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Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun!: How Families of Children With Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most Out of Community Activities [Paperback]

Lisa Jo Rudy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15, 2010 1849058091 978-1849058094 1
Many families with a child with autism or Asperger Syndrome feel that involvement in the community is not for them. This book sets out to change that, with a rich and varied menu of suggestions for how such families can take full part in community life and support the strengths and interests of their child at the same time. Informal learning experiences can be the key to self-discovery, communication, self-confidence, and even independence for many children on the autism spectrum. Only outside the four walls of school will your child truly discover their own passions, abilities, and social peers. 'Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun' is a guide to what's out there, how to find it, and how to make it work for your family. The book includes hints and tips for involving your family in the right community activities, from sport to science; information on museums, arts organizations and science institutions as venues for an enjoyable and enriching day out for the family; and, resources and ideas for helping your child build on their strengths, interests, and preferred learning styles to explore life in the community. Handouts about autism are included, as well as handouts suggesting ways in which organizations and institutions can successfully include young people with autism in their activities. This book will open the door to community inclusion, creative exploration, and social learning.

Editorial Reviews

Review

As the parent of an 18 year old autistic son who has gotten out there, explored, and had fun, I can say that Lisa has done an excellent job compiling not only lists of possible activities, but the good and potential bad of each as well as tips on how to make sure the experiences are valuable ones. What I most appreciated in the "how" section is that she doesn't sugar coat anything. Far from being pessimistic about things, she is simply honest about what you are likely to experience. She also reminds us to be realistic in what we expect of our kids, and of those we interact with "out there". Autism is, after all, a spectrum, and the experiences parents will have when they "get out" will cover a wide spectrum as well. You will find that this can be hard work, but you will also see that it is worth every ounce of sweat you put into it. If you are the parent of a young - or not so young - autistic child, you should get and read this book. And give a copy to your child's teacher, their IEP case worker, the IEP team. --GoodReads

Lisa Jo gives us an in-depth and well considered approach to help us change how we think about some of the difficulties we face when it comes to 'getting out and about.' Her no nonsense approach is refreshing and I particularly warmed to the underlying philosophy - yes all autistic children need education and some need therapy, but not to the exclusion of everything else that life has to offer. --Whitterer on Autism

Lisa Jo gives us an in-depth and well considered approach to help us change how we think about some of the difficulties we face when it comes to 'getting out and about.' Her no nonsense approach is refreshing and I particularly warmed to the underlying philosophy - yes all autistic children need education and some need therapy, but not to the exclusion of everything else that life has to offer. --Whitterer on Autism

About the Author

Lisa Jo Rudy is a professional writer, researcher and consultant, and the mother of a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder. She is the 'About.com Guide to Autism' part of The New York Times Company, and the National Informal Education Examiner for Examiner.com. Lisa has developed exhibits and exhibit devices, hands-on activities and interactive web games, and written dozens of publications advocating for better inclusion for individuals with autism. In 2004, she founded an inclusive summer program for children with autism in collaboration with the YMCA.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Pub; 1 edition (May 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849058091
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849058094
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,211,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very motivating wih wonderful ideas! May 9, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A little background is in order. I have a 10 yr old son with Autism. He was born with a chromosomal deletion (8p23.1) that can cause severe behavioral issues. He also has some physical challenges. In the beginning we were too busy, bluntly, keeping him alive to worry about getting out--in fact the first two years we were on quarantine keeping him in to keep germs and sickness out. Then when we were medically out of the woods more his behaviors became so challenging we (like the author of this book) had him kicked out of every preschool he attended. By age 5 he was in a lock down psych ward -- and we were being told he would need to be institutionalized for the remainder of his life. They gave him so many labels we couldn't keep them straight. We had people in and out of our lives constantly -- leaving us with no privacy, no sense of family, and little sense of hope. Enter a nurse from the ward who took me aside and told me she thought my son might be autistic (not bipolar, ADHD, depressed, or any other of the things all the Doctor's wanted to dx him with) and encouraged us to take him to the regional center for evaluation. Turns out that was correct and we finally turned the corner.

I say this because if this book can be applied to my situation, where my sons history included behaviors like severe perseveration, violence, and limited food choices (amongst many other things), it can apply to nearly anybody's situation with an autistic kid. Really.

The author starts by addressing many of the common issues/thoughts/ideas that come up when you are the parent of an autistic kid. From ignorance to fear to guilt it's covered. For me and my family most of our thought centers on behavior -- how will my son behave? What will they think of me in light of his behavior?
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lost and found May 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a parent of a child with Asperger's Syndrome, I try to read whatever I can about living with Asperger's as a family and communicating with the world in which we live. I appreciate the voice of other parents with kids on the Autism Spectrum for their unique perspective and the candid moments they share which only another parent raising a child on the spectrum could possibly understand. I find the how-to and self-help books on Asperger's that are written by people who only see their little blip on the spectrum and cannot broaden their horizons to include the reader in the journey to be entirely too preachy, unrealistic, and I lose interest.

