An Exceptional Children's Guide to Touch
An Exceptional Children's Guide to Touch is a book which aims to keep children safe by focussing on issues of physical touch; what is acceptable and what is problematic.
Type of intervention
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Children and Young People (Victims) | Primary prevention | Young children (0-5 years), Children (6-11 years) | Male and female | Book/guide | Individuals with disabilities/learning difficulties
- Communities/Families | Primary prevention | Young adults (18-20 years), Adults (21+ years) | Male and female | Book/guide
Children up to 11 years of age with special needs (both development needs and learning difficulties), parents of these children and professionals and others who work with these children.
Mode and context of delivery
For parents and carers, professionals and others who work with young children to share with them over time.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
No professional training or expertise required.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The book is divided into six chapters, which can be shared with an individual child or with groups of children as required.
Description of intervention
The author approaches the subject of ‘keeping our children safe and successful’ both in early and in later life by focusing on issues of physical touch; what is and is not acceptable and what may be problematic. As a teacher of children with special needs, including those on the autism spectrum, he quickly became aware that a lack of knowledge or misunderstanding on the part of these children could lead to them hurting and being hurt by others without knowing that anything was wrong or that something should or could be done about it. The book is tailored to fit the cognitive and communication needs of such children, but is equally of use for those caring for and working with all young children.
The book is divided into six chapters. Five stories cover different types of touch, from accidental, to friendly, to hurtful. The stories are designed to help children to understand when and where it is alright to touch other people, when and where other people can touch them, why self-touching sometimes needs to be private and what to do if touch feels inappropriate. A sixth story looks at issues to do with cameras and recording devices. The book also contains a section that provides information to adults, entitled ‘Keeping Children with Special Needs Safe’, which includes information about possible indicators of abuse, what to do if a child tells you that he/she is being abused and where to find possible sources of help. The chapters are entitled:
- Accidental touch
- Friendly touch
- Hurtful touch
- Touching myself
- Not touching
- Having my picture taken
“This is a beautifully illustrated, succinct collection of short stories that can help young children gain insight into acceptable and unacceptable physical contact. Teaching any child how to self-advocate can be tricky, however Hunter Manasco’s book provides wonderful visual instructions and a gateway for discussion about this delicate subject.” Jane Whelan Banks, MHSt, FNP, author of The Lovable Liam Series
“An Exceptional Children’s Guide to Touch will be of great use to anyone involved with children who have any learning or development need. The combined use of Hunter’s text and Katharine’s illustrations has created a wonderful resource to help navigate the complexities of social rules and norms regarding physical interactions, traditionally a sensitive area to broach.” Jackie Bateman, child protection specialist (sexually harmful behaviour) and children’s services manager, Barnardo’s, The Junction
Information correct at January 2020