The World of the Autistic Child : Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders
For thousands of loving and concerned parents of autistic children, the suspicion that something may be wrong comes long before the clinical diagnosis of autism, PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), or Asperger’s syndrome. When rounds of testing and consultations confirm parents’ worst fears, their emotional turmoil is matched by an overriding practical concern: What do we do next?
The World of the Autistic Child is by far the most complete and comprehensive book ever written for the parents of autistic children, and for the teachers, child specialists, and other professionals that care for them. Written by Dr. Bryna Siegel, a developmental psychologist and director of a large university clinic for autistic children, it provides help and hope not only for the children, but for their families–the parents, grandparents, siblings, and other caregivers who must come to grips with their own grief and confusion following a diagnosis of autism or other related disorder. Dr. Siegel believes that parents’ best defense is to acquire, as early as possible, the knowledge and the parenting skills they will need to work with professionals to help their child fulfill his or her potential. This book, therefore, is about understanding the diagnosis of autism, the available treatments, and how to decide what is best for a particular child with autism or PDD.
Straightforward and sympathetic, Dr. Siegel guides readers through the thicket of symptoms and labels, explaining the crucial importance of intensive early education, and how to find the resources and help that are available. Behavior modification, the development of daily living skills, guidelines for selecting and designing schooling, mainstreaming, the role for traditional academics in educating higher functioning children and young people, building effective parent-teacher relationships, psychoactive medications, and dealing with the possibility of residential placement are all covered. Dr. Siegel teaches parents and professionals to use their own common sense and personal observations in evaluating the many highly publicized but unorthodox and often untested treatments for autism, including the much-touted facilitated communication (F/C), holding therapy, auditory training, “Options” therapy, allergy treatments, and special diets.
Pulling together a wealth of long-needed information on the latest educational and medical advances, The World of the Autistic Child is a superb guide and resource that no one who cares about autistic or developmentally disabled young people will want to be without.