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Thinking Person's Guide To Autism Paperback – November 18, 2011

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Thinking Person's Guide To Autism + Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew: Updated and Expanded Edition + 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism or Asperger's, Revised and Expanded 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Deadwood City Publishing (November 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0692010556
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692010556
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #686,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Refreshingly free of dogma, disinformation, and heavy-handed agendas, The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism is an oasis of sanity, compassion, and hope for people on the spectrum and those who love them. --Steve Silberman, senior writer for Wired magazine and autism/neurodiversity blogger for the Public Library of Science

This is a book of HOPE. The underlying message is that however tough things may be, however difficult they may get, don't give up. Things can and generally, but not always will get better and there are resources available and people willing to help you give your child the best possible life. I believe this book may be the turning point in the lives of many parents of autistic children, but what do I know? I am an autistic adult and I contributed --Rory Patton, self-advocate, Springing Tiger

When Hank got his autism diagnosis, they gave us a binder from Autism Speaks. [Thinking Person's Guide to Autism] is the book I wish we'd been given. --Colin Meloy of The Decemberists and Wildwood

About the Author

Editors: Shannon Des Roches Rosa Jennifer Byde Myers Liz Ditz Emily Willingham Carol Greenburg

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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As a practicing pediatrician and parent, I highly recommend this book.
An excellent, comprehensive, balanced and very readable collection of essays that answer all of the questions you might have about autism.
Gail Pubols
This book provides insight directly into that feeling--snapshots, if you will--of what other parents go through.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Jayneth on March 17, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm an autistic adult studying & working in the field of Intellectual Disabilities, & if I could afford to buy a copy of this book for all of my friends, for all of my tutors, colleagues, & classmates,then I absolutely would.

The book is perfectly titled, containing insightful, thoughtful pieces that cover many aspects of life on the spectrum. It presents autism realistically, without any of the unnecessary (& potentially damaging) negativity that is so often pushed by organizations who claim to speak for us whilst near-actively excluding us. It offers hope, sound advice, and true understanding - and as such, is a long-overdue, sorely-needed revelation.

Please, please, please - if you live with, work with, love, and/or care for an autistic person; then read this book.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Denise Somsak on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pediatrician and mom to an 8 year old autistic boy, I found this book to be authentic and spot on. The book addresses practical autism issues like parental/caregiver stress, planning for your child's future, meltdowns, potential guilt over not refusing vaccines and not trying the myriad of costly pseudoscience treatments, the role of the education system, friends, therapists, and medications. Many of the topics were blog posts from various internet sites; thus, they read like a collection of greatest hits by parents and specialists affected by autism in their own lives. THEY GET IT. They share their joy, sorrow, anger, mistakes and speak of real solutions not false promises of cure. Even as a well read medical provider and parent, I still learned from this book. Some of the topics covered are short on detail, but the reader is referred to other quality sources for in depth coverage.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Seidman on January 30, 2012
Format: Paperback
Thinking Person's Guide To Autism has set a new standard for special needs parenting books. It is packed with the practical, helpful and necessary information parents need to know--but it also offers much comfort, hope and inspiration. While it's an outstanding first book to reach for after a diagnosis of autism, those in the throes of autism parenting or who have grown children will also discover much that is useful. And this guide isn't just relevant to autism; I have a child with cerebral palsy, and found so much in the book insightful, from dealing with meltdowns to creating a Special Education PTA.

Each chapter is written by a different person: one of the authors (the five women behind the TPGA site), top experts, powerful voices from the blogosphere and beyond, and well-known advocates including Holly Robinson Peete and Susan Senator. There's step-by-step info, explanations of various therapies, resources, debunking of myths, heartfelt musings on acceptance, hard-hitting looks at causes, treatment, education and inclusion. The essays are beautifully written, moving and smart; one of my favorites is "Buying Hope" by Jennifer Byde Myers (mom to a child with autism and cerebral palsy) about the endless products and potions we parents purchase to help our kids, and how to avoid wasting your money and emotional energy.

I've been turned off by other guidebooks for special needs parenting because I've found them to be negative, unrealistic or both. Thinking Person's Guide To Autism, however, is empowering and all about real life. You'll want to read this book not because you "should" but because you will be grateful that you did; it's bound to improve your life as the parent of a child with special needs, and your child's life, too.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By C. E. Creager on January 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm high functioning autistic. This book was recommended to me as a collection of stories from "people who get it." Not so at all.

This book is geared almost exclusively toward parents of autistic children, instead of the people who really need the help and understanding - autistic people. This book doesn't talk about what happens when that cute autistic child becomes an autistic adult. It centers on parental grief (wildly offensive notion - we are not something to grieve over!) and things you can do to help your child. In theory, that's an awesome idea, but there are no services or books for autistic adults, and this doesn't help.

The copy needs to be edited to clearly show that this is all about parents and the issues of caring for us, instead of directed at autistic adults who want to hear from people who understand us. Really disappointing.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Smith on March 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I finally finished reading Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. It took several months to read 1 or 2 essays in the morning-then digesting them along with my breakfast. The reading is not light and the editors did a fantastic job of finding diversified, sometimes controversial viewpoints including those of teachers, therapists, parents and adult voices with autism. The writers come from various stages of autism involvement ranging from parents of young children who recently received the diagnosis, the perspective of a mom with a young adult moving into a community residence and an adult who didn't receive the autism diagnosis until age 50.

Since as the expression goes-you meet one reader of an autism book....... you've met one reader of an autism book... (you know what I mean....), we readers will react according to our unique backgrounds and experiences. As an occupational therapist working with young children on the spectrum and mother of a college student with Asperger's syndrome-the goal of eliminating or at least decreasing the stigma of being neurologically and socially different very much touches home. I loved the strategies that included- educating the teachers and classmates, forgiving neighbors, family and others who don't "get it" and building a support network.

I appreciated the perspectives on autism "cults" that pried on vulnerable parents who will do anything to find a cure. Since I have always recognized the genetic traits passed down to my son who was sensory fussy since birth and as a therapist who wants to use evidence-based treatment strategies, I want to see the evidence before "buying hope" and hope that reading these perspectives will persuade others to do the same.
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