Ah SpiderOkay, spiders aren’t my favorite bug, but as long as they are cute in a book, I am okay with them. Let’s not get into snakes though!

Today I brought out one of my favorite Halloween books for Speech Therapy, Aaaarrgghh: Spider! and had such fun with a little guy who is just starting therapy and not sure if it is fun yet:) I know it is but he isn’t quite convinced. He is working on /s/ and /s/ blends which makes this a perfect book for those goals. This poor spider wants so badly to become the family pet but his rather clever arguments seem to just scare his adopted family. My little friend loves art so after the story, we took a pencil and traced over the raised spider web–which he thought was magic–and then he drew his own spider, which actually looked like a sea anemone but he was very proud.

In looking over past blogs, I found this one worth repeating about the other lessons I did with this book for kids with processing difficulties and autism:

I shared some of my favorite Halloween books last week and have used them when working with kids with typically developing language as well as those with auditory processing difficulties, and those on the autism spectrum. I had quite a fun time with Aaaarrgghh: Spider!with a little fellow on the autism spectrum that I wanted to share.

Our goals include being attentive to a book and answering wh-questions as well as building pretend play skills. It all came together with this goofy book about a spider campaigning to be the family pet! We started out with my wonderful collection of bugs, including spiders, a jar with a magnifying lid, Play-doh of course, and some little Fisher Price furniture and playground items.

We talked about the spiders, chose different ones to look at under the magnifying glass and then read the book. I pointed out the faces of the family and reactions to the spider’s attempts at winning them over. We copied surprised, scared and happy faces. Then we got out the Play-doh and made a web, stuck the flies and bugs in it for eating, and hung the spider down from the web to dangle over our dinner, as in the book. We copied the reactions of the family at the sight of a spider waving over our food.

Then, much to my delight, my little friend took off in his play. I was holding a fly and he had the spider when he hid the spider under a mound of Play-doh and started counting. I followed his lead of starting a game of hide and seek with our bugs! We took turns searching for each other’s bugs and he created two new spots for hiding–great flexible play. Then I got out my Play-doh oven as an option for a hiding place. After our bugs hid in it, he piled several bugs in and started to lift it up with sound effects. I asked what he was doing and he said, “It’s landing.” When I asked what is was (the oven), he said, “A plane.” Wow! That was an exciting step up in pretend play to assign a different use to an object than what is it intended for. He proceeded to fly his “plane” around the room on its way “to London” before it had to land so the bugs could go home.

Little steps like that make my day.