Pub. Date:
Future Horizons, Inc.
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

by Ellen Notbohm


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Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew

Winner of an iParenting Media Award and Honorable Mention in the 2005 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards! Every parent, teacher, social worker, therapist, and physician should have this succinct and informative book in their back pocket. Framed with both humor and compassion, the book defines the top ten characteristics that illuminate the minds and hearts of children with autism. Ellen's personal experiences as a parent, an autism columnist, and a contributor to numerous parenting magazines coalesce to create a guide for all who come in contact with a child on the autism spectrum. Don't buy just one of this book- buy one for everyone who interacts with your child! Give the gift of understanding.
Helpful chapters include:

  • My sensory perceptions are disordered
  • Distinguish between won’t and can’t
  • I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally
  • Be patient with my limited vocabulary
  • Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented
  • Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do
  • Help me with social interactions
  • Identify what triggers my meltdowns

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932565300
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 01/28/2005
Pages: 110
Product dimensions: 6.08(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Book author, columnist, and mother of sons with autism and ADHD, Ellen Notbohm’s writings on autism and general interest subjects have been published on every continent (except Antarctica—yet). Her books, Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew, Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew, and The Autism Trail Guide are ForeWord Book of the Year finalists. Both Ten Things books are also iParenting Media Award recipients. A regular columnist for Autism Asperger’s Digest magazine and Children’s Voice, she also co-authored with Veronica Zysk 1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, a Learning Magazine 2006 Teachers’ Choice Award winner. Beyond autism, she is a frequent contributor to Ancestry magazine, has published political commentary in the Chicago Tribune and other newspapers around the U.S., and writes for numerous regional and national magazines on a range of subjects. Ellen welcomes reader feedback and newsletter signs-ups through her website at

Table of Contents

It Begins

Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew

Chapter 1: I am first and foremost a child
Chapter 2: My sensory perceptions are disordered
Chapter 3: Distinguish between won’t and can’t
Chapter 4: I am a concrete thinker. I interpret language literally
Chapter 5: Be patient with my limited vocabulary
Chapter 6: Because language is so difficult for me, I am very visually oriented
Chapter 7: Focus and build on what I can do rather than what I can’t do
Chapter 8: Help me with social interactions
Chapter 9: Identify what triggers my meltdowns
Chapter 10: Love me unconditionally

About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Forget Letterman! This is the ultimate Top Ten list!”
Yvonne Christian, adult with Asperger’s and writer of the blog “Outside In”


"As the parent of a child in the autism spectrum, I see my own son throughout Ten Things."
Steve Boehm Assistant Director of Publications Editor in Chief, Children’s Voice Magazine Child Welfare League of America

“Ellen captures the major issues of autism and makes them understandable and useable, even to those new to spectrum disorders…”
Nancy H. Cale, Vice President, Unlocking Autism


