Item description for Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges by Laura Hendrickson...
Overview With an approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges those caring for autism spectrum children face, this book gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created them to be. --From publisher description
Publishers Description It seems that nearly everyone knows a family with an autism spectrum child. Most recent figures suggest that the prevalence of all autism spectrum disorders in the United States is an astonishing 1% of the population in the United States, translating to twelve million parents and grandparents that are seeking answers. There are many books available on how to cure an autistic preschooler, but none on how to raise one to adulthood. These promised cures raise parents' hopes, but most parents will find that they are dealing with a lifelong challenge no matter what they do. Dr. Laura Hendrickson is a trained psychiatrist, biblical counselor----and the mother of an autistic child. She understands the struggles parents face as they try to communicate with their autism spectrum child and manage behavior challenges. Building on Dr. Hendrickson's medical background as well as her practical experience, Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum presents autism spectrum disorders as a different developmental pathway rather than a disability. Dr. Hendrickson has seen that those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders can make significant contributions to their world. And as a parent of an autistic child, she is able to offer practical solutions to the problems parents face. Dr. Hendrickson does not deny that autism is a serious challenge, but addresses specific ways to work with a child according to his developmental differences, or way, to raise his level of function. With an approach that is grounded in a deep understanding of the challenges those caring for autism spectrum children face, Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum gives the reader sound, practical tools for understanding how to guide an autism spectrum child to function more fully as the person God created them to be.
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Studio: Moody Publishers
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.7" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.46 lbs.
Release Date Feb 1, 2009
Publisher Moody Publishers
ISBN 0802445055 ISBN13 9780802445056
Availability 0 units.
More About Laura Hendrickson
DR. LAURA HENDRICKSON (MD, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine; Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology) was a medical doctor and board certified psychiatrist. She was a member of the National Association of Nouthetic Counselors and author of "Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum, Will Medicine Stop the Pain?" and co-author of "When Good Kids Make Bad Choices." She lived in Southern California with her husband, Daniel, before her passing.
Reviews - What do customers think about Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum: Discovering Unique Strengths, Mastering Behavior Challenges?
Good christian focus May 29, 2010
I would have to say the best thing about this book is her main theme that God has created your child for His purpose and Glory and we need to understand this as parents. When we put the 'pressure' on ourselves that we are responsible for everything, we are taking away from what God has planned for our child's lives. This is what I will take from the book and continue to use to encourage me on my journey with my son.
I too am dissapointed with her empahsis on ABA. Teaching children only to perform 'behaviours' without getting them to 'think' is not my idea of the best therapy. Yes, some ABA has it's place- especially when problem behaviours need to be dealt with, but there are many behaviours that are rotely taught without any thought. Mostly, I am dissapointed that near the end of the book she gives a short little summary of other methods and then says whether she can recommend them or not. Personnally, I don't feel she has enough expertise on them to give her recommendations. She says positive about the RDI program and would recommend it, but recommends doing ABA first. If she did more thorough research on RDI, she would learn that they are somewhat opposed to ABA and actually teach that ABA methods make your child more 'Autistic'. I know this because I have just completed 6 months on the RDI program and watched their parent teaching and educational videos. #By the way, I do really like the RDI program and think it has wonderful benefits- used alongside other methods#.
She says she can not recommend the 'Neurodevelopmental' approach basically because of a quote by the Americal Pediatric Assocation #I think that's the one#. The brief summary she gives seems very basic compared to what I have learned about it from the workshops attended. I do not feel that she has done enough research herself on this approach to give her recommendation. IF she did, she should have made it more clear. Has she talked to people who have used the approach? Have there been survey/stats done? From stories of parents I have talked to, children who the medical system told them would never walk, talk, read, write, ride a bike, etc... are doing exactly those things because of the heurodevelopmental approach. So I wouldn't debunk it based on an Associations view. Most medical association systems today seem to be opposed to anything that leaves a large part of their child's therapy in the hands of the parents! They feel that parent's are inadequate and should be going to the 'professionals'. I am in no way against the professionals- I believe we need to learn all we can- but professionals are biased too! I also understand that the neurodevelopmental approach is supposed to help all kinds of 'brain injured' children, and may not be as effective for autistic children as say a Downes Syndrom child. However, it can help with a lot of sensory related issues, and once those issues are dealt with, open the door for much more learning to occur.
