Social interaction

Incorporating Social Goals in the Classroom. By Rebecca A Moyes. Jessica Kingsley pound;14.95.

This book is written for teachers and parents of children with high-functioning autism and Asperger's syndrome. The author is American, a former teacher and the parent of a young child with autism. It is clearly structured and of interest to both teachers and parents, although parts are more relevant to education in the United States.

There is no reason why a book that seeks to be largely practical should be strong on theory, but the opening chapter could be quite confusing to readers who are not familiar with autistic spectrum disorders. The author states that the terms "Asperger's syndrome" and "high-functioning autism" are not synonymous (she claims that children with Asperger's syndrome have no significant delay in language development), and then goes on to say that the terms will be used interchangeably.

However, the book is full of short examples of autistic behaviour, which help to increase the reader's understanding of the autistic condition, and there is an informative chapter on the sensory and perceptual problems which children with autism can encounter.

Although some of the lesson plans assume a higher level of linguistic competence than pupils even at the more able end of the autistic spectrum may possess, there are plenty of ideas and practical activities for parents and teachers to use to help children who need to be taught some of the social skills that non-autistic children pick up for themselves.

Rona Tutt

Rona Tutt is head of Woolgrove special school, Letchworth,Hertfordshire

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