Teaching Games to Children with Autism

On a plane ride home from an ABA conference, I read a book entitled: What You Need to Know About Motivation and Teaching Games by Steven Ward, MA, BCBA. I literally started recommending the book right away to Andy Bondy and Lori Frost who happened to be sitting next to me on the plane!

In the six months after, I recommended this book to many Behavior Analysts and parents as I have found it to be a very useful guide to help effectively teach children with autism to play games. The step-by-step breakdown of how to teach 12 common games such as “Go Fish” and “Memory” is excellent and the data sheets provided are superb!

When I returned home eager to teach Lucas how to play “Go Fish,” his therapist stated that he already could play the game. So I copied the blank “Go Fish” data form from Steve’s book and asked her to play the game with Lucas. In the past when I’ve watched Lucas play games I knew it didn’t look good but, by taking data using the data sheet provided, I was able to easily count errors and prompts. I was also able to quantify a lack of motivation. I was even able to immediately identify the trouble spots in the game such as Lucas’ inability to hold seven cards in his hand and fan them out so he could actually see what cards were in his hand. Using the book, Lucas can now play “Go Fish” with a few modifications. His motivation to play this and other games improved too.

I highly recommend this book to parents and professionals interested in helping children with autism or related disorders learn to play and, most importantly, enjoy games! For more information about What You Need to Know About Motivation and Teaching Games by Steven Ward, MA, BCBA go to: http://www.wholechildconsulting.com/.