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Hardcover Between Their World and Ours: Breakthroughs with Autistic Children Book

ISBN: 0312313756

ISBN13: 9780312313753

Between Their World and Ours: Breakthroughs with Autistic Children

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

Autism has reached epidemic proportions. The latest studies suggest that as many as one in 150 children ages ten and younger may be affected by autism---a total of 300,000 children in the United... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Absolutely Great Book - according to me - an Autist

I am adult. I have Asperger's syndrome, which is a form of autism. I am the mother of an adult child with a form of autism. In my opinion this may be the BEST book about autism written to date, and that includes books written by other autistics. I want to thank Dr. Zelan so much for this book. She dismantles the highly touted,"Sally-Ann" test, which is supposed to show a lack of "theory of mind". Finally someone has fresh thinking in this area!There is no "cure" for autism. Dr. Zelan very plainly makes that case and shows how to help autistic children of all levels of ability and communicativeness to reach their potential, with a heavy emphasis on love and respect and patience. Love and respect, themes lacking in many therapies aimed at attempting to force autistic children into "normal" molds.If you only want one book about autism right now, start with this one, _Between Their World and Ours_. I also like Dr. Sally Ozonoff's book, "A parent's guide to..." and "A Positive Approach to Autism" by Stella Waterhouse.I hope that Dr. Zelan will have another book of this quality soon, and I hope that her voice becomes very important in the autism treatment community. I also recommend that anyone interested in autism seek out the voices of adult autistics on various internet sites. Some of the best information isn't actually in books it's on the web.

Many of us know an autist ...very helpful and hopeful book

Between their World and Ours, by Karen Zelan, reads almost like a novel. One becomes quickly engaged with the children whose stories Zelan uses to "show" rather than "tell" the reader about enjoying, helping and teaching young people on the autistic spectrum.Given the statistics, (one in 150 children under ten may have autistic spectrum disorders) many people know someone with this syndrome. Schools are enrolling them in classrooms, teachers are finding ways to adapt their curricula so these children can be successful learners. Between Their World and Ours gives encouragement, hope, and helpful ideas. Teachers and parents will find acknowledgement of their own good problem solving. In addition, Zelan's book will be helpful to neighbors, aunts, uncles, and friends of these children. Experts will benefit as well from the practicality, and care Zelan uses in her work.Like the many types of minds that we encounter, the autistic mind has much to offer. It requires little except quiet attention and patience to gain the trust and interest of many of these interesting kids. As with any child, it is important to LIKE them. Liking them, liking any child comes with knowing them. Unlike many authors, Zelan recognizes and rejoices in the feelings these children display. Zelan shows the reader how to attend carefully to the child so that s/he can discover the feelings of the autist s/he knows. And, more importantly, so the child can join our feeling world safely.Our knowledge of aspergers and autistic children is enhanced by the kind of book Zelan has written. It presents a range of children with very different personalities, responses, and gifts, showing common ways of reaching them as well as the variations useful in connecting with their differing needs. There are suggestions throughout the book, but also a chapter devoted entirely to specific strategies. Zelan gives benchmarks without creating a defined road map because every child is his own person.No "cure" has been discovered for this syndrome. Maybe this is a good thing. In the books mothers' have written about their own autists, it is obvious that they love and enjoy their chidren. Do we want to "cure" them or just learn enough to enjoy them and give them the requisite skills to navigate the world? I have no definite answers, but for now, I am happy to read of Zelan's success, of the children's success, and hope that parents, teachers, neighbors, friends, and experts will enjoy all the children they encounter.

Riveting, Inspiring, Stimulating

I recommend this book to all readers, not just parents, therapists, teachers, interested in autism. Here are a few observations:--The experiences of her treatment of autistic children ranging from highest to lowest functioning are riveting and beautifully written.--Her book covers important issues regarding the treatment and diagnosis of autism that have not been addressed in other books and programs on autism e.g., relations of therapists and parents, successful and unsuccessful school experiences.--This book, above all others I have read or heard discussed, gives us a dramatic window into the feelings and amazing SOCIAL and EMOTIONAL awareness of autistic children who, Zelan notes, are often incorrectly judged incapable of such insight by many so called "experts". She also shows how understanding the views shared with her by many autistic children can make a difference in their having positive social experiences.--She engages not just the powerful feelings and awareness of autists, she describes the larger world of feelings and interactions of and with parents, teachers, family and friends of autistic children.--She describes and critiques theories of the mind imposed on autistic and other developmentally disabled children; this critique heightens awareness for everyone to the subtle butdamaging ways some "experts" can hinder hope and progress for people who don't fit "normal" behavior patterns.--Her book offers insights into more than the real life experiences of autism for children, parents, teachers,therapists and the general population; it also is the best book I have ever read to give a vivid, concrete description of the psychotherapeutic relationship and what a difference it can make in all our lives, and especially for autistic children.--Her chapter directed to parents reads like a letter and is full of empathetic and practical advice that can be of value to all parents and especially parents of autistic children. Hher book if full of realistic and tempered hope with concrete information on how to get good help. She doesn't talk about cures, but breakthroughs in communicating and understanding for autists, therapist, parents, teachers and friends of autists.After reading this book, I felt enriched and wanted to share it with others. I have given it to friends who are mothers, herapists, learning specialists.Note on the jacket that famous autistic authors have read the book and attest to its accurate and vivid description of the autistic experience. There are many others, both autists and professionals in the field, who have expressed their enthusiasm for this book.I recommend this book with unqualified confidence and enthusiasm. This book makes us all wish we could have the benefit of such an articulate master therapist.

Extremely Useful for Parents and Psychotherapists

As a psychotherapist, I found reading the case studies extremely enlightening. First, because they clearly demonstrate how some autists think. Even more importantly, the cases provide many concrete examples of how a therapist can respond to these children, and also includes the children's precise responses, which show how and when these kinds of responses can be fruitful for them. These case studies are very valuable lessons for child psychotherapists, both beginning and advanced. As a person who has taught and supervised clinicians, these case studies offer very useful demonstrations of a master child therapist at work. This is the best case study material since "The story of Dibbs" in the 70s. What makes it tremendously informative is the way she was able to note, recall, and reproduce the exact sequences of her interactions with clarity. I agree with Dr. John Frattaroli's statement that this work demonstrates the optimal therapeutic attitude toward all clients, as well as to those who have autistism or Asperger's. It seemed to me that the advice to parents was very precise, thoughtful and useful. It could also be useful to professionals as a model for what parents most need to know. The final chapter, the Vision for the future, places this book in the realm of inspiring humanist psychologists such as Robert Coles. These humanist-psychologists are fully knowledgeable of the field, while at the same time they offer a larger humanistic and humanitarian perspective. Zelan's vision of an attitude toward autistic people is an example of the ideal humanistic use of psychological knowledge.


In this inspiring book, Zelan educates us about autism with remarkable empathy, experience, and sensitivity. Zelan encourages those working and living with autists to view their relationships with autists as reciprocal: as a young autist perceives her advocate adapting to the autist's world and methods of communication, so too will the autist perceive the benefits of adapting to our world. She also recognizes how difficult this task is, both emotionally and practically, and offers her readers specific advice on how to assist autists at home and at school. Zelan's writing is entirely accessible to parents, teachers, students, or anyone who would simply like to educate themselves about autism. An excellent book!
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