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Communicate with Your Child

By James D. Macdonald
& Barbara Mitchell

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Reviewer: Allison Martin

Communicate With Your Child provides guidance for parents raising children with special needs who have language delays or difficulty communicating. Dr. MacDonald has conducted over 25 years of clinical research at the Ohio State University with more than 600 children with developmental delays and 100 typically developing children. His practical guidance is distilled from broad based clinical experience in a format that is easy to read and implement in your own life. Barbara Mitchell and Dr. MacDonald supplement this guidance with engrossing descriptions of how to apply these principles with children who have a variety of disabilities - including autism, downs syndrome, and behavior disorders.

Understanding and improving your way of interacting with your child is key to this book. While he does recommend changes in your behavior as well as your child's, the text is sympathetic and encouraging - a welcome respite from many other parenting books. He encourages you to start from where your child is, to expand their functioning in speech, communication and behavior. The book is organized into 15 chapters, each representing a major issue of effective social and communicative relationships, i.e., nonverbal communication, language, conversation and so on. Examples of topics include: From Isolation to Conversation: A Five Year Journey, Leaning to Communicate with Books, and Having Conversations with Children Learning to Talk. Communicate With Your Child is useful for parents of children of any age from infant to teenager, who needs help developing their language skills.

Example paragraph from the book:

"Most of us learned how to take turns quickly as babies. We played with people exchanging funny faces and sounds; we waved "bye-bye" and played "peek-a-boo." Turntaking soon became a lifelong habit for us. But for some children this can be difficult and discouraging, especially if adults take most of the turns. One of the hardest things for adults to do is wait for slower children to respond on their turn, but we and many parents have found that waiting is one of the most important ways to help children communicate."

To order and read more about Dr. MacDonald visit autism book reviews.

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