was sent a sample of Chatting with Children in order to share my honest opinion… I have decided that this will now be donated to a local Speech And Language Therapist in our area.

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