April is Autism Awareness Month and I want to share a new book with you, that was just published in March:
POINT TO HAPPY, FOR CHILDREN ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM, by Miriam Smith and Afton Fraser; photos by Margo Smithwick. Conceived of, written, and designed for children on the autism spectrum, Point to Happy combines a picture book and a pointer to create a breakthrough in reaching children who communicate best through pictures. Ingenious in its simplicity, it was created by a grandmother, Miriam Smith, and her daughter, Afton Fraser, for Ms. Fraser’s son, a young boy on the autism spectrum. (And the photographer is Miriam's daughter and Afton's sister!)
"Point to happy... Point to sad... Point to hug... Give me a hug," the parent reads, as the child can point. It turns reading into a joyful, shared experience. Dozens of friendly photographs are compelling to look at and easy to understand. The text is clear and direct. By pointing to the pictures in the book—moods, activities, everyday objects, the rituals of going to bed and getting ready in the morning—children will learn to convey their wants and needs, their experiences and, most importantly, their feelings.
The simple device of the pointer, with its soft, molded hand on a wand—safety-tested and 100 percent nontoxic and PVC-and phthalate-free—begs to be held and used. And using it—the motor task of holding and pointing, again and again—is an effective tool to help a child focus.
For my other recent posts on books for children with Autism, CLICK HERE.