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Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew Paperback – January 1, 2005
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--Trinny Holman, Queensland, Australia
--Paula Kluth, PhD
Author, You’re Going to Love This Kid and Pedro’s Whale
Auntor, The Out-of-Sync Child and The Goodenoughs Get In Sync
From the Publisher
*Winner of the iParenting Media Award for being one of the Greatest Products of 2005!*
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I feel that this book could be better described with the considerably less catchy title of; Ten concepts which your future happy and successful grown up child with autism needs you to know, understand, believe and "live" now - in order to ensure that the time line works out for the best.
Make no mistake, these aren't ten baby concepts which will only hold true for a small part of your child's life. They're adult ones, mantras for living - and they apply forever.
The book starts with a list of the 10 things which I'll list below because there are no surprises here.
1. I am a whole child.
2. My senses are out of sync
3. Distinguish between won't and can't
4. I am a concrete thinker, I interpret language literally
5. Listen to all the ways I'm trying to communicate
6. Picture this! I am visually orientated
7. Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can't do
8. Help me with social interactions
9. Identify what triggers my meltdowns
10. Love me unconditionally.
You'll notice that every one of these ten things is open-ended. Each topic contains a lot of important discussion material. I won't say that I agreed 100% with everything but the later chapters put all of my minor niggles to rest. Ellen makes it clear at the beginning of the book that all children are different and that not everything here will apply to every child.
This book spends quite a bit of time discussing the "language of autism" as it used by parents, media and support personnel. It makes it very clear that the way in which we express, embrace and encourage our children has monumental impact both on their self esteem and their future success. Often we use negative language without realising it and the book provides some handy hints on how to detect and remove these negative words from our daily interactions.
If you've ever used a phrase like "my child suffers from autism", then you really need to read this book. Similarly, if you've said; "my child will never do that".
The subject of the book is Ellen's son Bryce and by reading between the lines, you can follow his journey from a child seen as a PIA (Potentially Independent Adult) to a fully functional, self-supporting adult.
There are some wonderful "bonus chapters" in the book including; "Ten things I want my high school senior with Autism to know" and a great chapter called Evolution which really presses home the problems of limiting language. Finally, the book ends with some discussion questions which are really worth thinking about.
If it all sounds really technical, don't worry, it's not. In fact, it's quite an easy read at just under 200 pages and a really easy-going font but it's a book that will get you thinking and it's a book that could change your life. It probably should be required reading for all parents of children on the spectrum.
I thought they were writing about my son in some of the sections and she does it with a sense of humor that is wonderful and needed. As you read about the "backwards hugs" and other things that are common with autism it is heart warming to know you are not alone.
I recommended this book to his teachers because as a parent I found it insightful. Grandma read the book in one day; she could not put it down. It is a useful tool for people dealing with special children like ours and this book hits the nail on the head without all the depressing dribble.
Sometimes I just read the highlighted areas that I marked to know I am not alone and to make me smile.