Greetings! If you are here, chances are you are on a quest to figure things out, and if you are at the beginning of that quest, chances are you hardly know where to start. That’s where I was in 2007 when my three-year-old son’s eccentricities became too much for my husband and I to just brush off, ignore, or explain away.
I was fortunate to make connections early with people “in the know” who got me started reading, helped me begin to sort things out.
If you are just beginning your journey, here are some resources that have helped me understand, appreciate, and help my son.
- The Out-of-Sync Child, Carol Kranowitz
- Helped me to recognize many of my child’s behaviors as outgrowths of sensory processing issues
- Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, Ellen Notbohm
- THE most straightforward, helpful, “I can do this!” book for me. Helped me begin to understand that “all behavior is a form of communication” in a way I never had even thought of before
- With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child, Keiko Tobe
- This fictional portrayal of life for one family with a child with autism helped me relate my family’s experience with another family’s, not so much in the specific details of the main character’s autism (my son is in many ways quite different than Hikaru), but in the stresses and strains of living with and loving a child on the spectrum
- Engaging Autism: Helping Children Relate, Communicate, and Think with the DIR Floortime Approach, Stanley Greenspan, PhD and Serena Wieder, PhD
- For me, the Floortime model best fit with my understanding of how my son operates in the world, and why the things I had just naturally done with him that worked had worked
- The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, Tony Attwood
- Definitive guide to Asperger’s. A lot to absorb, but so helpful
- Asperger Syndrome and Difficult Moments: Practical Solutions for Tantrums, Rage, and Meltdowns, Brenda Smith Myles
- Really, the name of this one says it all
- No More Meltdowns by Jed Baker and The Explosive Child by Ross Greene are also helpful texts on the subject
- Asperger Syndrome, the Universe, and Everything, Kenneth Hall
- As Kenneth Hall writes, and I am inclined to agree, “Children with Asperger Syndrome are the best experts on AS. They can tell adults what seems unusual to them about the world. If they tell this to the adults, the adults should do all in their power to make things right for the child. They should try to make their child feel at home.”
- Freaks, Geeks and Asperger Syndrome: A User Guide to Adolescence by Luke Jackson is another insightful look from a young person’s perspective
- Born on a Blue Day, Daniel Tammet
- There are SO many wonderful autobiographies and memoirs by people on the spectrum (Temple Grandin, Donna Williams, Lianne Holliday Willey, John Elder Robison, Judy Endow) that represent a range of experiences and personalities, the diversity of life the autism spectrum. While all have contributed to my understanding of ASD and to family members on the spectrum, Tammet’s book stands out most in my mind because he and my son share a fascination with languages
- The Social Skills Picture Book, Jed Baker
- A recent discovery and a HUGE hit with my son who loved the full color pictures and word and thought bubbles and wanted to read every single page to know “how I am supposed to act”
- Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum: Unexpected Lessons We have Learned, Maureen Morrell and Ann Palmer
- Reading about Morrell and Palmer’s journeys raising their ASD children, and how that impacts all of family life--siblings, marriages, personal time, etc.—made me feel considerably less alone and a bit better equipped for my own journey, whatever twists and turns it takes along the way
Read all you can, tap into the Hench Program’s parent meetings (email@example.com for more information), and find people who can journey alongside on both the good and not-so-good days. Makes a world of difference.
All the best,
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