- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publishers; 1 edition (May 1, 1996)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1853023876
- ISBN-13: 978-1853023873
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,402,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Autism: An Inside-Out Approach: An Innovative Look at the 'Mechanics' of 'Autism' and its Developmental 'Cousins' Paperback – May 1, 1996
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A book written by someone who has experienced the difficulties from the inside must give rare insight into the living with autism. For Occupational Therapists one of the greatest values of Donna Williams' book is that she looks at many different aspects, particularly the sensory problems, and relates theory to everyday living. She describes most of the treatment approaches available and judges their value from her own experience and from a sound theoretical basis. Donna Williams' book gives insight into autism and brings hope. She makes us look again and see that more can be achieves if the difficulties are understood better and more appropriate help given. It is a book that empowers the reader and rekindles enthusiasm. Well worth buying. It is well worth reading the whole book but it is also a volume that you can dip into. If you can't buy this book then borrow it. Anyone working with autism needs to know what this remarkable woman is telling us. Author: NAPOT Journal
I found Donna Williams' book invaluable. It is a book that works to integrate what is needed and what it feels like from the inside of autism. I shall refer to it to help me think of how someone with autism may be experiencing their work and shall certainly recommend it to parents and other professionals. Author: The Canadian Child Psychiatry Review
Autism: An Inside-Out Approach is an insightful look at autism that goes beyond symptoms and behaviors. This book is written by an eloquent author who lives with autism every day. Donna Williams suggests both detailed theory and practical day-to-day strategies for addressing specific challenges of individuals who, like her, have some type of autism or Asperger syndrome. Williams uses her initial chapters to tell her story and to set up her general theory… Autism: An Inside-Out Approach is a must read for all professionals and care-givers in the field of autism. It is thought provoking and dense with practical real-world suggestions and strategies. Readers must be cautious, however, because Williams' theories are the personal beliefs of an individual with autism, based on her own unique life experiences. She offers little scientific support for her ideas, and yet many will ring true with anyone who knows individuals with these characteristics. Many scientific studies have come and gone over the years, without having a significant impact on the type of support that is given to persons who have autism. Not just despite its subjectivity and personal nature, but because of it, this articulate approach by someone who has lived with autism may affect the ways in which professionals approach autism for years to come. Author: Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
From the Author
Donna Williams was born in Australia in 1963. She was assessed at age two as psychotic, labelled disturbed and tested for deafness throughout childhood before being diagnosed as autistic in 1990. She was an international best-selling author with nine published books, an artist, singer-songwriter and screenwriter. One of the most well known people with autism in the world, Donna was a renowned international public speaker, a qualified teacher and worked as an autism consultant.
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If you're an NT looking for answers on how to help an autistic child, skip this book. It's an exhaustive catalog of everything every educator and parent has ever done wrong with children with autism, but almost no information on how to do things right. I found much more valuable insights into how to understand the autie point of view in all her other books.
However, if you're autistic and are frustrated with the way you were treated in the school system, this book will be very validating.
NT's and auties will always have a very hard time seeing each other's world, and it's hard not to resent each other for the pain we cause each other just be trying to co-exist in the same universe! But it's time to put resentment aside and try harder to SEE what each other sees. Donna's other books all helped me see through her eyes, but this book only made me see her resentment. If you don't understand autie resentment, this book might help. If you're an NT in an autie world and already understand the resentment all too well, this book will only make make you feel terrible and it won't give you any new insights or answers.
This scholarly work is detailed but not tedious; factual and direct. Each chapter is broken into subsections that focus on a particular issue, e.g. education, physiological "firings" in the brain; vitamins; medicines; sensory responses; information processing and developing langugage. The book also has an Appendix which includes good practical advice about working with people with autism. Her inclusion of national as well as international organizations is invaluable.
Williams raises some excellent points in her book, e.g. exposing the myth of "hug/holding therapy" as being a panacea for neurological conditions. Many people with autism find hugs restrictive. The onslaught of sensory input during enforced hugs makes an unpleasant activity even more so. Insisting that people "hug on cue" is unnatural and does not engender love. People forced to suffer through this treatment will, as she rightfully points out, outwardly go along with it until they are released. It does not change the neurology or the feelings of the autistic person; this method is just a stop-gap approach that meets the hugger's need and not that of the person with autism. It also appears to be a very self serving form of treatment and one that should be called into question. It is also a form of manipulative control. Very little attention has been given to "unpleasant" hugs and the rights of people who don't want to be hugged in the first place. There are many people, autistic and neurotypical who are not overly fond of hugs and find them intrusive.
I felt the book did an excellent job of providing a wide array of information about autism in a "reader friendly" format. A person with autism is by far and away the best authority on the subject. This book is like a magnet; readers will continue to be drawn to it and will continue "dipping into it" for information and guidance. This, as with any work cannot be all inclusive and cover every single item. Still, I feel it is exceptionally well done and one every educator, parent, person with autism should not be without. We need this book!
Donna is intelligently critical of the popular and professional stereotypes of autism. She demands an end to the professional exclusivism and arrogance of so many proponents of therapies for autism. Donna proposes a "supermarket" approach, where the different therapies work together under the one roof to meet the unique set of problems of each autistic individual they serve.
Autism: An Inside-Out Approach answers the problem of Carol and Willie, Donna's "characters" Oliver Sacks discusses a similar personality phenomenon to Donna's "characters" during his description of Dr Temple Grandin in An Anthropologist From Mars.
The appendix to Autism: An Inside-Out Approach, is full of helpful advice on issues and problems involved in dealing with autism. There is also an international list of organisations and resource people Donna has found useful in her own struggle with autism.
Two quibbles with Donna's brilliant, very readable exposition of autism: The word "refraction" is repeatedly used to refer to "shining", reflected light. Secondly, her useful coverage of nutrition and immunology problems in autistic people does not fully reflect the full raft of problems and issues in this area of autism research.
Autism: An Inside-Out Approach is "extremely recommended" reading.