Teaching Social Skills to Children with Autism Using Minecraft®
Raelene Dundon, illustrated by Chloe-Amber Scott
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
I know from my teaching experience that children on the autism spectrum often become obsessively passionate about and often developing an enormous competence in a particular thing such as Lego building, drumming, a certain cartoon series or drawing specific items.
The strength of the motivation towards their chosen passion tends to result in a lack of social skills: participating in Minecraft® (which is frequently called digital Lego) offers a wonderful setting to enable neurodiverse children to develop both social and communication skills. Clearly the author of this large format book, Raelene Dundon appreciates this and to that end, has created a superb resource.
Having outlined in the opening chapters the importance of social skills and how these are impaired in children with ASD, she puts the case for using group programmes, in particular Minecraft® to develop those crucial social skills.
The second part of the book comprises information on how to set up a social Minecraft® group; how to use the game for supporting such skills as holding a conversation, being interested in other people and understanding the viewpoint of another person.
Each skill, for instance problem solving,
‘being creative’ or co-operation
is succinctly presented and related to what has just happened during the specific session – this is a great tool for developing awareness in the learner.
In all there are thirty sessions (around 150 pages of photocopiable material) with smashing illustrations by Chloe-Amber Scott, making this an absolutely invaluable and comprehensive resource – a veritable goldmine – for any professional working with primary children or older students, who have ASD.