Foreword Review — Winter 2014
Sometimes the ability to connect with others must be developed through specific exercises. When autistic children engage in play therapy, for example, their verbal and social skills improve dramatically. Teaching Social Skills to People with Autism, edited by Andy Bondy, PhD, and Mary Jane Weiss, PhD, offers a thorough review of recent, often hopeful literature on issues like measuring social skill performance, motivational strategies, choosing the right therapies for a child’s needs, and new interventions within current models (such as imitative and imaginative play). Readers will also better understand the theories and practices of autism therapists, and parents of autistic children will be better prepared to engage in conversations with autism therapists about possible treatments.
The book is best suited for autism professionals who are aware of current models but who may need more information on effective approaches within existing programs. There are also applications for teachers who work with autistic children in integrated classroom settings.
Ideally, these methods will help children transfer what they have learned to a variety of social environments, and these interventions will make the autism diagnosis less defining of a child’s life chances.