I thoroughly recommend this book to parents with children on the Autism Spectrum that they can then share with Educational Psychology, teaching staff and so on.
Whilst it starts from the diagnosis it points out quite rightly that whilst diagnosis is about grouping that diagnostic criteria are actually very narrow and only focus on social communication, social interaction, repetitive patterns of behaviour.
The book goes on to talk about much more modern models of cognitive functioning in Autism, including Mentalising (Theory of Mind – that is the ability to understand other people’s intentions, beliefs and desires), weak central coherence (that is a skill in paying attention to detail but that leading to missing the wider context). It also talks about executive functioning. Executive functioning is also explained in terms of planning, self-monitoring, especially use of working memory and focusing attention and switching attention appropriately.
These important theories are explained in relatively simple language and all the way along the examples given are of real children in real world situations. It also talks about Autism as context blindness, that is not being able to use the context spontaneously to determine meaning.
Throughout the book real examples are given. They also use tables, drawings too, and provide checklists which the author has allowed to be photocopied that could actually be used with real children in real life situations such as in school.
The chapters look at the following areas:
- Looking at a child’s learning style
- working and learning as a member of a group
- social interaction and social communication
- social understanding
- executive functioning
There is also a very interesting chapter called Autism and the Landscape of Fear.
All the references are published at the back and there is an extremely interesting appendix on sensory sensitivities.
I shall be giving this book to Autism Inclusive to be included in their library and just a reminder that whilst no charges are made for borrowing books all donations to Autism Inclusive would be gratefully received.Share This Post: