Autism in the Family

 Autism in the Family
 Sibylle Janert, Sheila Coates and Merete Hawkins
 £10, plus £5 postage


I was surprised that the first eight sections focused on the main problems for a child with autism, with little reference to the positive characteristics associated with a differently wired brain, writes Beth Billington.

However, there is a positive emphasis on working out why difficulties present and on interaction, rather than just on behaviour management. My main concern is that the book uses technical language that is not fully explained, although the authors do suggest that the book is used as a joint resource for professionals and families working together.

I like the thinking behind the book, and can see the value in a resource with very few words as a basis for discussion. I do, however, worry that the terms used would not be readily understood by non-professionals.

I could see myself using this book jointly with families, with the illustrations as a guide. In particular, I think it would be a helpful starting place in working with people for whom English is a second – or additional – language, or in working with people who prefer alternative forms of communication.

This quirky little book is well presented, with spiral binding, fold-out pages, and visually appealing colour illustrations.

Beth Billington is a clinical psychologist working with adults who have learning disabilities. She also has several family members who have diagnoses on the autistic spectrum

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