Thursday, November 10, 2011

Teaching Children on Spectrum How to Play

The Roth family moved to Phoenix in Baltimore County a year ago to be closer to better services for their 7-year-old daughter, Avery, who is autistic.
By chance, their new neighbor, Katherine "Kay" Holman, was experienced in crafting inclusive programs for children with autism.
"We were still in the process of moving in when she introduced herself," Jenni Roth recalled. "I looked her up, and said, 'Oh my.' It worked out really well."
The families quickly formed a friendship that led to Holman's organizing a neighborhood group called PAW Pals. The play group is composed of a controlled number of kids — both typical-learning and autistic. During structured sessions, the youths learn how to play and socialize with one another in activities such as running a mock cafe or going on a pirate-themed treasure hunt. The group is named after the street, Princess Ann Way, where the participants live. Holman's next step is to introduce the program to schools.

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