Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges
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Number of Pages: 208
Vendor: Moody Publishers
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
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There are many books available on how to cure an autistic preschooler, but none on how to raise one to adulthood. These promised cures raise parents' hopes, but most parents will find that they are dealing with a lifelong challenge no matter what they do. Dr. Laura Hendrickson is a trained psychiatrist, biblical counselor--and the mother of an autistic child. She understands the struggles parents face as they try to communicate with their autism spectrum child and manage behavior challenges.
With an approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges those caring for autism spectrum children face, Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created them to be.
Beth MailandAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5August 26, 2011Beth MailandAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Great Christian perspective. Definitely a must for parents questioning how to help their special child.
Mrs. Barbara MacKay5 Stars Out Of 5July 20, 2009Mrs. Barbara MacKayI definitely give this book a 5 star rating as it is an excellent guide for us as grandparents to a precious 4 yr. old grandaughter with autism! Dr. Hendrickson gives such practical advice for parents and other family members to be able to understand and help their autistic child. From her personal experience with her own autistic son, she helps us to see not only practical methods but the scripture basis for these methods to help guide both the autistic child and the typical child! Awesome resource!
FaithfulReader.com5 Stars Out Of 5March 31, 2009FaithfulReader.comDr. Laura Hendrickson, a biblical counselor and former psychiatrist, has composed an excellent resource for assisting parents to learn how to best raise their child given any challenges he or she might have on the autism spectrum. Hendrickson, herself the mother to a now adult son, writes with a genuineness that cannot be lightly dismissed. Every mother's (and father's) heart will be torn right alongside Hendrickson's as she tells of getting that first diagnosis when Eric was three years old. Interestingly, it was the childhood film Dumbo that put a vision of what Eric could achieve in his mom's heart. She recalls saying to the Lord soon after the diagnosis, "Lord, I believe that You can do anything. Please make Eric soar." In line with the story itself, Eric "tripped" up a lot in the growing up years, but eventually he did soar. Hendrickson can help you help your child soar as well.Threaded throughout this text, Hendrickson weaves Eric's story and her own, thus personalizing every challenge they overcame and making it "real" to other parents who are struggling to maintain a hopeful attitude in the home, despite the circumstances. Parents will appreciate her firm conviction that God doesn't make mistakes and that, despite what the media might suggest, every child is born with a purpose no matter how "disabled" or "dysfunctional" they might appear to outsiders. From infancy to adulthood, FINDING YOUR CHILD'S WAY ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM will be sound advice and a close companion to moms and dads of children on the autism spectrum. Families across the country will be encouraged and fortified after reading this timely, carefully researched and user-friendly book. --- Reviewed by Michele Howe
sudphoto2 Stars Out Of 5March 23, 2009sudphotoThis book should have been titled Finding My Child's Way with ABA. Dr. Hendrickson has impressive credentials, but one has to wonder how many children on the autism spectrum she's actually worked with. Most examples in this book describe interactions between herself and her son. While this makes for a decent autobiography, it doesn't cut it for a book that is supposed to be how-to.Dr. Hendrickson would have been much better served writing her entire book from the material in chapters 8 and 9. The Bible verses and counseling insight she shares are incredibly useful, no matter where one is on the autism-parent journey.Instead, she wrote a parenting manual. She is a strong advocate for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and spanking. While these methods work for many children including her son, they are not panaceas. There are children for whom ABA methods are too restrictive. There are also children for whom spanking actually provokes additional behaviors rather than extinguishing old ones.The following topics are conspicuously absent from her book:*analysing behavior with the ABC method (Antecedent Behavior Consequence) *using visual communication strategies*using token systems & other non-spanking discipline methods*using sensory integration strategies*teaching pragmatic (social) speech skills*teaching children to read non-verbal cues*improving executive functioning skills (problem solving, organization, etc.)While she does mention severely autistic children a bit, she does not offer any real solutions for their parents. A few of her suggestions would be damaging for a couple of children I have worked with. She's also dismissive of public school programs, even though she never tried one for her son.If you're a parent whose child is beginning his journey with ABA, then this book may help. But it is truly a shame that Hendrickson's biblical insight and counseling expertise are overshadowed by her advocacy for ABA.
