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Autism, Asperger’s, and Sensory Processing Disorder are being diagnosed in greater numbers each year; 1 child in 150 in the US now falls on the spectrum. The increasing visibility of the disorders has grabbed the nation’s attention, with in-depth coverage by ABC World News, Nightline, The Chicago Tribune, The Oprah Winfrey Show, Nickelodeon, and others.

Fortunately, there is hope for the hundreds of thousands of children with Autism, Asperger’s, and Sensory Processing Disorders, and it comes from an unlikely but clinically proven source: play!

101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger’s, and Sensory Processing Disorders is a fantastic game and activity book specifically intended for kids on the autism spectrum, and is overflowing with parent-tested and expert-approved ways to help children connect with the world around them. Written by experienced pediatric occupational therapist Tara Delaney, this inventive and practical book delivers games and activities that stimulate and improve motor functions, social skills, and cognitive development.

Parents will have fun and learn, too, as Tara clearly explains how and why the games and activities help their kids. Each game includes a list of necessary supplies and easy-to-follow steps.

With a parent’s helping hand, kids on the autism spectrum can engage in play and learn how to:

  • Make eye contact and identify their family members and friends with ‘People Bingo’
  • Count and improve their tactile sense with ‘Back Writer’
  • Draw like a master and develop fine motor skills with ‘Avant Garde Painter’

Not to worry: These are not strenuous or boring exercises disguised as ‘games’. In fact, much of the book’s content builds upon the enjoyable activities everyone already loves, such as building sand castles, blowing bubbles, jumping on trampolines, playing on bean bags, constructing forts, drawing with chalk, having picnics, and going on hikes. Some games integrate a child’s favorite toy (a great motivator for a reluctant participant), and there are even inventive ideas for making everyday activities—such as helping with the laundry—opportunities for learning and development.

Indoors, outdoors, on field trips, solo or with friends—there are activities for every occasion and setting. The book is organized by developmental area, such as sensory, communication, and social skills, so mom or dad can pick the activities that address their child’s greatest needs. Now, let’s play!

Tara Delaney M.S., OTR/L, has worked with children on the autism spectrum for more than twenty years. She is the executive director of Steps Therapy, Inc., an occupational and speech therapy clinic, where she specializes in sensory integration, autism, ADHD, learning disabilities, and social skills development. She lives with her husband and two children—who teach her things every day through play—in Sacramento, California.

Paperback, 240 pages, McGraw-Hill Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-0071623360

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