To many of the people who live or work with an individual with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the processes by which those with autism make sense of the world around them may seem mysterious. In Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism Wenn Lawson demonstrates these processes using comparisons from the non-ASD world to help professionals, families and carers to relate to and communicate with people with ASD better. Exercises at the back of the book encourage the reader to reflect on what has been discussed. The second part of the book contains chapters presenting a range of interventions and strategies for particular situations. Wenn illustrates her text with examples from her own life and from the lives of those she has met or worked with to clarify her points. She analyses ASD characteristics and examines interventions for dealing with social skills, anger management and self-esteem. Stress, its effects on the families of children with autism, and how best it can be alleviated, is also explored. Wenn writes in the light of her personal experience of an autism spectrum disorder as well as that of the available literature to create a book that is both readable and wide-ranging, furthering understanding of the links and differences between neurotypical individuals and those with ASD. Her book is an essential introduction to ASD for social workers, nurses, health professionals and those working in related fields.
Foreword by Margot Prior. 1. Introduction. PART ONE: THE SPECTRUM OF AUTISM: GENERAL CONCEPTS. 2. Keys to understanding the spectrum of autism. 3. Differences in 'a label'. 4. Factors that influence autistic expression. 5. Obessive, compulsive and self-injurious behaviour. PART TWO: THE SPECTRUM OF AUTISM AND STRESS-RELATED ISSUES. 6. Overview of ASD cognition and family stress: What does this mean in practice? 7. Anxiety. 8. What might it mean to acknowledge difference? PART THREE: IDEAS FOR ACTION. 9. Practical implications and interventions. 10. Social understanding. 11. Social stories. 12. Questions I have been asked. 13. Commonly asked questions about autism. 14. Exercises. Glossary. Appendices. References. Index.
I found it to be full of fascinating insights and observations which illuminate what it is like to have an autistic spectrum disorder... I think the personal insights offered in this book will make a significant contribution to our understanding of autistic spectrum disorders.
Wenn Lawson is a mother of four, who was originally diagnosed as being intellectually disabled, then in her teens, as being schizophrenic, and finally in 1994, as having an autism spectrum disorder. She has been married, separated and divorced, has experienced the death of one of her teenage sons, gone through moving from one country to another, losing friends and status due to being openly gay, faced ill health and recently come to terms with the fact that she is aging! Her youngest son was diagnosed at the age of 12 as having Asperger’s Syndrome. As a qualified counsellor, social worker and psychologist Wenn has operated her own private practice for many years. She is the author of five books, including Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism, and Build Your Own Life: A Self-help Guide for Individuals With Asperger’s Syndrome, both published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.