Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life: A Practical Guidebook for People with Autism or Aspergers, and Their Loved Ones

Understanding Death and Illness and What They Teach about Life: A Practical Guidebook for People with Autism or Aspergers, and Their Loved Ones

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781932565560
Publisher: Future Horizons, Inc.
Publication date: 07/01/2008
Pages: 341
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mesibov is Professor and Director, Division TEACCH, Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Table of Contents

Foreword
A Mother’s Essay
Message from the Author
Why did I write this book?
Why should you read this book?
Who should read this book?
Using This Book
When should it be read?
Is it about both people and animals?
How is this book organized?
What are the “Communication Forms”?
A Close Look at Communication
What is the purpose of Chapter 18?
How can this book be adapted for young children or adults who can neither read nor comprehend the text?
What can I do for a child or an adult who does not read with comprehension, or who seems not to understand pictures or photographs?
Special Note to Parents and Significant Others
Important Information For The Reader
What should I read first?
What are the Communication Forms?

Chapter 1: Illness and Injury
Why do people get sick?
Is Asperger’s an illness?
How do I know if I am sick?
How do I know if I am injured?
What should I do when I am sick or injured?
What is an emergency?
What is a difficult situation?
Why should I practice the plan when an emergency is not really happening?

Chapter 2: Recuperating and Healing
What helps people recuperate and heal?
What may being sick teach us?
What does being injured teach us?
Do people and animals usually recuperate and heal after being sick or injured?
After recuperating, are people the same as they were before they were sick or injured?
What else may we learn from being sick?
Does everyone recuperate and heal, all of the time?
How does a person who is sick or injured know if he or she is going to recuperate, or if he or she is going to die because of the illness or injury?
Is the person or animal going to recuperate, or going to die from the illness or injury?

Chapter 3: Death and Dying: Who, What, When, Where, and How
What is death and dying?
What is a lifespan?
When do people and animals die?
What is life expectancy?
How do people or animals die?
What does it mean when someone dies after being sick or injured?
What does it mean when someone has died suddenly?
What does it mean when someone has died of old age?
Do all old people and old animals die?
Where do people die?
Where do animals die?

Chapter 4: When Someone Is Dying
Who takes care of people when they are dying?
What happens to the body of the person or animal in the dying process?
Why do people visit a person who may be dying?
What if a person feels uncomfortable about visiting someone who is dying?
What may happen during a visit to a person who is dying?
What might it be like if the person is in a hospital?
What if the person who is dying tries to talk?
What if the person who is dying cannot talk?
What if the person who is dying does not want any visitors?
How do people react when someone they know is dying?
What does it mean when people say it is time to “let him (her) go”?

Chapter 5: Communication
What is communication?
Why is communication important?
What does it mean to communicate “before it is too late”?
What are some examples of the things that people may want to communicate before someone dies?
How do people communicate effectively?
What is a miscommunication?
What should be done in cases of miscommunication?
Why is understanding each other so important?
“Understanding” Goes Two Ways: How does someone know that he or she has something important to communicate?
The First Category: How does someone know that he or she should communicate to express the need for a change?
What is “help”?
The Second Category: How does someone know when he or she should communicate pleasure and gratitude?
Why is it important to communicate gratitude when having positive feelings and experiences?
Whom should I thank?
The Third Category: How does someone know when he or she should communicate to share ideas, thoughts, or feelings?
What are the most common methods of communication?
What is other important information about communication?
If there is something that a person didn’t communicate to someone who died, is it too late now?

Chapter 6: What Happens to the Person Who Dies
What does it mean that death is a “mystery”?
What happens to the person after he or she dies?
What do “belief” and “to believe in something” mean?
What are some beliefs about what happens to the person after death?
Most people agree on one thing

Chapter 7: Putting Pets To Sleep
What does it mean when a pet has to be “put to sleep”?
Do doctors put people “to sleep” in the same way as veterinarians put animals “to sleep”?

Chapter 8: Rituals and Traditions
What rituals and traditions are practiced after someone has died?
What is a “wake” or a “viewing”?
What is a closed casket, and an open casket?
What is a funeral service?
What is a graveside service?
What is a memorial service?
What is a “celebration of life” for someone who has died?
What happens when people come to a family member’s home after a service?

Chapter 9: Taking Care of the Physical Body
What happens to the body after dying?
What is a shroud?
What does it mean for the body to be buried?
What is a cemetery?
What are tombs, crypts, and mausoleums?
What does it mean to be “buried at sea”?
What does it mean for the body to be cremated?
What happens to the cremains?
What does it mean for the body to be donated to science?
Does being cremated, buried, kept in a mausoleum, or being donated to science, hurt the person who has died?
Who decides what to do with the body?

Chapter 10: What People Say and Do
What do people say after someone has died?
What should I say if someone tries to say “comforting words” to me?
What if someone tries to touch, hug, or kiss me at this time?
Chapter 11: Taking Care of the Soul: More Rituals and Traditions
Why do people visit the grave, shrine, or keep the cremains of the person who has died?
Why do people sometimes do special things to remember the person who has died?
Does everyone have to participate in a special ritual for someone who has died?
If I want to create a special ritual for a person or animal who has died, what might I do?
When should I perform a ritual for a person or animal who has died?

Chapter 12: Continuing a Relationship
What does “continuing a relationship” mean?
Can people continue a relationship with someone who has died?
What does it mean to be “close” to a person or animal?
“Were you close to him (or her)?”
How can people have a relationship with someone who has died?

