A Spectrum of Light: Inspirational Interviews with Families Affected by Autism

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Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Nov 15, 2009 - Family & Relationships - 192 pages

The emotional trauma that families go through when they find out their child has an autism spectrum disorder can feel like being plunged into darkness. Francesca Bierens is here to show that there is also a light at the end of the tunnel.

Over a period of fourteen years, Francesca Bierens interviewed ten families of children on the autism spectrum. This book records their answers: how they felt, how they coped, and what gave them strength and solace. Each family discusses how they reacted when they found out their child had autism, and their feelings leading up to diagnosis. They share their positive and negative experiences of professionals, and describe the support that they received, often from grandparents, respite care givers, support groups and other parents. Two of the original children, now in their 20s, also talk about the experience of growing up with autism, and describe how their lives are now.

Above all, Bierens' message, and that of the families she interviews, is one of inspiration and hope, showing that there is light, love and laughter along the way. Their stories should be read by anyone who is affected by or working with autism.


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User Review  - ThePinesLibrary - LibraryThing

The author presents interviews from ten families in 1994 and follow-up interviews with seven of the original families 14 years later. Each family had a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder ... Read full review

A Spectrum of Light: Inspirational Interviews With Families Affected by Autism

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Personal narratives of autism can provide readers with vivid portraits of life with this condition. While some strive for a complete picture of an autistic individual, others offer descriptions of a ... Read full review


Chapter 1 Life does get easier
Chapter 2 Were a family we go where she can go
Chapter 3 We are not going to hide our children away
Chapter 4 You cant try and rush them
Chapter 5 Weve been able to gradually expand his environment
Chapter 6 We respect her right to be different
Chapter 7 You need to have somewhere to offload
Chapter 8 She is so funny and so mischievous
Chapter 9 Hes gone way beyond functioning in society hes now excelling

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About the author (2009)

Francesca Bierens is a speech-language therapist and primary school teacher and was educated at Waikato College of Teacher Education in Hamilton and Christchurch Teachers College, New Zealand. She has worked as a speech therapist in both the Education and Health sectors as well as in private practice. She has a particular interest in working with children with autism spectrum disorders and their families. Francesca has also worked as a speech-language therapist in Malaysia and Canada. She now lives in Auckland, New Zealand.

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