I volunteer with a nine year old and I need to engage her for two hours on weekends. Please give me suggestions on how I can do so, productively. Is there a good book I can use with suggestions and proper guidance ?
Can you tell us more about this child? Is she highly-autistic, or high-functioning? How about communication? Is she verbal, or does she exhibit challenging behaviour as a way of communicating? Does she use communication tools (PECs, etc)?
This is the first time I am volunteering. I do not think she is highly autistic. She is not very verbal, I would like her to speak more, I feel this is possible if I can encourage her to talk more. . She does not exhibit challenging behavior, and I don't think she needs communicating tools. I need ways to keep her occupied productively.
Hopefully, she'll have some kind of care plan in place if she's needing such input. Is she living with parents/guardians? They ought to be able to provide pointers. The best way forwards with her is to just get started (with as much information about her as possible), and get to know her. Build up a rapport and you will build up trust. Let her take the lead on things at first. Find out what she likes and dislikes. Find out any triggers she may have. I work with a young lad who has (naturally, being quite highly autistic), very fixed activities. He needs a picture board to show him the structure of his day - what activities he'll be doing, etc. He also needs about ten minutes' notice about when the changes are coming up. He likes going to the library, where he'll sit and read (aloud) from books. But you can't just say to him 'We're going to the library now.' Again, he needs to know that's part of the structure of his day, and he then needs that short forewarning.
You'll need to know all of these things, and you'll soon - through working with her - find out how she likes to spend her time. You may need to introduce new ideas very gradually, and also for very short periods of time. So, if it's reading a book, and for those two hours she is usually doing other things, you might want to just spend a few minutes at a time with a book at first, to get her used to the idea of it.
Patience is the main thing, and it will depend on her level of functioning.
Thank you so much for your valuable inputs. Appreciate it.Yes, I am discovering that patience and knowiing the person is the key.