Point to Happy-a Book for Kids on the Austim Spectrum Review
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Point to Happy
A Book for Kids on the Autism Spectrum
by Miriam Smith and Afton Fraser
Point to Happy, the first book of its kind is geared towards autistic children and those that are on the autism spectrum. If you have ever met a child that is autistic (or on the spectrum) you know that communication and expression of feelings does not come naturally for them! In fact sometimes it is even nonexistent. Point to Happy helps children with these difficulties to bridge the communication gap and help convey their feelings with the simpleness of a pointer.
The book offers simple clear pictures that are uncluttered for a child on the spectrum to easily identify with. As the parent or adult reads the book the child can then point to the photographs with the brightly colored pointer. For a child who cannot communicate, or one who has low motor skills, using this pointer can be not only a wonderful developmental tool but also a vocal barrier in communicating.
The pictures shown below are 4 simple photos on one page. On the page next to it it simply says “Kids have feelings.” and then asks the child to point to a particular feeling. Sleepy. Angry. Hurt. Itchy. This may seem simple, but to a child who has problems understanding facial expressions and social cues- these simple instructions might be very difficult. When we first got to this page, I asked my son “Dakoda- do you have feelings?” And he said “No.” I was then able to talk him through the page and explain to him what feelings are, and then ask him if he ever felt sleepy, angry, hurt or itchy.
Feelings, objects, motions, and colors are all covered in this simplistic book geared for autistic children. Having a son on the spectrum I was very eager to check this book out. He loves books anyways, and doesn’t have problems communicating verbally, but he does have problems understanding social cues and facial expressions. He loved being able to fidget with the pointer and figuring out which pictures matched which feelings. Some of the pictures were simple for him such as the colors and objects, but he had to think twice with the facial expressions and feelings.
The idea of the pointer can certainly be used with any book. But the simplicity of the pictures and uncluttered pages are definitely a huge plus (or necessity!) with children on the spectrum. I recommend Point to Happy if you have or work with an autistic child. It is a great book which covers a wide variety of areas in a simplistic way. It covers not only feelings, but objects, actions, body parts, morning and bedtime routines, as well as a page for you to paste your own pictures and point to your own familiar pictures! This would be a great place to have your child pretend to be silly, mad, sad, etc. and then paste the pictures in the book so they can see their expressions. If they do not know how have a parent or friend make the faces and take a picture!
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this review. I received a book to read. All opinions are mine.