Chapter 13: People’s Reactions after Someone Dies
How do people react when they learn that a person they know has died?
Will things change after someone dies?
How do living people react to a death, later on? What is grieving?
Does everyone grieve in the same way after someone dies?
What are the most frequent reactions while grieving?
What are common reactions that people have while grieving?
Acceptance
Anger
Denial
Difficulty Thinking
Fear
Guilt
Physical Distress
Regression
Sadness
Yearning
What should a person do when a “close person” has died?
What if I want to be alone?
What does “being safe” mean?
How long will the grieving process last?
Why do people say that grieving “comes in waves”?
Why do people say that grieving is “like a roller coaster”?
What are some activities that may help people through their grieving?
What if I am angry at the person or animal who has died?
What about school, work, and other responsibilities and activities?
Do feelings stay the same or do they change?
Do people always feel strong emotions after someone has died?
What is the difference between feeling emotions and expressing emotions?
The Question: “How do you feel?”
Why do some people not cry after someone dies?
What does “apathy” or “apathetic” mean?
What does “acceptance” mean?
What does it mean to make “adjustments”?

Chapter 14: More Names for Emotions
Why learn the names of different emotions?
What are the names of general categories of emotions?
Happiness: What are more words that describe degrees of happiness?
Fear: What are more words that describe degrees of fear?
Anger: What are more words that describe degrees of anger?
Sadness: What are words that describe degrees of sadness?
Surprise: What are words that describe degrees of surprise?
Interest: What are words that describe degrees of interest?
How can a person learn more about feelings and emotions?

Chapter 15: What Does it Mean If Someone Says
What does it mean if someone says, “I want to die” or “I want to kill myself” or “Why don’t you just kill me?”
How do these statements become a routine?
How can it be helpful to know if I have a routine of saying certain statements?
What does it mean if someone is depressed, and says “I want to die” or “I want to kill myself,” or if he or she is thinking of ways to die?
Why should a person get help if he or she is depressed?

Chapter 16: What People May Learn About Life When Facing Death
What does it mean to “face death”?
What are some of the things people may think about when they face death?
Appreciation and Gratitude
Regret
Forgiveness
Self-Knowledge
Acceptance
Fear
Courage
People
Tolerance
Respect
Kindness
Honesty
The Combination of Honesty, Respect, and Kindness
Uncertainty
Faith
God
Fulfillment
Love
Truth
Reality
What are some suggestions about how to live a good life?
What does it mean when people say to “do your best”?
Does “doing your best” mean having to be perfect?
What does it mean to “learn from your mistakes”?
What is the Seven-Step Plan to follow when a person discovers a mistake?
What does it mean to “keep a positive attitude”?
Does “keeping a positive attitude” mean being happy all the time?
Life is “Ups and Downs”
What does it mean to “live life to the fullest”?
What does it mean that “everyone is here for a purpose”?
What does it mean to “live one day at a time”?
What is “The Golden Rule”?
Why is it called “The Golden Rule”?
What does it mean to “make the world a better place”?
What does “a better place” mean?
Suggestions to improve physical health
Suggestions to improve safety and security
Suggestions to improve emotional experience
Suggestions to strengthen mental development
Suggestions to improve spiritual awareness
Suggestions to improve the environment
What does “independent” mean?
What does “interdependent” mean?

Chapter 17: Being Inspired: Role Models and Mentors
What does it mean to “be inspired”?
Why is it important to develop skills, talents, and interests?
Reason #1: How does developing skills, talents, and interests add pleasure and enjoyment to a person’s life?
Reason #2: How may developing skills, talents, and interests lead to new positive experiences?
Reason #3: How may developing skills, talents, and interests lead people to a job?
Reason #4: How may using skills, talents, or interests make the world a better place?
What are positive role models?
Can I choose a positive role model?
How do people find a positive role model?
What is a mentor?

Chapter 18: Quotes

Chapter 19: Just for Fun: Idioms
What are some idioms and expressions using the word “dead” that do not literally mean it?

Chapter 20: Resources for More Information
Primarily for Adults
For Both Children and Adults

A Prose-Poem

The One True Freedom

Acknowledgments

The Illustrator

The Author
 

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“In this book, you will find a comprehensive treatment of death focusing on things most likely to concern those with ASD presented in the clear, straightforward, and concrete manner that is most likely to help those on the spectrum, as well as the professionals, family members, or friends that are concerned about them. Readers of this book will learn a lot about death, themselves, and how to help people with ASD to better understand and cope with it. After reading this book, my admiration for the author, Catherine Faherty, has continued to grow, along with my appreciation for her courage and conviction in making this available for all of us who care about helping people with ASD to deal with this issue and succeed in understanding this still confusing and anxiety-provoking aspect of our everyday lives.”
Gary Mesibov Professor & Director Division TEACCH University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

“Catherine Faherty has written a masterpiece for people of all ages and abilities. . . . I wish this valuable resource had been available to my family and me when my sister, Sharon, who had autism, experienced her lengthy illness with a rare neurological disease that took her life. It could have helped us discuss the illness and impending death with Sharon and all of our family members. We did the best we could. Catherine’s book is a resource that every family should have in their family library for those times of need.”
Kathy Kelchner, M.Ed.
Educational Consultant

 

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