Helping Children with Autism Become More Social: 76 Ways to Use Narrative Play

Helping Children with Autism Become More Social: 76 Ways to Use Narrative Play

by Ann E. Densmore
     
 

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Autism has been identified as the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, where nearly 2 million people are affected. One of the most frustrating aspects of autism and similar disorders is that affected children affected do not interact with others and often seem unaware of the people and the environment around them. Therapist Densmore

Overview

Autism has been identified as the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, where nearly 2 million people are affected. One of the most frustrating aspects of autism and similar disorders is that affected children affected do not interact with others and often seem unaware of the people and the environment around them. Therapist Densmore takes us with her as she works in a remarkable program she has developed to lead such children into the social world. Allowing readers to look over her shoulder during sessions, Densmore explains Narrative Play, her approach to inspiring social contact. The work includes interviews with parents of children with autism and will be of wide interest to professionals, teachers, parents, and family members who can use the approach to help a child move into the social world. The book, and the theory it promulgates, will also interest students of psychology, special education, pediatrics, neurology, and speech.Autism has now reached epidemic proportions. It has been identified as the fastest growing, serious developmental disability in the United States, where nearly 2 million people are affected. For parents, therapists, and teachers, one of the most frustrating aspects of autism and similar disorders is that children affected are not social. They do not interact with others—even parents and siblings—and often seem unaware of the people and environment around them. In this work, therapist Ann E. Densmore takes us with her as she works with children with autism in a remarkable program she has developed to lead such children into the social world. They travel to farms, ponds, playgrounds, and other natural settings where they interact with peers and siblings, and with the novel therapist whose play therapy has brought remarkable results for many children.Using a conversational style that allows readers to look over her shoulder during sessions, Densmore explains her approach to inspiring social contact, Narrative Play. A child moves through four stages in this approach, finally combining language, play and narrative skills to interact with others. The work includes interviews with parents of children with autism, and will be of wide interest to professionals, teachers, parents, and family members who can use this approach to help a child move into the social world. This work, and the theory it promulgates will also interest students of psychology, special education, pediatrics, neurology, and speech.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Individuals with developmental disabilities are finally starting to receive the public and professional attention they need and deserve. And new and better therapies are being devised that address one of their biggest deficits--social skills. Densmore adds her approach, outlining a play-therapy technique she has developed over 30 years of practice. This technique joins a growing body of related therapies, including Stanley Greenspan's trademarked Floortime; Barry Prizant's social communication, emotional regulation, and transactional support model (SCERTS); Steven Gutstein's Relationship Developmental Intervention; and Carol Gray's Social Stories (also trademarked). Densmore contrasts her model with structured, research-based models (e.g., applied behavioral analysis), arguing that one size does not fit all children and that these methods can sometimes work together or sequentially. This book reads like an annotated diary into the arduous and lengthy process of trying to expand and elaborate on individuals' ability to relate to others…. Recommended. Professionals and professionals in training." - Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780275997038
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/30/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
687 KB

What People are saying about this

Elaine M. Gabovitch

"Dr. Ann Densmore has captured her narrative play therapy intervention in careful and loving detail-a true legacy for parents, teachers and therapists, but mostly for the children who have so inspired her. This is a work of both the mind and heart. Although Dr. Densmore paints a visual picture to give a sense of place and technique through her artful narrative descriptions, she never lets the reader forget that her approach is grounded in real life with real children. She provides the history and theory behind narrative play therapy, walks readers through the strategies that make up each phase of proficiency, and shares vivid stories that demonstrate how she has used narrative play therapy in practice to benefit many children and families over many years, so that many more may continue to benefit in the future."

Judy Reiner Platt

"Ann Densmore is the best. Her enthusiasm, hard work, and caring manner is evident throughout her writings and presentations. I highly recommend her book as well as recommend that if you have a school or agency that works with special needs children….get her to address your group NOW!"

Judy Reiner Platt, Ed.D., Director, Continuing Education, Harvard Medical School /Cambridge Health Alliance

Bruce Hauptman

"Ann Densmore has created an intelligent, articulate work about the elements of play therapy as they pertain to autistic children. In fact, this work is much more. It updates Virginia Axline's classic book on play therapy to encompass the broader therapeutic field of work with children, and include ideas about speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, family and sibling work, all to focus on an intensive psychotherapeutic play therapy approach in work with the most challenging children in our caseload: helping children with a range of autistic spectrum disorders beat the odds. Ann's how to approach will give many psychotherapists tools to help these challenging children in a way that few others have written about. This is an important book."

Karen Levine

"This book reflects a set of user friendly step by step strategies and rich examples, for helping children on the autism spectrum develop increased communication skills with adults and peers. The principal of using natural contexts, such as playgrounds, farms, and backyards, and incorporation of siblings and peers, clearly maximizes generalization, and encourages professionals to think outside of the office. While the strategies are explained in a clear, easy to follow style, that is accessible to parents and therapists alike, they are built on an elegant, sophisticated, seamless integration of emotional, social, communication and play development, encompassing the whole child."

Karen Levine, Ph.D., Psychologist, Instructor, Harvard Medical School, Clinical Director, Autism and Developmental Disabilities Program

Jerome Kagan

"Unfortunately, a diagnosis of autism is given to children with very different causes of their symptoms; hence, this word does not represent one disease. This book will be welcomed by those parents of children called autistic who can be helped in a major way by the wise, compassionate therapeutic practices Ann Densmore clearly describes."

