Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Review: Play To Talk by Dr James MacDonald & Dr Pam Stoika

(Please see my brand-spanking new review policy)


 Let me just say this. 

This sh*t works. 

I bought this book on Amazon.com about 2 months ago at the recommendation of some friends I met on the Natural Late Talkers Group and the Communicating Partners Yahoo Group.  At that time, with the recommendations from the Camaratas, we were searching for ways to better focus our efforts on building social interaction and communication.  From the back of the book:

Based on 30 years of clinical research, Play To Talk empowers parents with proven strategies and step-by-step instructions to help children of any age learn talk and develop essential skills for conversational relationships and social interactions.  This program turns everyday play sessions and social interactions between your child and family members into opportunities to foster language development, relationship skills, and positive behavior -- without taking the fun out of being together.

The basic principles of this book are the following:

Every day, practice the five strategies that have helped many children talk.

Talk about as much as your child; wait and take turns.

Talk in ways that are possible and interesting for the child.

Talk about your child’s immediate experiences and ideas.

Share control:
Allow both you and the child to lead and follow equally.

Be playful:
The more enjoyable you are, the more your child will talk.

Play To Talk is designed to be a very practical, very hands-on, and very approachable book for parents whose children are struggling with communicating, social interaction, and talking.  At 232 pages, it is a quick, easy read. It is written for the lay-person; for PARENTS. It challenged a lot of my preconceived ideas about "teaching" J-man to talk, and highlighted many of the 'bad habits' I had that were actual barriers to building communication with J-man.  The book provides examples and practical ideas to implementing these strategies.

I will admit that... as with every new thing we try.... I went into this with a skeptics' eye.  There are elements of the strategies that are difficult to wrap your head around.  For example, the idea of balance was a difficult one for me.  To talk about as much as J-man meant.... errr... not talking.  Or at least, not talking much.  But here's the kicker:  It worked.  It actually worked.  Within a few weeks, J-man has increased his communication attempts and his desire to communicate.  My mother, who had been away traveling and hadn't seen him in several weeks, was amazed at the difference in him. 

Play To Talk is a little hard to get your hands on.  It is offered on Amazon.com but when I purchased it, the book was out of stock.  I ended up having to purchase it used through one of the Amazon's affiliates.  I have since learned that contacting Dr MacDonald though his website is another way to get the book.  I also learned that his other book, Communicating Partners, has the same principles but IS in stock.  However, I haven't read that one.  Yet.

Two big thumbs up.


Lynn said...

I would be interested to hear more..like what specific strategies do you think gave the best results or maybe examples of what you did....

Marie said...

Great review and YES YES YES it works!


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