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Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Release Date: January, 2005
Publisher: Future Horizons
A bestseller gets even better! Every parent, teacher, social worker, therapist, and physician should have this succinct and informative book in their back pocket. Framed with both humor and compassion, the book describes ten characteristics that help illuminate—not define—children with autism. Ellen’s personal experiences as a parent of children with autism and ADHD, a celebrated autism author, and a contributor to numerous publications, classrooms, conferences, and websites around the world coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum. This updated edition delves into expanded thought and deeper discussion of communication issues, social processing skills, and the critical roles adult perspectives play in guiding the child with autism to a meaningful, self-sufficient, productive life. A bonus section includes ten more essential, thought-provoking "things" to share with young people on the spectrum as they cross the threshold of adulthood, and an appendix of more than seventy questions suitable for group discussion or self-reflection. This new edition sounds an even more resonant call to action, carrying the reader farther into understanding the needs and the potential of every child with autism.Bronze Award in Psychology, ForeWord Book of the Year AwardsGold Award, Mom's Choice Awards
||0.5 x 6.0 x 8.9 in.
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Posted by MG on 5/30/2006
I have read through dozens of books pertaining to Autism and within this one book I found more useful information than anywhere else. This book is not just for parents and therapists, but also for family members adjusting to life with a child who has Autism. It helps you get inside the head of a child with Autism, and understand the struggles and pain these children face every single day.
The ten things the author lays out are simple, but essential in understanding and helping the child. She provides examples in terms that people without Autism can relate to in order to better understand certain behaviors. The recovery process is different for every child, but the information in this book will without a doubt help any family get on the road. Open your heart and read this book to really understand.
Ten Reasons to Buy This Book
Posted by BeatleBangs1964 on 6/7/2007
This stellar book provides a logical list of ten basic precepts that every person, child or adult with autism would like for the neurotypical (NT) world to know.
People, children in particular are people first, not "autistic child, autistic person." Autism is a shorthand label for specific behaviors that are rooted in neurobiology. In short, autism is a sensori-neurobiological condition.
The main theme and the common thread that links the ten items on this "wish list" of sorts is extending basic human courtesy to people with autism. Readers will be provided ways in order to help honor the rights, dignity and best interests of people with autism. Parents and educators in particular will take this book to heart.
This author translates seemingly bizarre behavior to the neurotypical world. All behavior has a sensory base. Many people with autism have hyperacute hearing. Show me someone with autism who doesn't hate loud noises and I'll show you a singing Boston bulldog who can tap dance as well. All sensory modes are heightened in people who have autism. Smells are stronger; certain materials are unbearable to the touch and in some cases painful; tastes are very strong; the sight of certain things can elicit strong reactions that are either very positive or very negative. I knew people with autism who hated blinking lights and retreat or cover their eyes when in the presence of a light that blinked on and off.
Beatle fans with autism are a very interesting group indeed. The mere sight of a Beatle picture brings strong positive reactions; the Beatles' music triggers a series of highly positive responses as well.
This brilliant book demystifies meltdowns and identifies triggers. In cowboy parlance, this book will help you head them off at the pass. If you can't, you learn when to get out of Dodge fast. As difficult as the process is, it is always worth it and for children in particular, meltdowns are the result of being pushed past a certain point. It's like the 1968 George Harrison classic, "It's All Too Much." That song describes the Overload Experience quite well. "It's all too much for me to see..it's all too much for me to take..."
Some excellent prompts, cues and guides are provided to help children navigate throughout their day. Show me a person with autism who DOESN'T hate surprises/having things sprung on them and I'll show you that same singing Boston bulldog. Echoes of Carol Gray can be heard here; she is famous for her social stories and having children draw social comics to help script and anticipate certain social interactions. This gifted author helps people to see autism in a more accepting light by explaining the behaviors; providing tools of empowerment and keeping the tone of acceptance throughout the book.
This wonderful book makes me think of the 1978 Billy Joel song, "Just the Way You Are." I like the way she says that is an important message to convey to children on the spectrum - we like and love them just the way they are and the goal is to help them have happy, full productive lives and good social interactions and develop confidence.
This book is a giant step towards accomplishing all that and then some.
