When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), what the family really need, and often lack, is positive reassurance and understanding from those closest to them. This book is packed with advice on how extended family members and friends can provide the necessary support.
Explaining the diagnosis and characteristics of ASD, this helpful guide uses examples from real families to illustrate the complex feelings that parents and each member of the family are likely to go through after a child is diagnosed. It gives practical tips on help that might be needed most, details the possible changes that will take place as the family adjusts and concludes with a comprehensive guide to other useful sources of information.
This book will help strengthen relationships between parents and their extended family and friends, enabling a reliable support system to develop which will remain crucial to the child throughout their life.
Ann Palmer has spent the last 20 years working in the field of autism as the Parent Support Coordinator for Division TEACCH and the Director of Advocacy and Chapter Support for the Autism Society of North Carolina. At TEACCH she developed a parent mentor program supporting over 800 families. At the ASNC she established support groups around the state and coordinated 50 groups of family members of individuals with ASD. She is currently a Family Faculty member at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Ann is the parent of an adult son with autism. She is the author of "Realizing the College Dream with Autism or Asperger Syndrome: A Parent's Guide to Student Success", and the co-author of "Parenting Across the Autism Spectrum: Unexpected Lessons We Have Learned", the 2007 Autism Society of America's Outstanding Literary Work of the Year. Both books are published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She lives in Cary, North Carolina.
Acknowledgements. Introduction. 1. Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorders. 2. Living with ASD. 3. Mothers, Fathers, and Siblings. 4. Extended Family and Friends. 5. Supporting Each Other. 6. Adjusting to Life with ASD. 7. Top Ten Tips for Family Members and Friends. Appendix A. Helpful books and websites. References.