A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

A Mind Apart: Understanding Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome

Synopsis

"Dr. Szatmari shares the stories of over a dozen children and families with whom he has worked. He reveals that people with autism and AS live in a world without metaphors; a visual landscape, built of images, not language. It's a place where friendly small talk may sound like a foreign tongue, where tree branches are more intriguing than people, where hairbrush bristles can feel like nails on the scalp or a hug like the clamp of a vise. Drawing on decades of influential research and clinical experience, Dr. Szatmari combines "big picture" information - the nuances of diagnosis, what is known about possible causes, and what the future holds for children with these disorders - with finely wrought observations that let you see the world through your child's eyes. Of crucial importance, Dr. Szatmari also illustrates ways parents can "break through" to help kids start to navigate the wider world. An intense interest in the patterns on wasp wings may be mystifying, but such visual perceptiveness also can be channeled into artwork of math. A child fixated on death may be less afraid of loss than of change in general - a common form of anxiety that parents can help soothe. Hating to be touched doesn't mean your child doesn't feel affection, but that he is physically hypersensitive - and you can find other ways to encourage closeness and offer comfort." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

[It all depends on the way you see things,] said the woman on the other side of the little table in my office. [Once you understand how they think and see the world, what can seem like a disability one day can be a talent, or a gift, on another.]

The words struck me like a thunderbolt. The way you [see] things? That there were different ways of viewing disability—including, in some circumstances, as a gift—was something I had known on an intellectual level for a long time in my work with children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). But somehow I had never truly appreciated the concept until it was uttered by Marsha, the mother of Chris, a teenager with Asperger syndrome. What a difference it would make, I realized, to understand how kids with ASDs [see] the world and how that would change the way we [see] the kids. This turned out to be the key to what I had been looking for, the link to tie together the various strands I had been thinking about and trying to articulate in explaining the science of autism to parents of children with these perplexing disorders. It was hearing these words that helped me write this book.

Marsha had spoken these words in response to a question I had asked: What had helped her cope with the stress of raising a child with ASD? How had she survived those years when Chris was having difficulty in school, when he was not quite living up to family and school [expectations,] when so many people, trying to be helpful, could not resist remarking that he was not quite [normal] (whatever that is)? The extra time Marsha had to spend with Chris was a real burden on the rest of the family. She elaborated that once she and her husband were able to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.