Ten Things - Your Choices Make All the Difference In Your Child's Life
Posted by Lori Heimbichner on 10/28/2005
Ellen Notbohm's Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew, an extension of her article "What Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew" speaks to children's wishes and the choices parents can make to honor them. Its soul triggered in me a CliffNotes' synopsis of Aristotle's contention that "choice (as determined by deliberation) is concerned with means to an end. Wish is concerned with the end."*
And so begins Ten Things, with the first wish of a child - that he or she be known by one word, and one word only - "child," and not squelched by the label "autistic child." It ends with the child's final wish - that he receive unconditional love and acceptance. The remaining eight wishes tucked in between provide insight into the tools (via choices parents can make) that will honor, empower and respect their precious children and make all their wishes come true.
Ten Things zeros in on the importance of sensory issues and thoroughly explains their direct link to a child's behavior. Ellen reminds parents that "seemingly inexplicable behavior ... all have a sensory cause ... No matter how unprovoked, how random it may appear, behavior never comes out of nowhere." She guides parents through reformatting their own beliefs and suggests ways to identify and work with the child's sensory structure.
Ten Things addresses those infamous "meltdowns," explains the four trigger clusters, and offers suggestions on how to identify their underlying causes. Ellen acknowledges that it's hard work for parents to actively seek out reasons for those meltdowns rather than chalk them up to an out of control child that could do better if he wanted to. By her own diligence, and with the help of qualified professionals, meltdowns are a rare happening in her home now.
Ten Things reminds us that our children are concrete and visual thinkers and they interpret language literally. Ellen explains why idioms don't work and how we can train ourselves to speak concretely and say what we mean to help our child understand since any communication that doesn't make sense to a child simply won't get through. Without helping him develop a functional way to communicate his needs, fears and wants, they will take any shape they want, which means they'll generally manifest in the form of behavior.
Ten Things provides techniques to construct a visual strategy to help a child to navigate his day, which will quite naturally and over time contribute to improved social interactions and the creation of a solid self esteem, the foundation for social functioning. And for the child's sake, Ellen implores parents to remember and believe that he's trying the best he can with his limited abilities and social understanding. Any other belief system will short circuit the route for him to become a functioning citizen in our world.
That said, and in the spirit of Aristotle, Ellen makes it clear that we as parents and teachers and caregivers are the means to our child's end.
Without doubt, the word 'autism' strikes fear in the hearts of parents, and Ellen makes no bones about it. She speaks candidly about her own initial grief and despair when her son was diagnosed - those instantaneous images of her child locked inside his own head, never able to interact properly with the world and become self-sufficient.
Those thoughts and perceptions became the energy behind her "can-do" attitude, her intensive and pro-active approach, and her battle plan against a self-fulfilling prophecy of hopelessness for her little boy. She recognized the potential within him; a potential present in all children waiting to be noticed and built upon, and not just fixed. It didn't take long for her to realize that she would not change her son, even if she could. "I wouldn't have him be anything other than exactly what he was ..."
A child's wish of unconditional love - granted.
Ten Things champions the cause of helping families discover their strengths. It validates everybody's capabilities and possibilities. It addresses early confrontations with "can't do" and redirects the focus onto what children "can do." It offers a roadmap for avoiding what Ellen calls the "swamp of unmet expectations," the place where a child's "potential goes to die if parents don't detach their personal aspirations from their child's."
Ten Things is all about parental choices:
choosing between negative and positive thinking (he won't do versus he can't do);
choosing to live in the dark rather than the light (frustration versus empowerment and patience);
choosing to limit themselves and their child by trying to bend him to their will by forced compliance rather than focusing on his gradual acclimation to the mysterious nuances of daily life that create havoc in his world;
choosing to move beyond the bitterness, grief and disappointment that they didn't "get the child they were supposed to get," and open their minds to becoming the parents they have been called to become.
choosing a rewarding direction for their life, their child's life, their family's life.
Read Ten Things. Absorb it. Then read it again and again. Learn from it. Trust it. Find your strength. Choose well for your child. Make all his wishes come true.
*Online CliffNotes for Aristotle's Essays on Ethics.