Reviewer: Nelda S Richards, Ph.D., CCC-SLP(George Washington University)
Description: This book describes the linguistic elements of humor and identifies populations who may have difficulty understanding and using humor. It notes that students and clients can be taught to identify and use these elements to appreciate and use humor in social situations. It provides an assessment instrument to plan lessons. It provides a variety of activities to teach an appreciation of different kinds of jokes and linguistic humor.
Purpose: The book's purpose is to help "facilitators" (teachers and clinicians) assess students' or patients' abilities to understand and use humor. This is an important goal as individuals with linguistic disorders are often socially isolated due to their inability to understand humor. Humor is critical to integration into social situations and is important to an individual's comfort and self-esteem. This book is a comprehensive guide to teaching this skill.
Audience: This book is written primarily for speech-language clinicians and special educators. The book is based on sound theory and practice. The author cites current and important research.
Features: This book provides a method to analyze the client's understanding of humor. It then provides structured steps to facilitate understanding of the different elements of humor used in each joke. It then proceeds to a greater level of difficulty where more than one element of humor is used and jokes are presented with a variety of elements. The book contains many ideas for activities to facilitate humor use. It contains many great examples of jokes and humor. It also provides a game to be used in group or individual treatment sessions.
Assessment: This is an excellent resource for anyone who works with school age children or adults with cognitive or pragmatic deficits. Not only does it assist in teaching social skills, vocabulary, morphology, and semantic skills. It is highly motivating to all. I feel that it should be in the library of all speech-language pathologists, special educators, and clinical psychologists. I laughed the whole way through this book and I learned a lot, too!