Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Understanding Sam and Asperger Syndrome

Guest Post
by Liezl Venter MA CCC
Speech Language Pathologist
Co-author of new children’s book

Sam is not my son but as a speech pathologist I definitely work with a lot of “Sams” and thought that their story was important to tell as school can be extra tough for kids who have Aspergers or who are diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Understanding Sam was specifically written for little ones and can be used by teachers or counselors as a resource with mainstream students to help children understand their little friend with ASD or Aspergers and for them to also practice being a good friend.
We hear a lot about bullying in general but what about kids with Autism who already have significant difficulty with social skills and who generally have a much more difficult time negotiating their way out of being bullied at school? Let’s talk about it and educate kids about Autism. I co-authored the book with Clarabelle van Niekerk (my Mom) who also works with children with Autism and fully integrates the arts (painting, music, dance and theater) in her workshops to improve social skills and the use of language. I think she captured Sam beautifully as she also did the illustrations. We hope our book will resonate with parents and little ones:-)
Thank you for this wonderful site Tahirih!


Katie said...

Hi, as a mother of an Aspergers child, I am very interested to get copies of your book, especially because I am trying to enrol him into a mainstream preschool.I assume you are South African as I am,please advise as to how I can get in touch with you. I live in Durban.

Anonymous said...

Hi Katie, Thanks so much for your interest in Understanding Sam. This would be a very helpful resource especially if your child is going to mainstream. Clarabelle and I are both South African but no longer live in SA. However, I know of a parent who recently bought the book in SA, try amazon or your local bookstore. If you don't have any luck in Durban let me know on this blog and I will find a way to get you a copy. Liezl

Anonymous said...

Pardon me if this sounds insensitive or whatever (I am on the autism spectrum) Katie couldn't you have figured out a way to get in touch with her by yourself?