Posts tagged ‘autism’

A WORLD OF MANY COLORS

UNDERSTANDING BOBBY’S AUTISM DIAGNOSIS: A Social Story

Written and illustrated by Bozena Zawisz

This book explains how an autistic child views his world. It is a valuable reference tool for parents and teachers of autistic children to use to explain autistic behavior. Many autistic children on the higher end of the spectrum are educated in inclusive classrooms. Children can become confused when these children avoid eye contact, have slower speech, and sensitivity to stimuli that other children think normal.

The author uses simple analogies like an abundance of twig branches to explain why autistic children may have difficulty focusing. She talks about teacher adaptations and how they assist an autistic child in learning. Different intensities of the colors of a rainbow is another good example of how all of us are different in the way we behave. Bobby and his friend John have overcome all these difficulties and have become the best of friends. Each of us has unique talents and skills All children need to give and receive respect for these strengths and differences.

I highly recommend this book which contains simple sketches for parents and teachers of elementary school and middle-school children who have contact with children on the autism spectrum.

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AUTISM: 101

Autism: Simple and Inexpensive Natural Autism Therapies to Help Your Autistic Child Live a Calm and Healthy Life

Written by Nancy Perez

The author is a proponent of natural therapies to relieve stress and anxiety. She has used them to treat her own diabetes for years and has written how to employ them to assist in the treatment of autism. In this book, Perez provides an overview of the autism spectrum. While there is a myriad of symptoms and behaviors, all autistic children suffer from communication and socialization issues. Autism appears to have connections with both genetics and the environment.

The heart of the book deals with treatments. While many patients diagnosed with autism require some sort of medication, Perez focuses on more natural treatments. A definite diagnosis is often not made until after age five, but early intervention is important to address a child’s needs. Speech, physical and occupational therapy may be needed as well as special education to address cognition. Depending on the issues the individual faces, music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy, nature therapy, and swing therapy, might be effective interventions. I found the discussion of using horses (hippotherapy) to help a child process sensory movements enlightening. Simpler steps that can be implemented easily in the home include removing chemical products, messaging the child, experimenting with dietary needs, and introducing yoga. Learning each child’s preferences and needs is the most difficult aspect of living and working with a child on the autistic spectrum.

As an educator who has worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team treating autistic children, I would definitely recommend this book to parents and educators who are new to the field of autism as an easy to read introduction to the subject.

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AUTISM AWARENESS

Early Signs of Autism in Toddlers, Infants and Babies: Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Written by Leslie Burby

AutismEI,pic

The author is the mother of two children on the Autism spectrum and the Editor of Autism Parenting Magazine. She wrote this book to share her experiences and enlighten the public about identifying the signs of Autism in young children, a condition that is widely misunderstood. Burby endeavors to help parents understand what the signs are, how diagnosis criteria have changed, what sensory conditions may accompany Autism, how to get a diagnosis and who to contact as well as ancillary medical conditions and treatment possibilities.

I worked in this field for many years as a special educator and know first hand how Autism affects every child differently, how much conflicting information is out there, and how confusing the myriad symptoms and treatment options appear. The author systematically breaks down the old and new ways of identification and the five common types of Autism. She outlines the early signs and possible accompanying behaviors. Burby presents parents with a guideline of developmental milestones to look for in the areas of cognition, speech, social, adaptive, gross and fine motor skills. The section on sensory issues explains the differences between hypo and hyper sensitivity and indicates the behaviors that might accompany each. She also suggests ways to soothe children from her own personal experiences. Autism generally comes with a host of other medical conditions. Leslie outlines them: obsessive compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder and Fragile X Syndrome are just a few.

Most importantly, the author insists that parents not ignore the problem or allow pediatricians to suggest that they wait. She summarizes many of the popular early intervention strategies for cognitive, motor, speech and sensory issues. Even more valuable is the section which gives contact information country by country. Burby gives answers to frequently asked questions and offers a free copy of Autism magazine as well as sharing her personal contacts and reference sources.

This is a book that every parent, health clinician and educator should have in their library. Our children are counting on us.

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