Table of Contents
   Introductionp. 13
   Why is Playing So Important?p. 17
      Why is play so difficult for children with autism?p. 18
      So what do we actually mean by play?p. 19
      Using this bookp. 20
   Early Playing Skills: Gaining Attention and Sharing Spacep. 21
      What does 'sharing space' mean?p. 21
      The drive to avoidp. 21
      Communicationp. 22
      Ideas to tryp. 24
      Moving onp. 27
      Individual example: Andrewp. 28
      What is Intensive Interaction?p. 31
   Structured Playp. 33
      Why do children on the autism spectrum need structure?p. 33
      What does 'structuring play' actually mean and how does it work?p. 34
      Creating play opportunity - setting the stagep. 36
      Breaking play down into tasksp. 37
      Applied behavioural analysis (ABA)p. 40
      Structuring early learningp. 41
      Individual example: Samp. 43
      Structuring the day - creating a visual diaryp. 44
      Introducing choice and flexibilityp. 46
   Your Computer as a Valuable Resourcep. 47
      Free picture communication aidsp. 48
      Websites to explore emotionsp. 49
      Website for schedules/calendars/tokensp. 50
      Websites for worksheets and craft activitiesp. 50
      Websites for interactive gamesp. 51
      Using interactive computer games with your childp. 52
      Adaptive hardwarep. 55
      Visual prompts for computer usep. 59
      Electronic booksp. 60
      Using digital photography to make activitiesp. 61
      Using digital photography to assist understanding and choice makingp. 63
   Toys, Toys, Toysp. 67
      Help - my child won't play with his toys!p. 67
      Reassessing existing toys: back to basicsp. 69
      Being organizedp. 71
      Picture prompts for playingp. 71
      Getting started: ideasp. 72
      Individual example: Sallyp. 75
      Sources of toysp. 77
      What to look for in appropriate toysp. 77
      Separating toys into challengers and reinforcersp. 78
      Modifying existing toys to remove stressp. 80
      The importance of realismp. 80
      Specific useful toysp. 82
      Birthdays and Christmasp. 83
   Table-Top Games and Puzzlesp. 85
      What is a puzzle?p. 85
      Getting startedp. 87
      Shapesp. 89
      Introducing fun into table-top playp. 91
      Coloursp. 92
      Matching gamesp. 94
      Posting gamesp. 96
      Simple jigsawsp. 98
      Bricksp. 99
      Threadingp. 100
      Categoriesp. 101
      Memory gamesp. 102
   Musicp. 105
      Saviour and enemyp. 105
      Ideas to try at homep. 108
      Introducing new soundp. 108
      Listening and playing to music togetherp. 109
      Relaxationp. 110
      Scripts to rhythm - encouraging speech through songp. 111
      How does this work in practice? - ideasp. 112
      Singing spontaneous commentariesp. 115
      Making your own musicp. 117
      Using your music boxp. 118
      Reducing background noise in the homep. 123
      Auditory Integration Trainingp. 124
   Turn-Taking in Playp. 125
      Theory of mind and social developmentp. 125
      Why is turn-taking difficult for children on the autism spectrum?p. 126
      Awareness of others: practical activities to helpp. 127
      Awareness of others' thoughts: practical activities to helpp. 129
      Small beginnings: turn-taking with an adultp. 132
      Turn-taking with peers and siblingsp. 136
      Aids to help turn-takingp. 137
      Turn-taking in everyday lifep. 138
   Physical Games and Activitiesp. 141
      Sensory integration problemsp. 141
      Getting startedp. 145
      Ball gamesp. 146
      Small ball playp. 147
      Large hoopp. 149
      Indoor ball pitp. 150
      Large boxesp. 152
      Making a tactile boxp. 152
      Imaginative uses for boxesp. 153
      Human Jack-in-the-boxp. 154
      Puppet theatrep. 154
      Trampolinep. 155
      Indoor slide and balance beamp. 155
      Cushionsp. 156
      Skittlesp. 157
      Other useful physical play toysp. 157
   Outdoor Playp. 161
      Problems and solutionsp. 161
      Safetyp. 162
      The benefits of outdoor playp. 163
      The need for structurep. 164
      Getting started: games and activitiesp. 165
      Pavement chalkingp. 165
      Throwing balls at targetsp. 166
      Sand playp. 167
      Messy artp. 168
      Balance and coordination gamesp. 170
      Balance beamsp. 171
      Outdoor adult role-playp. 171
      Picnicsp. 172
      Big outdoor play equipmentp. 174
      Tunnels, play tents and cubesp. 178
      Outdoor play in winter weatherp. 180
   Water Playp. 183
      Autism and waterp. 183
      Problems and solutionsp. 183
      Individual example: Katherinep. 185
      Enjoying water play indoorsp. 186
      Bath-time playp. 187
      Table-top water playp. 189
      Outdoor water playp. 191
      Swimmingp. 192
   Television Potentialp. 195
      Television - why?p. 195
      Common problems and possible solutionsp. 196
      Many uses for the camcorderp. 200
      Video modellingp. 202
   Being Creative: Art and Craftp. 205
      Why art?p. 205
      The obstacles between art and your childp. 206
      Gaining attention by being indirectp. 206
      Getting startedp. 207
      Art ideasp. 211
      Scissors and gluep. 214
      Craftp. 216
   Creating Imaginative Play Sequencesp. 221
      What type of toys?p. 222
      Simplicityp. 223
      Realismp. 223
      Familiarityp. 224
      The right environmentp. 225
      Getting startedp. 226
      Building scriptsp. 227
      Individual example: Jonathanp. 228
      Moving onp. 231
      In summaryp. 231
      More suggestions for play sequences using 'scripts'p. 233
      I can't draw!p. 233
      Problemsp. 234
      This seems like so much effort!p. 235
   Introducing Books and Readingp. 237
      The problemsp. 237
      Starting out: looking at books togetherp. 238
      Individual example: Peterp. 239
      Individual example: Fayp. 240
      Ideasp. 241
      Moving on: reading for meaningp. 242
      Problems with reading for meaningp. 243
      Story sequences and consequencesp. 248
      Goalsp. 249
      Observation, timing and preparationp. 250
      Specific books to tryp. 251
      Popular charactersp. 256
      CD/book packagesp. 257
      Early literacyp. 258
      Word recognitionp. 259
      Individual example: Lewisp. 261
      Activities to develop language understandingp. 262
      Books written especially for children with autismp. 265
      Finallyp. 265
   Problems, Frustration and Tantrums: Making Play Enjoyablep. 267
      Deal with your own frustration first!p. 267
      Reducing stress whilst you playp. 269
      Flexible parenting for rigid childrenp. 273
      Reassessing play skills: the need for goalsp. 276
      Enjoy your childp. 276
   Resources
      Bibliographyp. 279
      Therapeutic Options/Organizationsp. 281
      Recommended Readingp. 285
      Websites for Articles Written by Adults with Autismp. 287
      Toys and Suppliersp. 289
      Picture Prompts to Copy and Usep. 295
      Indexp. 299