Early Intervention Games: Fun, Joyful Ways to Develop Social and Motor Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorders

Spirit Games

Children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), like all children, are uniquely themselves, with their own preferences, needs, and sensitivities. They don’t need to be “fixed.” Recent research suggests that what we need to do instead is play with them and help them find the joy in interacting with others.

Early Intervention Games is another superlative resource from the ever-popular Barbara “The Games Lady” Sher, packed with games to enhance and increase social, motor, and sensory skills in young children with ASDs or SPDs. Kids of all abilities will

The games adapt easily to a classroom with children of diverse capabilities, and are just as fun at home with a parent, friends and siblings. “Water babies” will especially love splashin’ good times with the aquatic therapy games, some of which can also be adapted for landlubbers.

All the games are easy for adults to explain and for children to follow, utilizing inexpensive common materials for uncommon fun and learning!

Science has proven that play profoundly affects the biological process that shapes and enlarges the brain. But from the children's view, it just feels good to have fun. Oh, you too? Sink the Boat, Leap the Shoes, Ride the Horse Noodle and RurRurRurRurRUN your way to the joyful interaction with the children in your life that you'll discover in Early Intervention Games.

Read an excerpt here


Review by Lorna d’Entremont

Praise for Early Intervention Games:

“Every parenting publication now has articles on the importance of play for all children. Early Intervention Games came out in 2006 but it doesn’t mean it’s over the hill. It just means that Ms. Sher was an avant-garde and had reached the hill top before many others. This book is an excellent resource that I highly recommend. These games will be just as useful years from now as they are today.”

~Lorna d’Entremont, Special Need Book Review

Read the full review here

“Barbara Sher clearly explains what sensory issues are in language that is easy to understand and provides exercises that professionals and parents can organize with minimal preparation or expense. This is a wonderful resource for professionals and families looking for ways to have fun with our sensory kids while simultaneously building all-important social, motor, sensory, and self-advocacy skills that will last a lifetime.”

~ Zosia Zaks, M.S., M.Ed., CRC; author, Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults

“Barbara Sher has done it again! Early Intervention Games is a gem! Understanding of ASD and SPD is enhanced through easy to read definitions, goals and learning strategies. We all have a universal need to be a part of a community and Barbara shares how we can support successful socialization in our children with tried and true strategies from many disciplines.”

~ Paula Aquilla, author, Sensory Bridges through Learning

“I am always in search of fun activities that encourage the multi-sensory piece and allow children to learn through play. Now is the critical time to develop the roots to success and play is the only way to create that for our children. I can’t thank Barbara enough for her great book!”

~ Lori Fankhanel, founder and president, Sensory Processing Disorder Canada

This book is a great resource for professionals who work with you children identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorder. The author describes her orientation to working with children without focusing on the "disorders". I read the book as a former children's developmental intervention program coordinator and social worker. Ms. Sher's approach shares social work values of a strengths perspective and person-in-environment approach. She looks at the children's strengths and interests and engages children in their peer environment. I re-read the book from the point of view of a former pre-school teacher, parent and current grandparent. I have highlighted activities for purposeful fun and skill development with my two developmentally normal preschool-aged grandchildren.

The first two chapters should be required reading for any professionals who work young children with an exceptionality diagnosis. Also, parents of a diagnosed child would find comfort and good philosophical modeling by identifying with the author's understanding and insights into the child's perceptual world.-- Douglas Wells (Coeur d'Alene, Id. )

A TREASURE TROVE OF IDEAS FOR PARENTS, CAREGIVERS, THERAPISTS AND EDUCATORS; FOR EARLY INTERVENTION AND BEYOND This book covers both ASDs and Sensory Disorders, with a good section explaining how these affect children, which can be very helpful in demystifying the behaviors of children with these issues (especially important for parents like myself, who are new to this subject, with kids who are newly diagnosed or just getting diagnosed!); and this section is followed by a wealth of suggestions for activities to help kids who are affected by these issues reach their potential -- not only in overcoming these specific issues, but also in gaining social skills.

Included with the activities are suggestions for ways to modify them for single children or groups, or for children with specific preferences or quirks; and reading through this book will no doubt serve to inspire ideas for many other activities or modifications as well.

I would also like to note that, in my opinion, the title of this book does not do it justice, because "Early Intervention" implies (to me, at least) that the activities here are only for children under the age of 3-4; which is definitely not the case. Using the ideas presented here in group situations, many of these activities could continue to be enjoyable for several years beyond that age range, as a means of helping kids (particularly those with ASDs) gain or improve turn-taking, sharing and other social skills.

Praise for Early Intervention Games:

It is my opinion that parents, caregivers, therapists and educators can ALL benefit from this book, whether they are new to this area of study, or have years of experience; and it would be a valuable addition to any of their bookshelves, one that is sure to remain handy for years to come.-- C. Cross (Panama City, FL, USA)

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Early Intervention Games


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