Thursday, July 15, 2010

The New Language of Toys: Teaching Communication Skills to Children with Special Needs by Sue Schwartz

This is a really good book for parents who are just unsure of what kinds of toys may be appropriate for their child with special needs between the ages of birth and six years. Although Dr. Schwartz doesn't go into a lot of specific diagnosis, she does offer suggestions on toys that would be appropriate for children at different developmental levels and provides a solid rationale for why a certain toy may help to develop a specific skill. The majority of the book provides a review of commercially available toys which is a bit of a drawback because since this edition was published in 2004 there are obviously not a lot of newer toys reviewed. But with that being said, this book will give you great ideas about the types of toys you might want to look for. Something else that I have found to be very helpful about the book is that Dr. Schwartz provides suggestions on how to create homemade toys that can be fun for children at all different developmental levels. She also offers a wide range of tips about the kind of language that would be considered to be developmentally appropriate for children with emerging language skills. Some of the "dialogues" she presents seem a bit complex for children with language needs, but overall there are some really great ideas about supporting language development through a variety of different play activities.

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