Based on dozens of intensive interviews with parents, clinical psychologists, teachers, and more, Meltdown is the fictional story of Benjamin, a boy diagnosed with Asperger�s disorder and additional challenging behavior. From the time Benjamin is a toddler, his parents know he is different: he doesn�t play with his sister, refuses to make eye contact, and doesn�t seem to understand how to communicate with others. And his tantrums are not like normal tantrums; they�re meltdowns that will eventually make regular schooling�and day-to-day life�impossible. From first clues to diagnosis, navigating the special education system to securing expert help, Benjamin�s parents must become his greatest advocates. Together, they learn that the journey toward hope isn�t simple�but with the right tools and teammates, it�s possible. This book is part of the ORP Library of disability books. SPECIAL NOTE: Asperger�s disorder is a complex syndrome that affects children in different ways. The child with Asperger�s disorder depicted in the following story struggles with significant emotional and behavioral difficulties that require a therapeutic environment. The great majority of children with Asperger�s disorder do not resemble the child shown in this story. But those who do face challenges that have made it difficult to benefit from education in the public school system. At Genesee Lake School, we strive to build relationships with the children in our care so that they learn new skills that will lead to a successful return to their home, school, and community. It is our hope that the following story will add to your own understanding of the often lonely journey experienced by families with children with these unique challenges and gifts.
About the Author
Jeffrey D. Krukar, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist with more than 20 years of experience working with children and families in community based group homes, vocational rehabilitation services, residential treatment, juvenile corrections, public schools, and private practice. He earned his Ph.D. in educational psychology, with a school psychology specialization and psychology minor, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As the psychologist at Genesee Lake School in Oconomowoc, WI, Dr. Krukar believes it takes a village to raise a child�to strengthen developmental foundations in relating, communicating, and thinking�so they can successfully return to their families and communities. Katie Gutierrez. In every form, story is transformative, and Katie is proud to spend her days immersed in it as executive editor for Round Table Companies (RTC). Since 2007, Katie has edited more than 50 books and co-written seven�including four of the ORP Library of Books. She has been humbled by the stories she has heard and hopes these books will help guide families on their often-lonely journeys, connecting them with resources and support. She also hopes they will give the general population a glimpse into the Herculean jobs taken on so fiercely by parents, doctors, therapists, educators, and others who live with, work with, and love children with disabilities. Katie holds a BA in English and philosophy from Southwestern University and an MFA in fiction from Texas State. James G. Balestrieri is the CEO of Oconomowoc Residential Programs, Inc. (ORP). He has worked in the human services field for 40 years. Jim graduated from Marquette University with a B.S. in Business Administration (1977) and a Master�s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing (1988). He is also a Certified Public Accountant (Wisconsin�1982). Jim has a passion for creatively addressing the needs of those with impairments by managing the inherent stress among funding, programming, and profitability. He believes that those with a disability enjoy rights and protections that were created by the hard-fought efforts of those who came before them; that the Civil Rights movement is not just for minority groups; and that people with disabilities have a right to find their place in the world and to achieve their maximum potential as individuals. For more information, see www.orp.com.