Irish company, Off We Go! Publishing, has released a set of books for children to learn about different first-time experiences in early life.
These books benefit those with special needs and any young child experiencing these outings for the first time.
Twelve different titles are in the series, including “Going on a Plane’, “Going to the Optician” and “Going to the Doctor”. Events that may at first be a scary experience for any young child are covered, together with fun titles such as “Going to the Cinema”.
These books both introduce young children to new experiences and to early vocabulary associated with these different outings.
Early language and communication skills are developed, which builds the child’s confidence and self esteem. Children learn about a new experience in their daily routine, which can prepare them for a new experience.
Instead of being scared they can think back to the characters in the books and remember how much fun they had. When children know what’s happening, pressure is taken off parents who have the book to explain a certain event to a child.
The book also helps to create awareness about children with disabilities, which benefits social inclusion in classrooms and playgroups.
In the case of one book, “Off To Buy Shoes’, Limerick author Avril Webster tells how she finds the book useful with her 10 year old son Stephen who has a severe developmental disorder.
“I use it to help prepare him for the fact that he will need to choose which shoes he wants to try, to wait his turn, that a stranger will need to measure his feet, and that it is important the shoes feel comfortable as well as look nice. But most of all I use it to help him understand what is going to happen and so as to reduce his anxiety about this new experience for him”.
She also adds. “Just like you have a ramp for a person with a physical disability, my books have helped Stephen ‘access’ experiences and events that previously he had found very difficult”.
Clinical psychologist David Coleman recommends these books, saying, “we all need opportunities like these to build strong relationships with our children”.
The books can be found on the Off We Go! website or at many bookstores nationwide.
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(compiled by Miriam Walsh)