Halloween is a fun time of year for kids and an easy theme to introduce into therapy. Today I want to share a few books on that theme that are simple, yet fun and can be incorporated into a language or articulation lesson.
Last week I went to the home of my little friends on the autism spectrum. Books aren’t always his favorite activity and I try hard to find stories with simple, funny, stories linked to his experiences. First we popped popcorn in a pot with a glass lid. What fun to see the kernels pop and overflow, just like the story, Popcorn, by Frank Asch. We took pictures of the steps so we could order them later in re-telling our activity. Then we read the book and took advantage of all the opportunities to ask wh-questions relating to the pictures supporting the story, and describe the action, especially on the party page.
Sheep Trick or Treat by Nancy Shaw begins with “As the Halloween moon rises, sheep are fixing up disguises.” These well costumed sheep go trick or treating through the farm and encounter some wolves on the way home. Good thing they are dressed up to scare their enemies and arrive home safely to eat their treats! Shaw’s clever series of sheep stories in rhyme are great for pre-literacy skills as well as articulation practice with the /sh/ sound.
Aaaarrgghh! Spider! by Lydia Monks is one of my favorites for the season. This tale is about a lovable, persistent spider who wants to be adopted as the family pet. It is a good story to talk about feelings and associated facial expressions of surprise, fear, happiness and excitement.
Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell is another seasonal book that is a simple, concrete story about the experiences of going to the farm and picking apples and pumpkins, and returning home to carve the pumpkin and go trick or treating. This book could be used as a social story for children on the autism spectrum before a fall field trip, pumpkin carving or trick or treating.
If you work with children on the autism spectrum, please let me know what books have been interesting to your little clients. I would like to develop a list to share with other speech therapists and parents. You can comment below or e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!