Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Social Storybooks for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

For many children on the autism spectrum, the world is full of questions. It's tough to figure out what's expected and to know how to respond appropriately. Luckily, Natural Learning Concepts ( clarifies daily routines and teaches children to navigate the social rules with its popular set of "Now I Get It!" Social Storybooks. The demand for these increasing popular books has grown, and with repeated requests from schools and parents for additional titles, the company is now proud to announce the latest titles in the series, 'Getting Ready for School' and 'Getting Ready for Bed' and 'I Don't Understand!' and 'Getting Help, Giving Help.'
The "Now I Get It!" series illustrates, addresses and explains everything from playtime activities to difficult concepts such as anger management, transitions, public behavior and more. "Routine activities can feel overwhelming to children with autism," comments Natural Learning Concepts Co-Founder Jene Aviram, "so these carefully designed stories prepare a child to effectively deal with situations ahead of time, thus reducing the challenge of everyday life for children on the autism spectrum." Each Social Storybook is clearly presented, with delightful illustrations featuring a child protagonist with an autism-spectrum point of view, as he navigates a world that is sometimes confusing or intimidating. Yet in each situation, he encounters patient and caring adults and peers who helpfully explain how things work, and why. As he learns new social and coping skills, he gains a better understanding of how to react to or behave in specific situations -- common hurdles for children with autistic challenges.
"Our books cover topical issues that most children on the autism spectrum struggle with every day," says Aviram. "Our goal is to help children. With the volume of feedback we receive every day from parents and professionals, we know we are achieving our goal," adds Co-Founder Jocelyn Blum. "Teachers need quality resources, and we are proud that our 'Social Skill Stories' are now a common fixture in many classroom libraries."
A perfect addition to the books is the section of comprehension questions included at the end of each story. This ingenious idea reinforces learning and helps the reader thoroughly understand what's expected. "I just spoke to a customer today who told me that her son had needed new shoes. She bought the shoes, but he just refused to wear them," comments Aviram. "Days went by, and in desperation, she went online and searched for 'shoes and autism.' Our Social Storybook 'Talking About My Day' and 'When Things Change' came up, and she ordered it, as well as a few other titles. Her son related instantly to the story. It took one day and just a few readings of the story, and the problem disappeared! He understood, and wore his shoes. She called back today to place an order for additional Social Storybooks."
Each Social Storybook costs just $9.95, and includes two social skill stories that address typical daily challenges in the life of a child with autism. The upcoming title 'Getting Ready for School' and 'Getting Ready for Bed' teaches independence skills and removes stress from the early morning and evening routine for parents and children. The other exciting new Social Storybook title, 'I Don't Understand' and 'Getting Help, Giving Help' guides children in asking for assistance, and also how to give it in return. "Many children find it difficult to ask for clarification, and they relate instantly to this story," comments Aviram.
The two new titles are just the latest in its highly successful Social Storybook line from Natural Learning Concepts, which were written by Natural Learning Concepts founder Jene Aviram and Jocelyn Blum themselves. With friendly, simple text, and charming illustrations by artist Peter Orr, it's no wonder the books are widely used by parents, professionals and kids across the autism spectrum. Most of all, they help to beautifully and realistically explain many of the daily social rituals and interactions that can be so mystifying for those on the autism spectrum.
"We attribute the success of the social storybooks to children with autism," says Blum. "We follow their lead and produce books according to their needs and daily challenges." A prototype of each storybook is created, and its appeal and effectiveness is tested by children on the autism spectrum. The story is modified as many times as necessary until all the kids enjoy it and learn from it. Then, and only then, does the story go into production as the latest Social Storybook title from Natural Learning Concepts.
"We already know that people with autism think differently from us," comments Aviram. "So we feel that, clearly, they should be the ones to tell us if the product works for them or not." She adds, "In my early days, I bought far too many products that just sat on the shelf. I realized these products appealed to me, and to parents and professionals, but not to the children themselves. I'm insistent on producing materials with an 'autism perspective' so that we can reach children in a realistic way. We're proud of our products, and we pour our heart and soul into their creation."
About Natural Learning Concepts 'Social Storybooks'Natural Learning Concepts offers a terrific array of Social Skill Stories titles available now, including Saying Excuse Me, Please and Thank You, 'Talking About My Day' and 'When Things Change', 'The Playground' and 'The Beach', 'Getting Angry' and 'Sharing', 'Answering Questions' and 'Saying "Hi" and "Bye"', 'The Restaurant' and 'The Movies', and 'Fire Drills' and 'Assembly'. The new Social Storybook titles 'Getting Ready for School' and 'Getting Ready for Bed' and 'I Don't Understand' and 'Getting Help, Giving Help', will be released in mid July 2007. Each Social Storybook is priced at just $9.95. Right through the end of August, Natural Learning Concepts is offering a 25% discount on the purchase of these two new titles. This great savings is available for immediate and secure purchase from the Natural Learning Concepts website (
About Natural Learning ConceptsNatural Learning Concepts is committed to the acceptance, celebration and understanding of people with autism exactly as they are. Their range of outstanding books, materials and inspirational content are designed to facilitate communication, increase speech, language and comprehension while having fun in the process. All of the materials on the Natural Learning Concepts website are used for teaching children at all levels of the autism spectrum as well as those diagnosed with PDD-NOS, Asperger's, ADHD and speech and language delays. The company's materials are routinely used for ABA therapy, social storybooks for autism, early intervention and verbal behavior analysis. Parents, teachers, and other loved ones enjoy using these tools to celebrate and work with that special child in their life who has autism.
Please visit the Natural Learning Concepts website to learn more, as well as to take part in its diverse and passionate online community, at Also, don't miss its exciting new Job Community, at
For more information on Natural Learning Concepts or its products, please contact publicist Angela Mitchell, at (904) 982-8043. Meanwhile, to contact founders Jene Aviram or Jocelyn Blum directly for interviews, please call 1-800-823-3430 or (631) 858-0188.