Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Great Autism Resources Sale

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Sourcebooks is having a GREAT sale on various autism books, but only for the next 2 weeks.  If you have a family member with autism, or if you know of a friend impacted by autism, or if you are a teacher of children with autism, or if you simply want to know and understand more about autism, TAKE ADVANTAGE of this GREAT SALE!  Also, don't forget to pass the word along!  This sale is too great to pass it by!

I had the chance to read through 3 of the books being sold for this promotion, and I can honestly say, all 3 are fabulous resources.  There are pluses to each one of them.  I'm sure the others listed are great as well.  If you are interested in getting any of the 3 that I read, I will describe each one for you to help you better decide what you want to get, but really, at $2.99 each, you could buy all 3!

The Asperger's Answer Book by Susan Ashley, Ph.D. is a great resource if you are suspecting Asperger's in your child or someone close to you or if you've just recently been given a diagnosis for a child you care for or if you simply want to understand more about Asperger's Syndrome.  It's even a great resource for teachers of kids with Asperger's! I love the way the book is put together.  The 12 chapters all address particular issues related to Asperger's, and at the beginning of each chapter, several related questions are listed to address that particular topic.  It makes the book really easy to use and the information extremely simple to access.  For instance, if I wante4d to understand better my son's sensory issues, I can go right to Chapter 8: Language, Motor Skills, and Sensory Sensitivity on p 167 according to the chapter index.  Once there, I will see the questions and find the question "What is tactile sensitivity?"  That's what I want to know about since my son has issues with clothing and textures of different objects.  I then go straight to that section and begin to read.
In addition to being a vast wealth of information on Asperger's, many questions address how I can help my child with a certain struggle such as "How can I best help my child when he is having an outburst? (Chapter 10).  Entering the world of Autism can be extremely overwhelming with the amount of information out there.  There's also a lot of terminology thrown around that you won't understand at first, and this book defines those really well.  Trying to deal with the struggles of Autism and keep up with all of the therapies can leave a parent with little time to simply read and try to figure Autism out.  This book is a huge time saver because of the way it's organized.  It's a go-to book when my son is struggling to understand emotions or when I need to know how I can help him at school through the IEP process.  If you are just starting to suspect Asperger's in a child, this book starts out explaining what those symptoms look like and how to go about getting a child evaluated.  Many different classes of doctors can give an official diagnosis, so it's also overwhelming about who to go to and what the differences are in the different kinds of doctors out there.  I love the way the book thoroughly explains all of this so you can make an educated decision based on what you think is best for your child.  I HIGHLY recommend this book for anyone who needs/wants to know more about Asperger's.

Children with High-Functioning Autism by Claire E. Hughes-Lynch is also a great book.  I love her style of writing because it is down to earth, engaging, and really easy to read.  She is a Ph.D in special education and gifted education and has a child with high-functioning autism (PDD-NOS) and another one with autistic-like behaviors (Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Tourette's Syndrome).  Needless to say, not only does she have book knowledge about autism, but she has personal parenting experience as well.  She writes this book by using metaphors of going on a journey to different countries to describe caring for "normal" children, those severely intellectually/developmentally challenged, and those who fall in between the two.  It really paints a neat picture in helping to understand how the knowledge and treatment has to be different for each class.  She delves into many of the suspected causes of autism and uses a lot of sources to back up her thoughts and facts.  However, she also freely gives her own opinion while letting you know it's just an opinion and not a proven fact.
I really appreciate her candor and her honesty as she writes the book and gives such appropriate examples from her own experiences with her children or those she has crossed paths with through her life.  She also does a great job explaining the different Autism Spectrum Disorders, which is also a widely confusing topic.  I like the way she covers all of the major topics and really gives good insight into the various areas particularly with treatments, school accommodations (including homeschooling), and the often-neglected issue of siblings and spouses (this is close to my heart since I recognize how easily all of the autistic therapies can suck away every last ounce of strength and energy leaving nothing left for the siblings not to mention your spouse).  This is truly a great resource for a parent of a child with high-functioning autism.

School Success for Kids with Asperger's Syndrome is a very practical book for dealing with school-related issues.  It's a great resource for parents as well as for teachers.  Stephan M. Silverman and Rich Weinfeld do a great job explaining the typical struggles of a child with Asperger's and providing great strategies and tools for dealing with those issues that can be easily put into practice in home and in the school setting.  They also help provide guidance in working the education system and all of the confusing aspects of special education and IEPs.  I also like the fact that they provide information related to college, work, and independent living which is so important to know and understand.  Even though my son is only 6, it helps me to know what to anticipate in the future and how I can be helping him learn these necessary tools to help him be successful in his adult life.  This topic is really being worked on and developed right now in light of the increasing numbers of children being diagnosed with Asperger's as well as other disorders of the autism spectrum.  It's encouraging to know that resources are being put into place to address these issues.

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