This is guest post written by Jade Page, who writes about autism on her blog The Autism Page. Jade is a full time mum to her two boys aged seven and four. After her eldest son was diagnosed with autism she began blogging to share information and resources to help other parents. Jade lives with her husband and boys in Keynsham and is a Trustee of Bristol Autism Support.
Social skills and communication are both areas my boys struggle with. That’s why I am excited to share a new way I can support them with the Konfident Kidz activity books.
The social skills activity books are written by Evaleen Whelton who teaches communication and drama to children. At 37 Evaleen found out she was autistic and has now written these books to help kids who are just like her. Communication is a two way thing and as such the books teach the adult about autistic communication whilst at the same time teaching the autistic child about non-autistic communication.
The books are the first social skills program to be written by an autistic person. Dr Catherine Crompton a research neuropsychologist at the University of Edinburgh said:
“It’s so important to have materials created by neurodivergent members of the community, and Evaleen has combined her experiences as an autistic person with her expertise in speech and drama to create truly unique and valuable resources”
The Konfident Kidz Activity Books
There are three social skills activity books in the series:
- Book 1 is for age 4+
- Book 2 is for 6+
- Book 3 is for 8+
The books are designed as a series so you would start with book 1 moving onto books 2 & 3 when ready. The age is a guideline as every child’s ability will be different and there is no upper limits for using the books.
The activity books are written for neurodiverse children and this is so refreshing. I love the affirmation of autistic communication alongside the explanation of non-autistic communication. The activities teach social skills alongside an understanding of neurodiversity.
There is a great mix of activities from written activities, art projects, discussion points, drama and singing so it’s a really useful teaching aid with fun activities to suit all needs. It is also very easy to dip in and out of the activities in the book so you can work through at a speed that is appropriate for you and your child.
The first book looks at ‘all about me’ which fits really well with most early years curriculums. It includes sections on:
- The different ways we communicate
- Emotional words and feelings
- Talking about you
- How words can be used differently
- Tone and voices changing
- Making friends
This book starts with activities to support anxiety and moves on to look at friendships. It includes sections on:
- Relaxation and confidence
- Trying new things and joining in
- How to self-advocate
- Building friendships
- Voice and Volume
This book moves on to more complicated aspects of social interaction and includes sections on
- Vague and figurative speech
- Conversations, questions and ending conversations
- Being persuasive
- Sharing feelings
I have tried a couple of the activities in the first book with my boys. I love the All About me project, my eldest really enjoyed lying down whilst I drew around his outline. He was even more impressed when he got to draw his brother’s outline. The prompts to talk about body language were really helpful and with the visuals I was able to sit with my son and talk about talking with our bodies.
I can see how these books are going to be really useful to me over time. I can work through activities as they become appropriate for the kids. For me it is so useful to have the autistic perspective that comes from these books it gives me the confidence in how I can approach conversations such as making friends in a really positive and constructive way. I will definitely be working through all three books with my boys.
Where you can get the books from:
The books can be purchased directly from the Konfident Kidz website they are also available in PDF versions which works great for me when working through sections at different times.
Konfident Kidz are also now offering its Konnect course online. The autistic led social skills course has been running in Cork for 6 years and is now going online for a 10 week course. Find out more – https://konfidentkidz.ie/online-konnect-class/
Please note that a set of Konfident Kidz Social Skills Activity books were gifted in order for me to complete this review. All opinions are my own – Jade Page.