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Showing posts from February, 2016

Book Review: Autism and the Extended Family: A Guide for those Outside the Immediate Family who know and love Someone with Autism by Raun Melmed M.D. & Maria Wheeler M.Ed

Autism and the extended family is a book with an unusual feel to it. In fact, it's opening chapters felt so different that I was initially wondering if I would like the book. As it turns out, the language is completely appropriate and it is a good book. It's just that being as close to autism as I am, I'm not in the target audience. Where most autism books jump right in and talk about the details of autism from the inside, this book remains firmly outside the circle, keeping the outsider’s viewpoint. To be honest, the opening chapters reminded me a lot of “Autism speaks” literature but don't worry, it gets a lot better from there. The book is trying to speak to outsiders and it needs to use concepts that they can understand. This book talks about high functioning individuals but it feels much more like a book for families with more difficult and more "hands on" forms of autism. The book starts with a "welcome to my world" chapter,  I can'

Why kids with Asperger's need to do Chores... and why they need to be doing them well.

When I was growing up, I liked to potter about in my father’s garage. He used it as a work shed and it was full of awesome tools. I used to try to make things, just like he did but all of my efforts produced pretty poor results. Most of the time, it didn't matter. I built a few rather pathetic wooden Star Wars themed toys and I played with them and loved them regardless. My father was less easily pleased, often telling me that I was wasting good wood. On the odd occasion that he did get involved with my creations (never on frivolous Star Wars things of course), he would take them over entirely. I was generally fairly happy when he did this. It meant that I didn't have to do work that I wasn't suited for and he always did a much better job. I'd watch for a little while and then wander off to do something useful while he completed my work. Consequently, I learned nothing about woodcraft despite having a dad who was one of the top craftsmen of his time. I learned

Book Review: The Loving Push by Temple Grandin and Debra Moore

The Loving Push: How Parents and Professionals can help Spectrum Kids become Successful Adults By Temple Grandin Ph.D and Debra Moore Ph.D. Future Horizons 2015. The Loving Push is a very different type of autism book. It's aimed at the parents of teens and young adults with autism (or Asperger's syndrome) and it concentrates mainly on what comes after school. I've found very few books aimed at this audience and this one is undoubtedly the best.  At 200 fairly densely packed pages, this is a moderate read which unlike other books of its kind does not frequently retread the same ground. The opening chapter talks about real people with autism and/or Asperger's syndrome who have transitioned to adulthood with varying measures of success.  This is not a book of stories about geniuses and many of the young adults in the first chapter simply have "independence" as their main goal. It's a very sobering and realistic look at what comes next. The second