I recently received an email from Patrick, father of a young girl who has downs syndrome. Patrick was enquiring into the possibility of having a little introductory work shop on Numicon and wondered if I might know of anyone he could contact regarding this. But he also mentioned that he and his wife also distribute books helpful to special needs children from the Off We Go series by Avril Webster. These remind me of the short “social stories” we have found useful in explaining to our son what will happen, for example, when he goes for a haircut. So I emailed him for some more information on this series of books and this is what Patrick sent me…
Are you looking for good, simple books and apps to prepare your child for what can be challenging events like airport visits, swimming, hairdressers, visits to doctors, dentists etc?
The Off We Go! Series of books are beautifully illustrated, engaging story books for children; however they have a lot more to offer than this.
They also provide the following benefits:
- Help children learn day to day skills
- Support language development and communication
- Build confidence and self esteem
- Provide children with structure and routine
- Show children “what comes next” to prepare them for certain tasks
- Improve the quality of life for children and their families. When children know what is happening they can manage better, everyone is happier
- Create awareness about children with disabilities
From the author: Avril Webster
I created them for my own son who has a severe developmental brain disorder. I got expert input from teachers and speech and language therapists who advised me that many other children would also benefit from them.
Each book breaks down the task into a 12 step sequence using simple clear pictures. Many books of this kind tend to have busy pictures with a lot going on in them; whereas the pictures in my books are clear, uncluttered and use contrasting colours. This is especially important for children with special needs, who can find it hard to understand a busy picture and have difficulty discriminating colours. I have included in each book a guide describing how to use the books to help “de-sensitise” and support children with sensory difficulties.
To date more than 10,000 Off We Go books have been sold, mainly through word of mouth. They have proved extremely beneficial for my son and have received excellent feedback.
These books explain “what comes next” on an outing, and therefore help children to get through the task or situation more easily.
Each book has the following features:
- Simple, clear pictures and text describing the task.
- A sequence of 12 steps bringing the child through the task, as recommended by speech and language therapists.
- The same multi-ethnic family of characters is used, some of whom have a disability, to promote familiarity and learning.
These books are of particular benefit to:
- Children with intellectual disabilities or autism
- Pre-school children
- Children where English is a second language
To order your books with a 20% mark down please contact Patrick and Sandra Dickson (parents of Christia, 13 with downs syndrome). at (0044)1743-860601 or 07530811511 or email: email@example.com. Books individually are £5.60, 6 are £28.00, and 12 are £48.76 this includes packaging and postage within the UK, postage extra for abroad. Looking forward to hearing from you!
For more information visit http://www.offwego.ie/