Covering verbal and non-verbal communication, Paddy-Joe Moran presents 35 simple tips and strategies to help professionals improve their communication and relationships with individuals on the autism spectrum. The language that professionals choose to use can have a long-term impact on autistic people. This book provides easy-to implement suggestions to guarantee effective and sensitive communication. It explains everything from person-first language through to the use of specific, rather than open-ended, questions, and a focus on taking the individual's lead with their preferred language and terminology is central to the book.
Introduction. 1. Person first language - to use it or not? 2. Use non-patronising language. 3. Use age-appropriate language. 4. Use neutral language. 5. Let yourself be guided on preferred terminology. 6. Don't use the word normal. 7. There is nothing `mild` about Asperger syndrome. 8. Say `on the spectrum`. 9. Address the person directly. 10. Refer to parents by name. 11. Adapting your language and the way you speak. 12. You will be taken literally. 13. Sarcasm. 14. The use of functioning labels. 15. Non-verbal vs pre-verbal. 16. Pre-conceived ideas. 17. Appearances can be deceptive. 18. Triad of Impairments. 19. Giftedness is not a given. 20. Autism is a neurological condition. 21. Autistic person, not patient. 22. No need to grieve. 23. Puzzling. 24. Facial expressions. 25. Body language. 26. Environment. 27. Physical contact. 28. Have a time limit on the session. 29. Offer breaks during sessions. 30. Explain what will be happening, and when. 31. Stick to the plan. 32. Ask specific rather than open-ended questions. 33. Pace your speech. 34. Alternatives to non-verbal communication. 35. Things to consider when offering food. Conclusion.
Many of the strategies describe good practise for working with any individual, regardless of specific or additional needs... The main thrust of the book is that, as practitioner, we should remember that we are not treating a diagnosis but working with a child or young person, and the overall theme is of responding to the individuals we work with in a more compassionate and dignified manner.
Paddy-Joe Moran was diagnosed with autism when he was eight. He is a writer and blogger and runs the online advice service Ask-Pergers?. Paddy-Joe co-authored Helping Children with Autism Spectrum Conditions through Everyday Transitions and Create a Reward Plan for your Child with Asperger Syndrome, both published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. He is based in Manchester, UK.