I 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!
Dr. 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
This 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.