Beyond Words: the Successful Inclusion of a Child with Autism
by Mary Donnet Johnson and Sherry Henshaw Corden, with commentary and suggestions by Dr. William Allen, is a thought-provoking, delightful, and inspiring read. Everyone from professionals who teach children with autism to parents, relatives, family friends, and neighbors of children affected by autism can appreciate the insight and candor with which the story of one miraculous year in a little boy's life is told. Often touching, sometimes surprising, and endlessly reassuring, the book is 139 pages long with a wealth of photographs and illustrations. It is a fast read presented in dialogue format with additional quotes from the child's peers, teachers, therapists, case manager, principal, and even the school custodian. Of special interest to professionals is a list of helpful resources and an Appendix chock full of tools and techniques for enabling a child with autism to become a full and vital part of any regular education classroom.
Sunday School teachers will find Beyond Words especially helpful as they endeavor to include a child with autism into Sunday School classes and other church activities. A must-read for any parent volunteer in the church or school system who is working with a class that includes a child with autism.
- At the beginning of the book Pace was nearly nonverbal, withdrawn, and would sometimes act aggressively to others when scared frustrated or angry. Did he belong in a classroom of regular children?
- Who was Pace's most ardent supporter?
- Why did the kindergarten teacher crave the challenge of educating Pace?
- If your child was typically developing and was put in a class with Pace how would you feel?
- Did the reaction of the other children surprise you? What about the reactions of their parents?
- How much did you think dealing with Pace was part of the job description of a public school teacher and how much was not?
- What strategies to keep Pace an active participant of the class seem to work best and why?
- What did you think of the failures? Would you have anticipated them or been as surprised as the people in this situation were?
- What affected you the most about this story?
- What can our school systems do to better serve children with challenges while at the same time protecting the educational experience of children who don't have disabilities?
- Who were the real heroes in this situation?
- If you had a child like Pace, what would be the hardest thing for you to bear?
- Do you know anyone like Pace or his family?
- After reading the book, do you feel differently about including children with autism into regular school classrooms?
For more information on upcoming workshops and presentations please contact:
Merry Pace Press
P.O. Box 10204
Knoxville, TN 37939