Though designed with teachers in mind, Visual Techniques For Developing Social Skills, by Rebecca Moyes, MEd, is a valuable tool for for many, not the least of which being parents. This book is packed full of activities and lesson plans targeting children with high functioning autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
The first thing that I love about this book is how it is split up into three units: Interpersonal Interactions, Appropriate Communication, and Working Successfully With Others. Secondly, within those three units are specific lessons which break down individual goals to work on, written in a way that is easy to understand and implement. But the thing I love the best is the pictures of the supplies that will be needed, and an explanation of why it works, followed by a numbered outline for the actual lesson.
the lesson content is not the only praise worthy part of this book.
When you first start thumbing through the book, you will notice that at the beginning of each lesson is a picture and an IEP goal. For example,Unit 2, lesson 2B is Using a Pitcher to Teach Compliments as Kind Words. The IEP goal attached to this lesson is “When given instruction in the four types of compliments, the student will be able to deliver a compliment to a peer in group sessions in four out of five opportunities.” The benefit of this IEP goal is that both parents and teachers will know what the desired end result is, how to teach and implement it, and what to work on throughout.
However, the lesson content is not the only praise worthy part of this book. At the beginning of the book are instructions for use, and important information to consider. At the end of the book following the lessons, are 22 additional book titles that teachers may find helpful. And the index after everything else makes it easy to search and find a specific topic, such as an IEP goal for perseverative talk.
If I were rating this book on a 1-10 scale for use as a reference manual? I’d have to go with a 9 based on ease of implementation, practicality, and how easy it is to understand. Every classroom, every child, could benefit from the lessons provided here, whether within the autism spectrum or not.
About the author:
Rebecca Moyes taught public and private school for nine years and is currently an autism consultant and trainer for school districts in Pennsylvania. She has two children, one of whom has Asperger’s Syndrome.
Rebecca has published four books, including I Need Help With School!, Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom, Addressing Challenging Behaviors in the Classroom, and Building Sensory Friendly Classrooms.
Rebecca is a graduate of Grove City College and Penn State University. She holds a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum design and development, with an emphasis on special-needs children.
*Disclosure: This contributor received a complimentary copy of this book for review. No other compensation has been provided. All opinions are her own.
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