Jerome Kagan, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Harvard University

Jerome Kagan

"Unfortunately, a diagnosis of autism is given to children with very different causes of their symptoms; hence, this word does not represent one disease. This book will be welcomed by those parents of children called autistic who can be helped in a major way by the wise, compassionate therapeutic practices Ann Densmore clearly describes."
Judy Reiner Platt

"Ann Densmore is the best. Her enthusiasm, hard work, and caring manner is evident throughout her writings and presentations. I highly recommend her book as well as recommend that if you have a school or agency that works with special needs children….get her to address your group NOW!"

Debra Shapiro

"Ann Densmore has written a sympathetic and practical guide to nurturing communication skills of autistic children. Her step by step instructions for using children's own interests as a basis for therapeutic intervention are creative and accessible. Densmore offers parents not only tools for helping their children learn and but also hope for keeping themselves going forward."

Debra Shapiro, Senior Producer, CHRONICLE, WCVB-TV, Boston

Bruce Hauptman

"Ann Densmore has created an intelligent, articulate work about the elements of play therapy as they pertain to autistic children. In fact, this work is much more. It updates Virginia Axline's classic book on play therapy to encompass the broader therapeutic field of work with children, and include ideas about speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, family and sibling work, all to focus on an intensive psychotherapeutic play therapy approach in work with the most challenging children in our caseload: helping children with a range of autistic spectrum disorders beat the odds. Ann's how to approach will give many psychotherapists tools to help these challenging children in a way that few others have written about. This is an important book."

Bruce Hauptman, M.D., Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Community Therapeutic Day School, Massachusetts

Janice Ware

"I have just finished reading Ann Densmore's new book Helping Children with Autism Become More Social. It is superb and is the first book I have seen since the publication of Cathy Lord's 2001 book Educating Children with Autism that is a must read for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Beautifully written case-based material, with many practical ways to use narrative play to foster language development. Excellent appendices with recommendations for managing recess, sibling play, and more. This is great parent reading as well."

Janice Ware, Ph.D., Associate Director, Developmental Medicine Center Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.

Elaine M. Gabovitch

"Dr. Ann Densmore has captured her narrative play therapy intervention in careful and loving detail-a true legacy for parents, teachers and therapists, but mostly for the children who have so inspired her. This is a work of both the mind and heart. Although Dr. Densmore paints a visual picture to give a sense of place and technique through her artful narrative descriptions, she never lets the reader forget that her approach is grounded in real life with real children. She provides the history and theory behind narrative play therapy, walks readers through the strategies that make up each phase of proficiency, and shares vivid stories that demonstrate how she has used narrative play therapy in practice to benefit many children and families over many years, so that many more may continue to benefit in the future."

Elaine M. Gabovitch, Disability & Family Policy Consultant, University of Massachusetts Medical School/E. K. Shriver University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD)

Debra Shapiro

"Ann Densmore has written a sympathetic and practical guide to nurturing communication skills of autistic children. Her step by step instructions for using children's own interests as a basis for therapeutic intervention are creative and accessible. Densmore offers parents not only tools for helping their children learn and but also hope for keeping themselves going forward."
Suzanne Wright

"Ann Densmore has some great new ideas for taking therapy out of the therapy room and bringing it into the real world. Families of children with autism or Asperger's interested in a play based therapy approach will find this book full of innovative strategies for working with their kids in more natural environments."

Suzanne Wright

"Ann Densmore has some great new ideas for taking therapy out of the therapy room and bringing it into the real world. Families of children with autism or Asperger's interested in a play based therapy approach will find this book full of innovative strategies for working with their kids in more natural environments."

Suzanne Wright, Co-founder, Autism Speaks

Lori Davis

"As a veteran teacher who has spent limited time with children on the spectrum, I was really impressed with the way Ms. Densmore demystified some of the language and techniques. Her strategies are matter-of-fact and easy to use and have benefits for many, many young children, not just those with an autism diagnosis. I was also really moved by the case studies--some are truly tear jerkers. I commend Ms. Densmore on her work!"

Lori Davis

"As a veteran teacher who has spent limited time with children on the spectrum, I was really impressed with the way Ms. Densmore demystified some of the language and techniques. Her strategies are matter-of-fact and easy to use and have benefits for many, many young children, not just those with an autism diagnosis. I was also really moved by the case studies--some are truly tear jerkers. I commend Ms. Densmore on her work!"

Lori Davis, Lead Teacher, Morning PS/Pre-K and Faculty Advisor The Tobin School, Natick, MA

Karen Levine

"This book reflects a set of user friendly step by step strategies and rich examples, for helping children on the autism spectrum develop increased communication skills with adults and peers. The principal of using natural contexts, such as playgrounds, farms, and backyards, and incorporation of siblings and peers, clearly maximizes generalization, and encourages professionals to think outside of the office. While the strategies are explained in a clear, easy to follow style, that is accessible to parents and therapists alike, they are built on an elegant, sophisticated, seamless integration of emotional, social, communication and play development, encompassing the whole child."
Janice Ware

"I have just finished reading Ann Densmore's new book Helping Children with Autism Become More Social. It is superb and is the first book I have seen since the publication of Cathy Lord's 2001 book Educating Children with Autism that is a must read for working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Beautifully written case-based material, with many practical ways to use narrative play to foster language development. Excellent appendices with recommendations for managing recess, sibling play, and more. This is great parent reading as well."

Meet the Author

Ann E. Densmore has been a Speech and Language Consultant at private and public schools for more than 30 years. She has also served as a consultant internationally, helping children with autism, and has taught graduate seminars for professionals and students at Harvard Medical School, and the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Densmore holds an Ed.D in Education with a specialization in child discourse from Clark University. She is board-certified in speech and language pathology and audiology.

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