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Embracing Autism: Connecting and Communicating with Children in the Autism Spectrum Hardcover – March 14, 2008
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The Amazon Book Review
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From the Inside Flap
Since it was first identified in 1943, autism has confounded and frustrated the medical and educational communities. To date, there is no agreed-upon cause and there is no cure. While the physiological aberrations that create autism spectrum disorders (ASD) remain a mystery, the personal perspective of those who live and work with children and adults in the spectrum can be illuminating.
Embracing Autism presents sensitive, sometimes humorous, experience-based stories from teachers, clinicians, and parent activists within the autism community. With insight and heart, this book offers parents and educators a way to better understand the world inhabited by ASD children and adults. Each story is compelling, inspirational, and informationalproviding a vital and helpful perspective for anyone who is working or living day-to-day with ASD.
Embracing Autism gives readers encouragement for navigating the uncharted territory of working with an ASD child. As the book explains, while teachers and parents can be well prepared in autism approaches and educational training, they must also be willing to let go of expectationsthey must get down to the basic task of getting to know the person beyond the diagnosis.
Filled with passion and hope, Embracing Autism shows what makes people with ASD tick and gives useful information on how they communicate, learn, and ultimately what it takes to help them succeed.
Top Customer Reviews
I like the way each personal account describes the behavior of the person with autism and how that behavior impacts on the lives of all whom they encounter. My favorite part was the chapter on Shawn Lyons, an extraordinarily bright young man with Asperger's Syndrome, the spectrum parter to autism.
Parts of Shawn's story were funny. I loved the very moving part of his impromptu joining a church production of the Nativity. Instead of being turned away and ordered back to his seat, the cast members allowed him to come on stage. When told that the chorus was going to sing, Shawn somehow got everyone, audience included to participate. That was my favorite part.
The only thing I didn't like was the word "perseverate," which is a damning and damaging word. "Excessive repetition," or "special interests" are far preferable and certainly speak to tolerance whereas that other word simply does not. The use of that word cost this book one star. Luckily Shawn dodged the bullet of just how very harmful that word really is. I am sorry it was ever applied to him in any way, shape and form, especially during his social skills lessons. It is a word best permanently retired.
On the other hand, Shawn's aides came up with some innovative ideas to help him learn how to "read" other people. On one occasion when Shawn was sharing his special interest in botany, his aide gave an exaggerated yawn and politely told Shawn that her brain could not hold as much information as his could about botany and that whenever one's eyes glaze over or they look away, fidget or yawn, those are good indicators that he has belabored his topic. Shawn was then able to apply that concept in other areas.
The title of this book speaks to tolerance. The idea of embracing this sensori-neurological condition is very much one of acceptance, one of recognizing the gifts that people on the spectrum have to offer.
As an adult sibling of a brother with autism there are many stories and emotions in this book which I can relate to. I found myself laughing and crying within the same story. I am so pleased that there is a book which presents different points of views and levels of autism.
I would highly recommend this book.
Embracing Autism is a well-written compilation of life experiences, struggles and inspirational portraits of families and professionals who have lived with and improved the lives of children and adults in the autism spectrum. I heartily recommend it to families and friends of those parents who struggle with the diagnosis and are grappling with what this diagnosis means.
It will certainly help many to see the diverse nature of this diagnosis and help parents to view their children not as "impaired" but as "unique."
I do not have a child in the spectrum, but do have friends who are struggling with the diagnosis in their families. It helped me to view autism in a new light and unexpectedly, it also gave me inspiration in dealing with my own children outside of the spectrum.
The book certainly speaks to the frustrations of meltdowns, parents struggling with diagnosis and treatment, and the need for more continued education of those of us who do not have a child "in the spectrum." Our culture needs brave souls such as these to make themselves transparent, so that people, like I, can understand how to react, love and support those who live with this challenge.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As an autism specialist, I have met with countless parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).