The author of "Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun" initially lost me as in the preface she speaks about her son with PDD-NOS but then, in the preface and the beginning of the book, alienates the reader by making gross generalizations and making negative "however" remarks about specific educational programs and therapies, some of which seem to be based on her one experience rather than research or even talking to parents who have tried them with their kids or the professionals that conduct the various programs. Lisa Jo Rudy is rather gung ho, in the very beginning of the book, about not coddling one's autistic child and seems to favor shoving the autistic child straight out of the nest and the results will be a beneficial learning experience no matter what. It reads, to me, as though she has not had any experience with children with autism and their families, which I know is not the case, so I'm surprised that I came away with this feeling, just in the opening pages of her book.

I think this book suffers from what I consider to be "The Secret" syndrome- think positive and everything will be positive.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book May 18, 2010
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The release of this book was a timely one for my family. My daughter has PDD-NOS on the autistic spectrum, and her learning specialist at school had just told us that she was ready to start getting out into the community more, and that it would help greatly building her sense of accomplishment and confidence.

I was hesitant. We have been to a few places such as the zoo or the children's museum without incident but if something was slightly different, it had set off a tantrum of epic levels. After reading this book, I felt more at ease and ready to try again. It contains several activities that are more suited to an autistic child, including sports that are non-competitive and provide a way to help build muscle endurance and stamina which in turn can help with motor skill issues. She gives tip sheets that you can provide to the leader of the activity and suggestions for helping your child adjust to the new activity.

Most importantly, I love the attitude of the book, which is that you have to try. You may have to try a few things before you find the fit, and most importantly you have to participate at first too. Eventually you may be able to drop your child off, but for very social activities such as boy scouts, you will most likely have to heavily participate.

We have tried several things since reading the book including soccer, ice skating, and more trips to the playground. Soccer was a no go for now since the coordination needs some work on my daughter's part, but ice skating has worked wonders. After only 3 trips she is able to balance on her own for at least 10 minutes at a time and she is really enjoying it. Next we will be looking for a religious community using the tips in the book as I have missed that the most.

If you have a child on the spectrum and have felt ostracized because of it, this book is worth getting for help on finding new places for you and your child to enjoy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good helpful book
This book provides many creative ways to have fun with children on the autism spectrum. I think it's important to help children on the spectrum be put environments where they can... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Stephen R. Scheffler
5.0 out of 5 stars good reminders
I always love to see books that encourage families to have fun and live their life in a meaningful way - even when there are special challenges involved. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Katie C. Nelson
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but kind of obvious.
This book is fairly well-researched, and the author offers many specific of how to deal with different concerns in different situations. Read more
Published on June 21, 2011 by Crease in the Page
4.0 out of 5 stars What a great resource!
My reason for ordering this book was my sweet 6 yr old grandson, who had just been diagnosed with Asperger's. Read more
Published on May 18, 2011 by D. Vance
4.0 out of 5 stars A practical resource for family fun
Lisa Jo Rudy gives some practical ways to be involved in the community. Her suggestions not only are helpful now, but they are also helpful in planning for the future. Read more
Published on January 9, 2011 by ejeanneokie
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides parents of Asperger or autism kids with a fine encouragement...
Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun provides parents of Asperger or autism kids with a fine encouragement to get the family involved with the community. Read more
Published on December 13, 2010 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully helpful book about learning, having fun as a family with a...
Although we've come a long way on classroom inclusion for children with autism, we are far behind on how to include our children in the recreational and community activities that... Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by L. Thies
5.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs up from a mom of an autistic child!
A typical problem for families of autistic children is isolation. We can start to form a cocoon around our child and ourselves to protect against both real and imagined physical... Read more
Published on August 10, 2010 by AmandaBroadfoot
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful resource
This book is a very helpful guide that shows you exactly how to discover activities to fit your child, how to prepare your child in advance, and how to promote inclusion in all... Read more
Published on July 26, 2010 by Gina Badalaty
4.0 out of 5 stars a book about various activities in the community for autistic kids!
the book coves various topics as how the kids with autism can be involved in activities which are available in the community like scouts,various sports, camps, special interest... Read more
Published on May 27, 2010 by Gene Cloner
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More About the Author

Lisa Jo Rudy had been a professional education writer for more than twelve years when her son, Tom, was diagnosed with a form of autism. Right away, she began researching and writing about the topic. In 2006, she became the About.com Guide to Autism (www.autism.about.com) - a medically-reviewed New York Times Company website containing thousands of articles, blogs and reader-generated articles. At the same time, Lisa also became involved with building awareness of and opportunities for kids and families living with autism. Working with a local YMCA, she developed an inclusive summer camp program; working with museum professionals she wrote and presented papers for informal education professionals on "Welcoming Kids Who Learn Differently."

Lisa's new book, "Get Out, Explore and Have Fun: How Families of Children With Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most Out of Community Activities," offers parents of children on the autism spectrum a rich and varied menu of suggestions for how families can take full part in community life and support the strengths and interests of their child at the same time. Inside are not only resources and insights but also tools to share with community leaders interested in including children with autism in everything from sports to theater to Sunday school.

Lisa Jo Rudy writes for museums, publishers, universities and educational organizations including National Geographic, Space Telescope and the National Science Foundation. Her credits include over a dozen books and hundreds of articles, blogs, curricula and publications for children and adults on topics ranging from autism to zoology.

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Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun!: How Families of Children With Autism or Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most Out of Community Activities
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