Listening Larry Book Helps Children With Autism With Whole Body Listening
Do you find yourself frustrated when trying to get you child with autism to listen to you? Whole body listening is a key tool that parents can use to help their child learn the basic expectations for appropriate communication behaviors.
The book Listening Larry, really helps to address this issue in a fun, easy-to-understand way.
This book, and these activities will help you set expectations for your children in the area of listening and proper listening behavior.
This book will give your child some handy tools to work with and you some positive educational tools.
Click here to download a free Listening Larry coloring page.
How often do you find yourself using phrases with children like, “pay attention” or “listen carefully”? When we make these requests, we may not realize that we’re giving kids an unspoken expectation that we want them to stop whatever they are doing and show us they are listening with their whole body (look at us, keep still, think about what we said, etc.). However, do we ever really teach them this expectation? And then what happens when the child doesn’t show those behaviors? We feel frustrated and assume they aren’t listening, don’t want to comply, etc.
In this charming and colorfully illustrated storybook, authors Sautter and Wilson explore and expand upon the original whole body listening concept created by Susanne Poulette Truesdale (1990). While our WBL Larry books are designed to help all children understand that we listen with more than our ears, these books are also helpful for students with social learning challenges as we explicitly describe implicit expectations about what it means to “listen”.
The rhyming poem describes two siblings, Leah and Luka, as they struggle to focus their brains and bodies during different situations throughout their school day. Larry, a classmate, helps explain how they need to use more than their ears to listen when they are around others. This awareness not only helps them access the information being taught in school, but helps them learn how to work, play, and converse as part of a group. Preschool through 3rd grade students love the antics of our characters as they teach this important concept in a very fun manner!
What is Whole Body Listening?
Whole Body Listening is more than just “hearing” with the ears. It includes:
- listening with the eyes (looking toward the speaker)
- listening with the ears (both ears ready to hear)
- listening with the mouth (quiet and waiting for your turn to talk)
- listening with the hands (quiet and kept to yourself)
- listening with the feet (quiet and still)
- listening with the body (facing toward speaker)
- listening with the brain (thinking about what is being said)
- listening with the heart (considering the speaker and others listening)
How to use This Book
Take the time to look at all the photos, and have your child think about what it means to listen with each body part. Talk about how the characters in this book feel when they are not listening or being listened to.
Explore how your child feels when someone IS or IS NOT listening with their whole body to them. Finally, discuss the impression that your child may make on the speaker when your child is not using whole body listening.
(excerpt from Authors: Kristen Wilson, Elizabeth Sautter)
About the Authors
Kristen Wilson, M.S.,CCC, is a speech-language pathologist who specializes in working with children, teens and adults with social differences, language disorders, and autism. She is a Southern California native who has enjoyed working in a variety of settings since 2004. She believes building self-esteem and self-awareness is the key to successful therapy.
Kristen is the co-author, with Elizabeth Sautter, of two books: Whole Body Listening Larry at Home! and Whole Body Listening Larry at School! Kristen lives in Placentia, CA with her husband and two daughters.
Elizabeth Sautter, M.A., CCC, is a speech-language pathologist and co-director/owner of Communication Works, a private practice in Oakland, CA that provides speech, language and occupational therapy. She has specialized in supporting those with autism, developmental disabilities, social cognitive, attention and behavioral challenges since 1996, and has worked with preschoolers to adults in private practice, schools, and hospitals.
Since 2001, Elizabeth has focused on social cognitive and self-regulation intervention and training. She completed the Social Thinking Clinical Training Program in 2008 and in 2010 completed Social Thinking’s Internship Program. In addition to co-authoring with Kristen Wilson, Whole Body Listening Larry at School! and Whole Body Listening Larry at Home!, in 2014 she released her latest book, Make Social Learning Stick! Her relationships with her sister, son, and extended family members with special needs continue to make her work a life-long endeavor. Elizabeth enjoys hiking and yoga, and lives in Northern California with her husband, two sons, a dog, and a bunny rabbit.
You can download a worksheet activity on Whole Body Listening here.
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