Good resource for parents of children on the spectrum Jan 31, 2010
I found the author's personal experiences with her child to be helpful and inspiring. She also gave good information on how to deal with behavioral challenges, such as stims and obsessions. I liked that instead of trying to get her son to completely stop talking about his obsessions, she dialogued with him and helped him to understand that other people may have differing views on the topic he obsessed about. I did feel at times, she overly pushed the ABA program. This is a good program for many, but not all. I wish she had focused more on what parents can do at home, focusing more on play approaches and working on your child in his or her natural setting. Another thing I found frustrating which the author probably couldn't control is the font of the book. It was such small type that it was difficult to read. It was almost like they were trying to get the book printed in less pages, so they decreased the font size. I have to say I love the cover art and the title, which intrigued me. I wish though she had spent more time talking about things that she did at home with her son that helped and less on her opinion of the various approaches.
I'm the author of this book Mar 27, 2009
I'm the author of this book. I'm writing this review to explain a few things about the unique focus of Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum, and how I think it can be helpful for those who have an autism spectrum child in their lives.
Although I am trained as a psychiatrist, I'm not writing as an autism treatment professional. I'm writing as a parent. This book is not a treatment manual, nor is it an exhaustive resource on the various available treatments for autism. There are many excellent books like this already available, and I hope that you'll consult them to learn more about what your options are.
Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum also is not a memoir of my work with my son, although I do discuss how I helped him. Eric was very severely autistic at age 3. He was mute, didn't understand what we were saying, and had self-injurious stims. The doctors told us that he was retarded. But at age 17 he was his high school valedictorian, and today he's an honor student at a very competitive university. I do assume that you'll want to know how he got from where he began to where he is today, but this is not my main purpose in telling his story.
I believe that every parent, grandparent, family member, and Sunday school teacher can make a difference in the life of a spectrum child by better understanding what I call his "way." I hope that as you read about Eric's life (told with his generous permission), you'll begin to see how you can discover your own child's unique way. Although I started on my autism journey with professional qualifications that you probably don't have, I believe that any parent or nonprofessional helper can learn to do the same things that I did.
I didn't write Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum to show you the one and only guaranteed method for producing improvement in your child. In fact, I don't believe that there is any one and only guaranteed method! But I do believe that, whatever your child's challenges may be, you can help him achieve the potential that God has placed in him. My book isn't intended to replace any treatment or educational approach you may choose. Rather, it's intended to supplement it. As your child comes home every day from school or early intervention, what can you do to help him grow in areas of function that are important to you, especially at home? This is the kind of question that it answers.
Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum offers real hope to parents and loved ones of spectrum kids. God created each and every child, including our spectrum kids, for a purpose. Our job as parents is to work with our children's differences instead of against them, to help them develop into the unique adults that God had in mind when He created them. If we see our role in this way, instead of focusing on "remediating deficits," the focus of our hope will also begin to change. Instead of hoping that our child will become as much like a typical kid as possible, we'll begin to see him as unique and precious just the way he is, even if he never becomes class valedictorian or a college honor student. Every child can learn, even those who turn out to have very limited potential, and every parent, grandparent, family member, and Sunday school teacher can be a part of helping him grow to be everything he's capable of becoming!
Most importantly, I didn't write Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum as a celebration of my own brilliant parenting, but as an honest expression of the things I struggled with, and especially my failures as I sought to walk with Eric in his way. I hope that this will encourage parents, because I know how hard we can be on ourselves. We think that we're the only ones struggling. We worry that our children won't make enough progress and it will be our fault. So I hope that hearing me speak honestly about my own failures will enable you to be easier on yourself. I didn't do it perfectly either, and God was still faithful to use my faltering efforts in Eric's life.
My prayer is that Finding Your Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum will be a blessing to many parents and loved ones of spectrum kids, regardless of their circumstances. May you be strengthened and encouraged as you walk with your precious child in his own unique way!
