Although inclusive classroom education has come a long way in recent years, many families with a child with autism or Asperger Syndrome often feel shut out from involvement in the community. Lisa Jo Rudy's new book "Get Out, Explore and Have Fun" provides a rich and varied menu of suggestions for how families can take full part in community life and support the strengths and interests of their child at the same time.
Rudy notes that informal learning experiences can be the key to self-discovery, communication, self-confidence, and even independence for many children on the autism spectrum. She argues that only outside the four walls of school can a child truly discover their own passions, abilities, and social peers. "Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun" is a guide to what's out there, how to find it, and how to make it work for families.
The book includes hints and tips for involving families (and family members) in the right community activities, including sports, science, faith communities, performing arts and other interests. Information on museums, arts organizations and science institutions as venues for an enjoyable and enriching day out for the family are also presented. What parents will also find extremely helpful are the resources and ideas for helping a child on the spectrum build on their strengths, interests, and preferred learning styles to explore life in the community.
Handouts that suggest ways in which organizations and institutions can successfully include young people with autism in their activities are also included. This book will open the door to community inclusion, creative exploration, and social learning.
About the author: Lisa Jo Rudy had been a professional education writer for more than twelve years when her son was diagnosed with a form of autism. In 2006, she became the About.com Guide to Autism - a medically-reviewed New York Times Company website.