How Tactile Books Can Support Children on the Autism Spectrum
This week is World Autism Awareness Week - the perfect opportunity to share how our tactile books have benefited one family with a child on the autism spectrum.
A number of months ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Kerr and his family. Kerr is in a special assistance nursery which use visuals with him all the time. We sent the family a selection of our free tactile books available to families with children with additional support needs. Here is Kerr's mum explaining the impact that the books have had on their day-to-day life:
"Kerr is a 3 year old autistic boy. He has very little or no understanding of language so simple tasks can easily become complex. I’ve discovered that visuals help Kerr massively so in turn these books are fantastic. Getting Ready is great. Just using this book has had such an effect on Kerr and he will comfortably get ready now. Transition or change in any way is hard for Kerr but with this aid it makes it much less stressful.
He can even tell me now things like “coat off” “socks on”. This is huge for us and has benefited in simple ways of when he’s too hot or uncomfortable. Things we would take for granted but he can’t communicate.
As I’ve said previously, Kerr struggles with transition or changing tasks. This is usually down to uncertainty. Visuals are my support. Having the book shows him and in turn relieves the stress he feels of the unknown."
In addition to our tactile books, we have a number of book lists on our website that autistic children may enjoy. The books you choose to share will depend on a child's individual needs and interests; simple books with very bright, clear pictures may work best for some children, while sensory books with lots of different textures may be the best choice for others. The most important thing is to make sure that everyone has fun reading together!
We also have symbolised resources to accompany the books in the Bookbug Explorer bags thanks to our collaboration with Call Scotland. Using these symbolised sheets can help children on the autistic spectrum participate in the stories as well as discuss them afterwards. You can watch these valuable resources being put to great use in a support needs setting here.
You can request our tactile books from your local Bookbug Co-ordinator. Have a listen to the audio versions of Off to the Park, Off to the Beach, and Getting Ready with your children and watch families sharing some of our tactile books on our Bookbug Bag video page.