Supporting the Families of Children with Autism

Supporting the Families of Children with Autism

by Peter Randall, Jonathan Parker
     
 

The pressures, strains and sometimes joys of looking after a child with autism are increasingly recognized in professional and academic circles. This book presents key findings from a research study conducted by the Family Assessment Unit that involved many long discussions with the parents and siblings of children and young people with autism. The authors

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Overview

The pressures, strains and sometimes joys of looking after a child with autism are increasingly recognized in professional and academic circles. This book presents key findings from a research study conducted by the Family Assessment Unit that involved many long discussions with the parents and siblings of children and young people with autism. The authors provide
* a unique approach dealing specifically with the needs of families
* informed interventions for helping the family units
The authors demonstrate how autism affects parents, siblings and carers. They provide case studies that examine their experiences as individuals and as family units over the life course of their son or daughter, brother or sister with autism. They identify various stressors from this study and an examination of previous research in this area. For example, families often face enormous stress in having the disorder diagnosed. There is also the complex stress associated with increasing social and behavioural difficulties, and guilt arising from others labelling the parents mismanagement of the children. The authors examine the diagnostic process from the viewpoint of parents and primary carers and chart the developments that have taken place in research and practice with families. They develop strategies for supporting and empowering families to better assist their children with autism, including contingency management approaches. Supporting the Families of Children with Autism is a valuable resource for a wide range of professionals who work with autistic children and their families, including health visitors, specialist teachers, social workers and paediatricians. It will be of interest to educational psychologists and families of children with autism.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Charles A. Cowan, MD (University of Washington School of Medicine)
Description: Autism, a serious developmental disability with enormous impacts on families and community resources, is being recognized with increasing frequency. This is an attempt to describe the range of issues facing families who have autistic children.
Purpose: The authors' purposes are to present findings from their research on the needs of families with autistic children and provide practical advice based on these findings. Such information is useful to both provider and family communities.
Audience: The target audience is health providers, psychologists, educators, social service professionals, and families. There is much valuable information for all these constituencies but professionals very well versed in autism will not find this book that useful.
Features: The typical experiences a family may encounter when first trying to get a diagnosis for their child is an apt starting point for this book. The authors then proceed to discuss family needs, how diagnosis and differential diagnosis is made, followed by more in depth discussion of effects of autism on parents and other family members. Finally difficult behaviors, educational strategies to treat autism, and a discussion of autism during adolescence and young adulthood (including a discussion of sexuality) conclude the book. U.S. providers and families will need to be aware that these British authors refer to service systems especially in the education system particular to England, so when reading this book some information may be confusing.
Assessment: The authors have made a valuable contribution to the autism literature by demonstrating from their own research and that of others the extent of family needs and stress this diagnosis creates. In my opinion, the biggest shortcomings are the diagnostic and intervention sections which, while adequate, are incomplete. The authors leaving off large subject areas or do not acknowledge controversies. There already exist a number of well written books for parents and professionals about autism. This book would have been more effective if the authors had focused exclusively on describing family needs and the results of their research.
From the Publisher
"this is a useful book which should be recommended for all working in the area" (Debate, No.102, 2002)

"…a supportive and practical guide…" (YouthinMind. 20 February 2003)

3 Stars from Doody
Charles A. Cowan
Autism, a serious developmental disability with enormous impacts on families and community resources, is being recognized with increasing frequency. This is an attempt to describe the range of issues facing families who have autistic children. The authors' purposes are to present findings from their research on the needs of families with autistic children and provide practical advice based on these findings. Such information is useful to both provider and family communities. The target audience is health providers, psychologists, educators, social service professionals, and families. There is much valuable information for all these constituencies but professionals very well versed in autism will not find this book that useful. The typical experiences a family may encounter when first trying to get a diagnosis for their child is an apt starting point for this book. The authors then proceed to discuss family needs, how diagnosis and differential diagnosis is made, followed by more in depth discussion of effects of autism on parents and other family members. Finally difficult behaviors, educational strategies to treat autism, and a discussion of autism during adolescence and young adulthood (including a discussion of sexuality) conclude the book. U.S. providers and families will need to be aware that these British authors refer to service systems especially in the education system particular to England, so when reading this book some information may be confusing. The authors have made a valuable contribution to the autism literature by demonstrating from their own research and that of others the extent of family needs and stress this diagnosis creates. In my opinion, the biggestshortcomings are the diagnostic and intervention sections which, while adequate, are incomplete. The authors leaving off large subject areas or do not acknowledge controversies. There already exist a number of well written books for parents and professionals about autism. This book would have been more effective if the authors had focused exclusively on describing family needs and the results of their research.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471982180
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
09/02/1999
Pages:
252
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

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