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Download A Parent'S Guide To Autism: A Parents Guide To Autism epub

by Charles Hart

Despite the tremendous need for parents of autistic children to learn as much as they can about treatments, life choices, and possible cures, there has never been a broad subject survey or a complete examination of the anecdotal evidence until now. Includes the success rate of the best-known treatments and more.
Download A Parent'S Guide To Autism: A Parents Guide To Autism epub
ISBN: 0671750992
ISBN13: 978-0671750992
Category: Fitness
Subcategory: Children's Health
Author: Charles Hart
Language: English
Publisher: Gallery Books; Reissue edition (June 1, 1993)
Pages: 256 pages
ePUB size: 1677 kb
FB2 size: 1126 kb
Rating: 4.9
Votes: 710
Other Formats: doc mbr lit rtf

I have been looking through books on Autism/Sensory Issues since our twins were diagnosed with Atypical Autism. I was given this one to read from a support group and found it so good I purchased a copy to keep. This has been the best book to explain all the different things I want to know, chapter through chapter my sons condition was broken down into basic explanations.

I found it easy to understand and now have a clearer picture of where to go from here.

I highly recommend any parent who has a child with autism to read this book.
Though Hart is not a professional dealing with Pervasive Developmental Disorders, he has come by the capacity to write about this subject as both the parent and brother of autistic individuals. He is also a former editor of Advocate, the official publication of the Autism Society of America. In this book, he addresses a number of questions beginning, as such books usually begin, with the definition of autism.
The book is one long Nay-say, disguised as skepticism. Hart explains that autism is the result of brain structure, not brain chemistry, and is therefore pre-natal; autism cannot caused by such things as food allergies and vaccinations. Hart does not explain why such things might be cited as causes, which makes them seem especially like quackery. When he says that people who do such things as denying their children whole foods groups, and therefore necessary nutrients, or withholding vaccinations are making serious mistakes and putting their children in danger, the reader is forced to agree because the other side is not present to defend itself. He adds that autism is not a psychosis, and therefore anti-psychotic drugs for schizophrenics will not help those with autism. And Hart says all these things so gently and kindly. Accept the child, he begs; love him for who he is; don't send the message that he is unacceptable unless he changes.
He then explains in detail what happens when different therapies, such as sensory integration therapy, or squeeze (Temple Grandin's) therapy are used. He quotes Temple Grandin quite a lot. I'm a professional in the field, and I'm familiar with these therapies, and they are all very good therapies; the information in this part of the book is quite good. However, the dairy-free and wheat-free diets work too, for some children, and I know because I've seen it. I also know that the vaccinations have been implicated, and while I wouldn't withhold one from my child, if I already had one autistic child, I might consult a pediatric neurologist before vaccinating a second child. I also know that while anti-psychotic drugs don't help, other classes of drugs do. Some children (not all) benefit from mega-vitamins, and others from an anti-fungal drug called nystatin.
You won't find any of this information in the book, and the reason is that this book is polemic. This book is about the Autism Society of America, and its party line. (You also with find only a very negative attack on the Options Institute, about which I personally have reservations, but is important enough that parents should get unbiased information.) I don't think this book should be titled A Parent's Guide to Autism: Answers to the Most Common Questions. It should be called What the Autism Society of America Wants You to Know about Autism.
Hart's writing is very engaging, and the book is an easy read, but it's already dated, and there much better books out. Pick something else.
I have read this book before and decided to re-read it now that it has been 5 years since my son was diagnosed with autism. It is interesting to note how my perceptions and understanding have changed in that time, and that obviously changed the way I read the book this time around. I still feel that this is an important book to read for any parent of a child with an autism spectrum disorder. The book is basic and straightforward and deals with issues like "What are People with Autism like?" , "What Can Medication Do for People with Autism?" and
"What's the Best Approach to Education?"
What is really interesting to me is the background that the author brings to the book, his brother had autism (long before it was even a word) and his own son was later diagnosed with autism as well. I heard the author speak at our local autism conference at the end of October and I found him to be refreshing and absolutely fascinating. I wanted to include a few of the highlights of his presentation to share here.
Mr. Hart gave an detailed history of autism and how it came to be known by that name. Although it is believed that there have been people with autism since the beginning of time, there
was not an actual term describing the symptoms until the 1940's when Kanner and Asperger both published papers on a strange combination of talents and disability that seemed to be present in some people. At this time, parents were blamed for their child's disability. Mr. Hart's brother was in his twenties during the 1940's and his family had no knowledge of these published papers. His brother was not allowed to attend school and he talked a lot about how people with disabilities have gone through their own civil rights movement for the right to obtain an education. The 1960's brought a growing belief that autism must be caused by something organic or biological and many new approaches in treatment were developed such as TEACCH, Lovaas, and Applied Behavioral Analysis. The 1970's brought great strides in genetic research and it is his belief that we currently know about as much as we possibly can about the genetics of autism and the mystery will still remain. There were a few breakthroughs in the 1980's and 1990's but they were disappointments (fragile x, secretin, etc.)
His experiences in growing up with a sibling with autism had a great impact on him. His brother was completely dependent on their mother for everything and when she died, he had to be institutionalized. This had an enormous impact on how he has raised his own son with autism. He was very sensitive to the needs of his non-disabled child and has tried very hard to give his autistic son as much independence as possible. His son is now in his thirties, works in the public library, successfully uses the public transit system, lives in his own apartment, and has an impressive collection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (I had to chuckle when I saw the slide of his son's
Ninja Turtle Collection in the living room of his apartment, because I can envision my son with a living room full of Happy Meal Toys!) He and his wife decided when their son became a
teenager that they were going to have to let him take some risks to learn to be independent. He figured early on that the best way to survive was to "hang loose" and "enjoy what he could" with
his son. He stopped worrying about if it was "appropriate" for his grown son to obsess over Ninja Turtles because it really was his son's choice. He reiterated several times that "the fewer
things you have to worry about and battle over, the better your life will be." He says the most important things we can teach our children with autism is community living skills; how to tell
time, spend money, use the transportation system and develop vocational abilities.
I realize that this is not really a book summary, but I think it is a great glimpse into the author's mindset and that helps to explain the tone the book is written in. The book is an encouragement for parents that something CAN be done to help their child, and also a warning to not fall prey to every new whim in treatments. Consider the quality of your child's life and the whole family before risking everything on some unproven course of action.
Another reviewer did not like Mr. Hart's conservative approach and I can understand that also. This book does have some sections that might seem dated but it is still very good and basic advice which is what parents need when faced with the news of this diagnosis.