Resource Time: ‘The Way to A’

In addition to information provided by Occupational Therapists, Teachers, and other allied health, there is always benefit in providing children and families with ideas of books and other written resources that can be obtained to further support children at home and school.

The book we will discuss in this post is, ‘The Way to A’ by Hunter Manasco. Some parents and therapists may have heard of this program already. In fact there are organisations, schools and parents in Adelaide who are using ‘The Way to A’ on a regular basis.

For those who are new to ‘The Way to A’, it was design by Hunter Manasco, a Speech Pathologist, who initially wanted to develop a resource to support children with ASD and other neurological disorders, who were often confused by rules and consequences in our world. The outcome of the confusion often leads to outbursts, hitting, swearing, running away and other behaviours a child expresses, in an attempt to control a stressful situation. The book is essentially a social story, designed for children ages 3 to 9 years old (although can be used for older children too) presents a simple, logical, and systematic strategy that provides an easy to understand and sequential approach to teach a child how best to manage thier behaviour by trying to ‘think’ before ‘doing’.

The book uses a common approach of red (B) and green (A), to illustrate desired and undesired pathways in making a choice. Given the book has laminated pages, there is scope to include specific behaviours, rewards or consequences for each child. The best thing about ‘The Way to A’ is that the wording is simple, direct and engaging and it is a very visual book. The strategy attempts to give the child a personal and concrete incentive to use an ‘alternative’ behaviour.

While this resource is not directly related to the Sensory Integration framework we undertake at OTFC, it provides some nice options in terms of choice, cognitive behavioural approaches and finding ways to encourage children to make decisions, and take responsibility for those.

If you would like more information about where to find ‘The Way to A’, it can be found through:

1. Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Way-Empowering-Neurological-Aggression/dp/1931282870

2. Ebay Australia: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/The-Way-to-A-by-M-Hunter-Manasco-Spiral-bound-2001-/301361401667?pt=AU_Books_Childrens_New&hash=item462a8a0f43

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