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Located in: San Diego, CA
Submitted: March 27, 2009
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm an autism spectrum mom. Although I'm also trained as a psychiatrist, I didn't write the book as an autism treatment professional, but as a parent. It's not a treatment manual, nor is it an exhaustive resource on the various available treatments for autism. There are many excellent books like this already available, and I hope that interested parents will consult them to learn more about what their options are. Because my book is about my son's journey as well as my own, I'd like to tell you a little about him, too. Eric was very severely autistic at age 3. He was mute, didn't understand what we were saying, and had self-injurious stims. The doctors told us that he was retarded. But at age 17 he was his high school valedictorian, and today he's an honor student at a very competitive university. I do assume that youll want to know how he got from where he began to where he is today, and so I do tell quite a bit about how he developed in the book, but this is not my main purpose in telling his story.
What was your motivation behind this project? I wrote Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum because I want you to know that every parent, grandparent, family member, and Sunday school teacher can make a difference in the life of an autism spectrum child by better understanding what I call his "way." I hope that as you read about Eric's life (told with his generous permission), you'll begin to see how you can discover your own child's unique way. Although I started on my autism journey with professional qualifications that you probably don't have, I believe that any parent or nonprofessional helper can learn to do the same things that I did.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? I didn't write Finding Your Childs Way on the Autism Spectrum to show you the one and only guaranteed method for producing improvement in your child. In fact, I don't believe that there is any one and only guaranteed method! But I do believe that, whatever your child's challenges may be, you can help him achieve the potential that God has placed in him. My book isnt intended to replace any treatment or educational approach you may choose. Rather, it's intended to supplement it. As your child comes home every day from school or early intervention, what can you do to help him grow in areas of function that are important to you, especially at home? This is the kind of question that it answers. I believe that Finding Your Childs Way on the Autism Spectrum offers real hope to parents and loved ones of spectrum kids. God created each and every child, including our spectrum kids, for a purpose. Our job as parents is to work with our children's differences instead of against them, to help them develop into the unique adults that God had in mind when He created them. If we see our role in this way, instead of focusing on "remediating deficits," the focus of our hope will also begin to change. Instead of hoping that our child will become as much like a typical kid as possible, well begin to see him as unique and precious just the way he is, even if he never becomes class valedictorian or a college honor student. Every child can learn, even those who turn out to have very limited potential, and every parent, grandparent, family member, and Sunday school teacher can be a part of helping him grow to be everything hes capable of becoming.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? I grew so much in my understanding of my own journey, and of the gracious providence of God as He led me step by step in Eric's way, as I told our story for others! I thought that I'd learned all the lessons God had for me while I was raising Eric, but I learned many more as I sought to tell our story in the most helpful way possible for parents who are still on their own journeys.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? I've been so inspired by the lives of autism spectrum adults like Dr. Temple Grandin, Stephen Wiltshire, and Jonathan Priebe, all of whom I introduce to my readers in Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum. Their childhood differences have become strengths that are the foundation of their professional adult identities, as a result of the committed nurture of parents and professionals who helped them on their way. When Eric was a child, I prayed that we would discover that he had a strength like theirs, and God answered my prayers. I believe that Eric's sensitive hearing as a nonverbal autistic preschooler and his fascination with learning our language are the foundation for his adult interest in the field of linguistics, and his amazing ability to learn other languages!
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I didnt write Finding Your Childs Way on the Autism Spectrum as a celebration of my own brilliant parenting, but as an honest expression of the things I struggled with, and especially my failures as I sought to walk with Eric in his way. I hope that this will encourage parents, because I know how hard we can be on ourselves. We think that we're the only ones struggling. We worry that our children won't make enough progress and it will be our fault. So I hope that hearing me speak honestly about my own failures will enable you to be easier on yourself. I didnt do it perfectly either, and God was still faithful to use my faltering efforts in Erics life. My prayer is that Finding Your Childs Way on the Autism Spectrum will be a blessing to many parents and loved ones of spectrum kids, regardless of their circumstances. May you be strengthened and encouraged as you walk with your precious child in his own unique way!