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Archive for November, 2007

Today, something really rather good and…….. free! Having been in the autism world for getting on or 6 years I’m always stunned to find something free. And even better, this is excellent too.

Written by Portia Iversen, the author of the Strange Son book and founder of the Strange Son website it is a 73 page manual that aims to teach you how to get your non-verbal child pointing and communicating. It’s very clearly written, with lots of clear photographs. It’s a fantastic teaching tool in itself and used in conjunction with the website (where you can view videos of others using the method and take part in a forum dedicated to the method) it’s more than enough to provide confidence and lots of material to get started and hopefully up and running with the technique.

 To get your manual you just need to register with the Strange Son website (again free of charge), and then, there it is – yours to download. Very highly recommended, and very exciting, especially if you have a non-verbal child.

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dreamstime_23176I first came across the idea of people with non-verbal autism being able to type to communicate a few years ago when I was given a copy of Lucy Blackman’s autobiography Lucy’s Story. This book was an absolute revelation for me. For the first time I was reading about someone who was very, very like Archie. I recently followed this up by reading Douglas Biklen’s Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone and was similarly moved.

 Now Archie has the attentional skills and ability and interest to learn I’ve been exploring this idea of teaching him to read and write or type more. Each of these resources really needs a full explanation but must-see websites include Halo, Strange Son and Dr Marion Blank’s information page about her literacy programme for children with autism (including those who are non-verbal).

We’ve been playing around at home with letterboards and literacy, and Archie has surprised us with what he already knows. Although there’s a long way to go I feel hopeful that this might be a method that really works for him.

 Photograph: “Magnetic Letters” © Photographer: Webking | Agency: Dreamstime.com

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