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