Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

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Simon and Schuster, Jul 19, 2016 - Family & Relationships - 256 pages
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Winner of the Autism Society of America’s Dr. Temple Grandin Award for the Outstanding Literary Work in Autism

A groundbreaking book on autism, by one of the world’s leading experts, who portrays autism as a unique way of being human—this is “required reading....Breathtakingly simple and profoundly positive” (Chicago Tribune).

Autism therapy typically focuses on ridding individuals of “autistic” symptoms such as difficulties interacting socially, problems in communicating, sensory challenges, and repetitive behavior patterns. Now Dr. Barry M. Prizant offers a new and compelling paradigm: the most successful approaches to autism don’t aim at fixing a person by eliminating symptoms, but rather seeking to understand the individual’s experience and what underlies the behavior.

“A must-read for anyone touched by autism... Dr. Prizant’s Uniquely Human is a crucial step in promoting better understanding and a more humane approach” (Associated Press). Instead of classifying “autistic” behaviors as signs of pathology, Dr. Prizant sees them as part of a range of strategies to cope with a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming. Rather than curb these behaviors, it’s better to enhance abilities, build on strengths, and offer supports that will lead to more desirable behavior and a better quality of life.

“A remarkable approach to autism....A truly impactful, necessary book” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), Uniquely Human offers inspiration and practical advice drawn from Dr. Prizant’s four-decade career. It conveys a deep respect for people with autism and their own unique qualities. Filled with humanity and wisdom, Uniquely Human “should reassure parents and caregivers of kids with autism and any other disability that their kids are not broken, but, indeed, special” (Booklist, starred review).
 

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UNIQUELY HUMAN: A Different Way of Seeing Autism

User Review  - Kirkus

A remarkable new approach to autism. The key to successfully connecting with and helping children with autism is deceptively simple: don't make assumptions, ask them questions about their feelings and ... Read full review

Contents

Introduction A Different Way of Seeing Autism
1
Understanding Autism
13
Ask Why?
15
Listen
35
Enthusiasms
53
Trust Fear and Control
72
Emotional Memory
93
Social Understanding
108
What It Takes to Get It
135
Wisdom from the Circle
155
The Real Experts
173
The Long View
187
Energize the Spirit
208
The Big Questions
219
A Guide to Resources
237
Copyright

Living with Autism
133

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About the author (2016)

Barry M. Prizant, PhD, CCC-SLP, is recognized as one of the world's leading authorities and as an innovator of respectful, person- and family-centered approaches for individuals on the autism spectrum and with neurodevelopmental conditions. Dr. Prizant specializes in communication disorders and child and human development, and is a visiting scholar at Brown University. He has fifty years of experience as an international consultant, clinical scholar, and researcher. He is coauthor of The SCERTS Model: A Comprehensive Educational Approach, now being implemented in more than a dozen countries, and widely used clinical assessment instruments. Dr. Prizant has been an invited keynote speaker/presenter in more than twenty-five countries and has published four books, 140+ articles and chapters, and has received many awards for his career improving quality of life for autistic persons and related conditions and their families. He is cohost of Uniquely Human: The Podcast, with autistic engineer, Dave Finch (UniquelyHuman.com).

Tom Fields-Meyer is author of the critically acclaimed memoir Following Ezra: What One Father Learned About Gumby, Otters, Autism, and Love from His Extraordinary Son, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. The coauthor (with Barry M. Prizant) of Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism, and former senior writer for People, he lives in Los Angeles, where he teaches in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program.

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