Conceived of, written, and designed for children on the autism spectrum, Point to Happy combines a picture book and a pointer to create a breakthrough in reaching children who communicate best through pictures. Ingenious in its simplicity, it was created by a grandmother, Miriam Smith, and mother, Afton Fraser, for Ms Fraser’s son, a young boy on the autism spectrum.
Point to happy. Point to sad. Point to hug. Give me a hug. The parent reads, the child points. It turns reading into a joyful, shared experience. Dozens of friendly photographs are compelling to look at and easy to understand. The text is clear and direct. By pointing to the pictures in the book—moods, activities, everyday objects, the rituals of going to bed and getting ready in the morning—children will learn to convey their wants and needs, their experiences and, most importantly, their feelings.
The simple device of the pointer, with its soft, molded hand on a wand—safety-tested and 100 percent nontoxic and PVC-and phthalate-free—begs to be held and used. And using it—the motor task of holding and pointing, again and again—is an effective tool to help a child focus.
about Toni Giannone
Toni Giannone, who consulted on the book, is a Communication Disorders Specialist CCC/SLP, and founder of The Speech Academy.