Customer Reviews

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Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the best resource for learning to understand and work with a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. I am a pediatric occupational therapist and I have worked with children on this spectrum for over 23 years. I also have a 5 year old son disgnosed with ASD. I have read many books and attended many conferences on this disorder and this book truly illuminates the core issues with these children. Ms. Notbohm describes the important issues in a clear and easy to understand way and provides examples and practical ideas to help deal with these issues. This book has the potential to change the lives of these children and their caregivers as it will increase understanding and provide tools. Understanding can lead to acceptance and with acceptance these children can blossom and show the amazing gifts they have locked inside of them. This book should be required reading of any student who will be involved in the care of these children and it should definitely be on the nightstand of every parent, caregiver, teacher, aide, bus driver, administrator, etc. of these children!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book reads easy and fast and it should be handed out to every parent whose child is diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. It can change the perceptions of anyone--family, friend, educator or counselor--who is face with the baffling behavior of an autistic child. I cannot impress just how much this slim volume can help. The core beliefs in 10 Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew are: -All behaviors happen for a reason. And -All behavior is communication. The focus is on presenting (not really exploring or solving problems) the possible causes of 'bad' behavior and realigning the thought patterns neurotypical people have when dealing with those on the spectrum. It can also help parents get behind the possible causes of misbehavior on the part of 'normal' children. Some principals in this book are--or should be--universal. Don't let one term (Autism, ADHD, or even 'trouble child') define all your child is. Focus on what your child can do instead of getting lost in what he or she can't do. All behavior has a cause, ferreting out the cause can go very far in helping to resolve negative behavior. And most importantly of all, love should not be dependent on good grades, good behavior or 'being normal'. Love should be unconditional. If there was ever an Idiot's Guide to Raising a Child this might be it. An essential book for understanding the social, language and sensory challenges experienced by many types of special needs children. This book should be mandatory reading for anyone whose life is touched by Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When my 2 yr old grand-daughters were diagnosed, I needed something in a hurry to begin to understand what they are feeling, and this book does it very well. I have shared it with 3 people so far and everyone feels blessed to have this knowledge. Please read this book if you are a parent, grandparent, caregiver, teacher or a friend to someone on the autism spectrum.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ellen Notbohm¿s Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew, an extension of her article ¿What Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew¿ speaks to children¿s wishes and the choices parents can make to honor them. Its soul triggered in me a CliffNotes¿ synopsis of Aristotle¿s contention that ¿choice (as determined by deliberation) is concerned with means to an end. Wish is concerned with the end.¿* And so begins Ten Things, with the first wish of a child ¿ that he or she be known by one word, and one word only ¿ ¿child,¿ and not squelched by the label ¿autistic child.¿ It ends with the child¿s final wish ¿ that he receive unconditional love and acceptance. The remaining eight wishes tucked in between provide insight into the tools (via choices parents can make) that will honor, empower and respect their precious children and make all their wishes come true. Ten Things zeros in on the importance of sensory issues and thoroughly explains their direct link to a child¿s behavior. Ellen reminds parents that ¿seemingly inexplicable behavior ¿ all have a sensory cause ¿ No matter how unprovoked, how random it may appear, behavior never comes out of nowhere.¿ She guides parents through reformatting their own beliefs and suggests ways to identify and work with the child¿s sensory structure. Ten Things addresses those infamous ¿meltdowns,¿ explains the four trigger clusters, and offers suggestions on how to identify their underlying causes. Ellen acknowledges that it¿s hard work for parents to actively seek out reasons for those meltdowns rather than chalk them up to an out of control child that could do better if he wanted to. By her own diligence, and with the help of qualified professionals, meltdowns are a rare happening in her home now. Ten Things reminds us that our children are concrete and visual thinkers and they interpret language literally. Ellen explains why idioms don¿t work and how we can train ourselves to speak concretely and say what we mean to help our child understand since any communication that doesn¿t make sense to a child simply won¿t get through. Without helping him develop a functional way to communicate his needs, fears and wants, they will take any shape they want, which means they¿ll generally manifest in the form of behavior. Ten Things provides techniques to construct a visual strategy to help a child to navigate his day, which will quite naturally and over time contribute to improved social interactions and the creation of a solid self esteem, the foundation for social functioning. And for the child¿s sake, Ellen implores parents to remember and believe that he¿s trying the best he can with his limited abilities and social understanding. Any other belief system will short circuit the route for him to become a functioning citizen in our world. That said, and in the spirit of Aristotle, Ellen makes it clear that we as parents and teachers and caregivers are the means to our child¿s end. Without doubt, the word 'autism' strikes fear in the hearts of parents, and Ellen makes no bones about it. She speaks candidly about her own initial grief and despair when her son was diagnosed ¿ those instantaneous images of her child locked inside his own head, never able to interact properly with the world and become self-sufficient. Those thoughts and perceptions became the energy behind her ¿can-do¿ attitude, her intensive and pro-active approach, and her battle plan against a self-fulfilling prophecy of hopelessness for her little boy. She recognized the potential within him a potential present in all children waiting to be noticed and built upon, and not just fixed. It didn¿t take long for her to realize that she would not change her son, even if she could. ¿I wouldn¿t have him be anything other than exactly what he was ¿¿ A child¿s wish of unconditional love ¿ granted. Ten Things champions the cause of helping families discover their strengths. It va
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
tbtigger More than 1 year ago
This book is my Bible for my son.It opened my eyes to so many sensory issues I wasn't aware of about Autism. Life no longer has to be hard!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every person that deals with a child that has autism needs to read this book..... taught my family how to treat our son and see how he sees/hears things. I let everyone in our family and his therapist read this book. The TEN THINGS are something EVERYONE should know, it really makes it easier to understand what these kids are going through.
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busy-mom-of-three More than 1 year ago
I am not even finished reading it and I have already learned more about why my child does some of the things he does and I understand his actions more now. I have recommended this book to many others and a coworker who has an autistic child has asked to be the first that I lend it to when I finish. I would recommend this book for anyone who interacts with an autistic child. It's excellent.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It helps to understand how to handle autistic children.
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Busy__Mom More than 1 year ago
I loved the humor in this book, and the compassion. I bought the parentsdigest summary first and couldn't wait to get the book! I've never read a better book on the subject of Autism and other spectrum disorders. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a child, or even friend or loved one who has a child, with Autism, Aspergers, or PDD-NOS!