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Seven Keys to Unlock Autism: Making Miracles in the Classroom Hardcover – November 1, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0470644096 ISBN-10: 0470644095 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (November 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470644095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470644096
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,418,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Praise for Seven Keys to Unlock Autism

"These seven essential keys unlock for readers a greater awareness, acceptance, and appreciation of the gifts waiting to be reaped from relationships with people having the fascinating, sometimes vexing (but rewarding in the end) condition we call autism."
from the Foreword by Stephen Shore, EdD

"Seven Keys to Unlock Autism is extraordinarily rich in wisdom and honest, practical advice. Welcome this book into your home and you will be inspired. Miracles are never easy, but they are closer than you think."
Harvey Karp, MD, FAAP, creator of the DVD and book The Happiest Toddler on the Block

"Elaine Hall's Miracle Project is a 'miracle'—a miracle of ingenuity, human intimacy, and creativity. This magnificent work vividly demonstrates the joy and hope of discovering the creative and emotional capacities that exist in all children but especially in those children with autism and other special needs."
Stanley I. Greenspan, MD, author, Engaging Autism and The Child with Special Needs

"What a remarkable guide for educators and care providers of people with ASD! In Seven Keys to Unlock Autism, Elaine Hall and Diane Isaacs urge us to live the timeless advice shared by Gandhi: 'You must be the change you want to see in the world.'"
Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP, director, Childhood Communication Services, adjunct professor, Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University, and coauthor of The SCERTS Model

"This book is a blueprint for us all to use in addressing our 'differently abled' kids. Finding our own internal regulation is where it all begins!"
Stephen Stills, musician, parent, and advocate


"This should be required reading for all teachers. Each of the seven keys are simple to add to not only the classroom but the home." (, April 2012)

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Customer Reviews

Those comments are exactly why this book is needed.
Sara Mac
"Seven Keys to Unlock Autism" is positive, upbeat, and encouraging, and I think that is helpful.
Wayne Crenwelge
It's a good book for autistic parents and teachers or caregivers of autistic children.
Heather W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By critters VINE VOICE on October 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really don't know where to start...

I found "Keys" interesting, in part because it validated the success I had last year working with a severely disabled student with both MR and autism, who had severe, injurious behavior problems. Instinctively, I did what I could to meet him where he was, and he began to turn around after about half of a school year. Today he's a completely different kid, behavior-wise, and it's very easy to "live with him."

Still, I find such comments as, "We can assure you that the fundamental principles that comprise the 'Seven Keys to Unlock Autism' are beneficial to teachers in all and any circumstances." (p. xx, Introduction) After 30 years in spedland, I can't think of much of anything that covers "all and any circumstances;" humans just don't seem to work that way. I also have a problem with "Remember that children with autism have higly sensitive neurological systems" (p. 71), yet p. 4 says, "[the] individual variations create a unique puzzle with hyper- or hyposensitivities to the environment." Hyposensitivities have been more common in my experience, so I'm more attuned to their inclusion in autism literature.

Lastly, I'm not sure that all parts of all of the "keys" may be doable in every school environment; it doesn't appear that either of the authors is a teacher, and I don't know that all of the information may be usable in, say, the 30-child inclusion classrooms in our school. Regardless, though, I think there are some truly new ideas and novel approaches in the keys, which deserve more attention.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Crenwelge VINE VOICE on January 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One of my Core beliefs is "Perception is Reality". I think Elaine Hall and Diane Isaacs write about this perception issue. Both have children with autism, so they are personally connected. They write about how they approached helping their own children with the wrong perception. So they tweaked their Perception.....which tweaks reality. Why is this important? It is important because we all need to work smarter.

I have been a Special Education (SPED) teacher for over a decade in a very large public school district. In fact, our district ranks as one of the 30 largest districts in the nation. Parents move to our district because of their Perception of what our district can do for their children. Two years ago, our district cut the entire SPED department in all know, no money. This year they cut more....... affecting all aspects of education.....from busing to cleaning staff. BUT our SPED population is as large as it was 3 or 4 years ago. The Reality is we need to continue to innovate and work smarter. I advance a theory that books like "Seven Keys to Unlock Autism" and ideas to work smarter are a must......if we are to succeed.

I found "Keys" extremely interesting, in part because it validated some of the successes I have had working with a severely disabled students with both MR and autism. My methodology has always to engage in a helpful way. I vividly remember about 10 years ago when I was working with an "active" young 3rd grade student. She was not engaged in the class activity, unless you consider laying under a table in the room and screaming. I was having some successes and she had stopped screaming (I sat directly by her and talked to her in a calm and happy voice) when my principal came into the room.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A reader VINE VOICE on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book is fascinating, awe-inspiring, and even life changing, and opens one's eyes to the hearts and minds of the nearly 1% of the population on the autism spectrum. The tools provided here could be applied in many other situations. So many students struggle with various learning difficulties. The seven keys could be helpful in so many ways.

I really appreciate the very imaginative exercises provided with each key, which gently guide the reader to better empathize with people with autism. I was surprised to find that this book is in ways a self-help book, and for good reason: the attitude of the teacher, parent, etc. is of prime importance in bringing out the best in the student.

The book begins with a brief but shocking history of the way autism has been viewed and handled in the past, followed by discussion of more creative methods of treatment that are available now. The seven keys are presented along with exercises to develop awareness, disturbing tales of discrimination and bullying, phenomenal success stories, and most notably, the
words of previously nonverbal students, who when given the means to express themselves are strikingly articulate and sensitive.

It is so valuable to realize that we humans all have quirks, difficulties, and limitations, and that we have more in common than we realize. If you are interested in the multiplicity of fascinating ways human intelligence expresses itself, you will find inspiration and direction in this book. I do believe that to follow these teaching methods exactly, one would need further guidance and supplementation; however, an extensive resource section is provided at the end of the book.

Whether or not one follows these teaching methods methods exactly, this is a beautiful book, well worth reading.
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