Early Talk Newsletter
James MacDonald's book is based on over 30 years of research and clinical work at Ohio State University. Communicating Partners is an optimistic approach to working with children with communication disorders. It challenges practitioners to think beyond traditional therapy programmes and focus more on language learning in naturalistic environments and developing strengths through positive social relationships. MacDonald encourages practitioners and parents to consider the power of child-led play and advocates the theory that only once you enter into the child's world will you have the slightest chance of teaching them something new. Communicating Partners is a useful resource for professionals working with children with language and social communication difficulties and would also be of interest to parents.
Child Language Teaching and Therapy
The book offers speech and language professionals a model to guide their therapy plans, but emphasizes the need for therapy to be generalized to daily life. Accordingly it emphasizes the need for parents and professionals to become partners in helping the child, stressing that children best develop social interaction skills within the family. Numerous anecdotes are included to illustrate how this approach has helped a wide variety of children and their families. This book would be of particular benefit to the parents/carers of children who are late to develop language for any reason, since it provides simple ideas to help stimulate social communication by following the child's lead. Professionals working with families may also find it useful to give ideas of where to start remediation and target therapy. Although it is not solely aimed at parents/carers of children on the autistic spectrum, it would probably be of most benefit to this group.
Care and Health Magazine
The author, who is vastly experienced, presents this child-centred approach clearly, offering students, parents and professionals plenty of background information and practical guidance.