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Get out, Explore, and Have Fun!


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Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Getting Out, Exploring, and Having Fun: Why Does it Matter? 2. Preparing Yourself and Your Child to Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun. 3. How to Learn About and Select Community Settings for Your Child and Family. 4. Sports and Autism. 5. Youth Groups: Scouts, 4-H, the YMCA, and More. 6. Museums, Zoos, Aquariums, and More. 7. Autism and Faith Communities. 8. The Visual and Performing Arts. 9. Summer Camps and the Natural World. 10. Special Interests, Clubs, Family Outings, and Other Ideas. 11. Selling the Idea of Inclusion. Appendix 1: A General Guide to Autism for Community Leaders. Appendix 2: Sample Grant Proposal. Appendix 3: Resource List. Index.

Promotional Information

Shows that the world can be a fun place and worth exploring, for children more inclined to avoid community involvement

About the Author

Lisa Jo Rudy is a professional writer, researcher and consultant, and the mother of a 13-year-old boy with an autism spectrum disorder. Since 2006, she has been the ' Guide to Autism' (, a part of The New York Times Company. Lisa has more than twenty years of experience in developing hands-on exhibits, interactive games, books and activities for kids with every learning style. She is passionate about creating opportunities for young people to build on their abilities, strengths and passions. Lisa has founded an inclusive summer program for children with autism in collaboration with the YMCA, written articles on inclusion for museum professionals, presented workshops on the subject, and is working toward development of related programs for the future. Lisa's website can be found at


Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun provides parents of Asperger or autism kids with a fine encouragement to get the family involved with the community. From pinpointing family activities from sports to science to museums, science institutions and the arts, this provides handouts about autism and ideas on how institutions can include kids with special needs. -- The Midwest Book Review
The book is also a valuable resource guide, listing dozens of places and activities, from faith participation to summer camps, from museums to concerts. You name it, it's in there... I highly recommend this book to any parent who wants to stimulate their environment-sensitive child. --
Lisa Jo Rudy's new book, Get Out, Explore and Have Fun!, is an antidote to autism isolation and a great tool to help parents engage with their autistic child in a variety of real-world settings. The mother of a 13-year-old autistic son (as well as a neurotypical daughter), she gives practical advice on choosing and enjoying community activities and settings. -- The Examiner
Articulate yet conversational in style, Rudy rejects the idea that the family with an autistic child can't be joyful, energetic, involved and fun-loving. Get Out, Explore and Have Fun shows how parents of autistic kids can expect more from their child and their lives. --
As the teacher of children on the spectrum, I will be recommending this book to parents of higher functioning children, especially for children who need more community based experience with their parents. -- Special Education
I admit it. I'm a coward. When it comes to taking my autistic son out in public, I often balk... The good news is that Lisa Jo Rudy wrote a book for parents like me. In Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun! How Families with Autism and Asperger Syndrome Can Get the Most out of Community Activities, she offers over 200-pages of advice on introducing developmentally-delayed children to broader experiences...When I finished this book, I felt empowered. I was ready to go through the long list of her suggested internet links to find out what was available locally... I highly recommend this book to any parent of an autistic child. -- 50 Book Challenge
Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun!, a new book by Lisa Jo Rudy demonstrates that there is more to life than therapy for families of children with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. True to its title, the author presents us with a treasure chest of ideas for getting out, exploring, and having fun... This book is a virtual GPS for fun in the community. -- Alternative Choices
Lisa Jo gives us an in-depth and well considered approach to help us change how we think about some of the difficulties we face when it comes to "getting out and about." Her "no nonsense" approach is refreshing and I particulary warmed to the underlying philosophy -- yes all autistic children need education and some need therapy, but not to the exclusion of everything else that life has to offer. -- Whitterer on Autism
"Getting out" and "having fun" may seem mutually exclusive if your community forays usually end in meltdowns, rejections, and feelings of failure. Mine is a family of homebodies, and I feel strongly about the merits of staying in and hanging out. But it's undeniable that, if we ever hope to have our children included in their schools and communities, we have to get them out where people can get to know and appreciate them. And we need books like Get Out, Explore, and Have Fun! to kickstart us. --

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