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Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination [Paperback]

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Item description for Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination by Pamela J. Wolfberg...

Picture a childhood void of the joyful images and sensations we associate with play--a childhood lacking in curiosity, diversity and symbolic meaning--a childhood without playmates or friends. Children on the autism spectrum are among those who face serious challenges learning how to play in both social and imaginative ways.

But no longer do these children have to remain lost souls on the fringes of playgrounds and other social gathering places. In Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination, Pamela Wolfberg turns her award-winning research into a practical manual for practitioners and caregivers seeking to address the unique and complex challenges children on the autism spectrum experience.

This practical guide offers an introduction to the basic principles, tools and techniques that comprise the Integrated Play Groups model, designed to support children of diverse ages and abilities on the autism spectrum (novice players) in mutual play experiences with typical peers and siblings (expert players). Small groups of children regularly play together under the guidance of an adult facilitator (play guide) through a carefully tailored system of support. The emphasis is on maximizing children's developmental potential as well as intrinsic desire to play, socialize and form meaningful relationships with peers. At the same time, an equally important focus is on teaching the peer group to be more accepting, responsive and inclusive of children who relate and play in different ways. This innovative book is full of forms, checklists and other tools to facilitate implementation.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 8.5" Height: 11"
Weight:   1.85 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Publisher   Autism Asperger Publishing Company
ISBN  193128217X  
ISBN13  9781931282178  

Availability  0 units.

More About Pamela J. Wolfberg

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Pamela Wolfberg, Ph.D., is associate professor of special education at San Francisco State University, where she developed a new autism spectrum graduate program. Her current research and practice focus on supporting children with ASD in the areas of peer relations, play, childhood culture, and social inclusion. As creator of the Integrated Play Groups model, Pamela leads efforts to develop inclusive peer play programs at the local, national, and international level. As a part of these efforts, she is also working in partnership with families and professionals on developing an inclusive community center, Autism Network for Global Education and Lifelong Support (ANGELS), the international hub for the Autism Institute on Peer Relations and Play and Friend 2 Friend Social Learning Society. Pamela is in frequent demand as an invited speaker at conferences around the globe. She is widely published and the author of numerous peer reviewed articles, chapters and books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Personal Health > Children's Health > Autism & Asperger's Syndrome
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Psychology & Counseling > General
3Books > Subjects > Medicine > Education & Training > General
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Special Education > Behavioral Disorders
5Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Special Education > Socially Handicapped

Reviews - What do customers think about Peer Play and the Autism Spectrum: The Art of Guiding Children's Socialization and Imagination?

Great for inclusive schools  Apr 30, 2008
If you are working to support students on the playground, in after-school programs, or just in the context of daily social interactions in the classroom, you need this book. It is filled with great ideas for teaching new skills, helping students learn about play, and creating inclusive social opportunities in general.
The 'Bible' for Social Skills Practitioners  Feb 21, 2008
This book is the `bible' for social skills coaches, as far as I can tell. I read every one of the peer-reviewed, well researched, books I can get my hands on about Autism and peer-play. This is the best.

In the forward of this book, one of Dr. Wolfberg's professors comments that, "[Pamela's] students turned out to be much more capable than I had ever imagined once the multiple supports were established in these intense initial coaching sessions." Rather than seeing Autism as a static disorder with a certain set of skills to work with, Dr. Wolfberg uses her sensitive and in-depth account of Autism to understand the amazing potential of every child.

The purpose of this Field Manual is to provide practitioners and caregivers a guide to address the needs of children with Autism in a social setting. Her Integrated Playgroup Model is well researched (there is an extensive log of her studies in Appendix B). Dr. Wolfberg describes IPG as, "designed to support children of diverse abilities on the autism spectrum (novice players) in mutually joined play experiences with typical peers and siblings (expert players)." She outlines 6 main challenges for children with Autism in play situations: reciprocity, imagination, sensory processing, Theory of Mind (generally this is the inability to take account of the perspectives and feelings of others), and ritualized patterns.

Dr. Wolfberg goes into detail about how each of these issues presents difficulty in both the `Symbolic Dimension' and the `Social Dimension'. The Symbolic Dimension involves manipulation play, functional play, and symbolic-pretend play. The Social Dimension revolves around the typical roles children play as: onlookers, parallel players, players with common focus, coopertive play, and peer group entry. Peer group entry has long been known as the most difficult and sophisticated form of play skill.

More importantly, Pamela Wolberg understands that these common play skills, we have all seen in action or remember from our childhoods, are critical and essential for development through the lifespan. Rather than marvel at how typical children are able to pick up these skills in a more natural developmental sequence, Pamela Wolfberg dissects the sequence of play skills in order to include children with Autism in similiar activities. Her book has a broad and deep scope, preparing practitioners to address the various challenges of social interaction for children with Autism. Further, Dr. Wolberg is extremely helpful and supportive as a resource to parents and practioners. She is authentic in her desire to spread the word about how to properly prepare Autistic children for the important world of play.

One of the many tools to use with treating PDD  Feb 22, 2006
There is so much out there about Autism, classified as a pervasive developmental and neuropsychiatric disorder, whose causes are not fully understood. I feel this book is not limited to those with PDD or ASD; it is useful for any child, as other reviewers have mentioned.

Some of the techniques that may be useful in treating a child with PDD, are the systems used in Integrated Play Groups, so well outlined in this book. It seems particularly valuable in mainstreaming a child into "neuro-typical" culture, something that we caregivers want for our loved ones with PDD.

However please remember, in spite of the tone of this book, that with Autism Spectrum Disorders there are no silver bullets, and "play therapy" should not be seen as the end all of treatments for a child with PDD. It should, at best, be viewed as one of the many tools at a caregiver's disposal.
The best book there is to help your child overcome autism.  Jan 3, 2006
This book has been the single most important reference book I've used to help my son overcome autism.

Two years ago -- my 4 year old son didn't know how to relate to other children, he didn't speak to other children, he would just stare at them as if they were bugs he was studying. Using the methods expertly outlined in this magnificent book -- my son now plays with others, chats away with them, and has learned much more about how to function in the neuro-typical world. Since the business of children is play -- lack of play skills keeps most children with autism from taking part in childhood activities.

Autism is a communicative and social disorder, this book did more than I could possibly say to help me learn how to teach my son to communicate and to play with others. This book taught me, and can teach all parents and caregivers, that we ourselves can do so much to help our children overcome autism's ill effects, and the basic core of that is in helping them learn how to play.
Excellent, Practical and Refreshing  Oct 26, 2003
This book is an excellent practical resource for promoting play in children with autism or ASD. This book begins from a philosophy that incorporates and respects all children. It provides numerour practical resources and instructions for setting up integrated play groups. It incorporates research and resources. A refreshing book I can't wait to apply to children with ASD in my occupational therapy practice

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