Retitle: Finding MY Child's Way with ABA Mar 23, 2009
This book should have been titled "Finding My Child's Way on the Autism Spectrum with ABA." Dr. Hendrickson has impressive credentials, however one has to wonder how many children on the autism spectrum she's actually worked with. Nearly every example in this book describes interactions between herself and her son. The rest are of public figures. While this makes for a decent autobiography, it doesn't cut it for a book that is supposed to be "self-help/how-to."
I can only recommend the final two chapters, which contain some counseling for parents. Dr. Hendrickson would have been much better served writing her entire book from the material in chapters 8 and 9. The Bible verses and counseling insight she shares are incredibly useful, no matter where one is on the autism-parent journey.
Instead, she attempted to write a parenting manual. Unfortunately, she is a strong advocate for ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) and spanking. While these methods work for many children including her son, they are not panaceas. There are children for whom ABA methods are too restrictive. There are also children for whom spanking actually provokes additional behaviors rather than extinguishing old ones.
The following topics are conspicuously absent from her book: *analysing behavior with the ABC method (Antecedent, Behavior, Consequence) *using visual communication strategies *using token systems and other non-spanking discipline methods *using sensory integration strategies *teaching pragmatic (social) speech skills *teaching children to read non-verbal cues *improving executive functioning skills (problem solving, organization, etc.)
While she does mention severely autistic children from time to time, she does not offer any real solutions for their parents. In fact, a few of her suggestions would be damaging for a couple of the children I have worked with. She's also dismissive of public school programs, even though she never tried one for her son.
If you are a Christian parent whose higher-functioning child is just beginning his journey with ABA, then this book may be of use to you. If not, you'll have to look elsewhere. It is truly a shame that Hendrickson's biblical insight and counseling expertise are overshadowed by her advocacy for ABA.
Will be sound advice and a close companion to moms and dads of children on the autism spectrum Mar 4, 2009
Dr. Laura Hendrickson, a biblical counselor and former psychiatrist, has composed an excellent resource for assisting parents to learn how to best raise their child given any challenges he or she might have on the autism spectrum. Hendrickson, herself the mother to a now adult son with autism, writes with a genuineness that cannot be lightly dismissed. Every mother's (and father's) heart will be torn right alongside Hendrickson's as she tells of getting that first diagnosis when Eric was three years old.
As a physician and an attentive mom, Hendrickson knew something was wrong when she would take Eric and their family dog to the beach on daily jaunts and it was her son who would be sitting alone, contentedly, far away from the water's edge (and noise) while their dog fearlessly ran the beach. Recounting those earlier memories, Hendrickson explains how she now understands that Eric couldn't handle the loud crashing of the waves, and he would cry alarmingly or alternately sit and stare vacantly.
Interestingly, it was the childhood film Dumbo that put a vision of what Eric could achieve in his mom's heart. She recalls saying to the Lord soon after the diagnosis, "Lord, I believe that You can do anything. Please make Eric soar." In line with the story itself, Eric "tripped" up a lot in the growing up years, but eventually he did soar. Hendrickson can help you help your child soar as well.
Threaded throughout this text, Hendrickson weaves Eric's story and her own, thus personalizing every challenge they overcame and making it "real" to other parents who are struggling to maintain a hopeful attitude in the home, despite the circumstances. Parents will appreciate her firm conviction that God doesn't make mistakes and that, despite what the media might suggest, every child is born with a purpose no matter how "disabled" or "dysfunctional" they might appear to outsiders. Readers will become educated on the various testing involved in diagnosing autism and Asperger's syndrome, what types of treatments are available, a comprehensive glossary of terms, how to deal with the emotional trials (of the child and the parent), and how to appeal to the child's heart and educate his or her mind.
Especially helpful is the chapter titled "Stims, Rituals, and Obsessions," in which Hendrickson discusses the whys and wherefores of children and teens with autism. Eric's stim (self-stimulation) was to pick at his face until it left scars. Somehow, for autistic kids, such stims make them feel better and these habits help to relieve anxiety, frustration and boredom. Though difficult to break, Hendrickson explains how mothers and fathers can help their child to stop. And she reminds parents that non-autistic people have habits, too, such as drumming fingers on a tabletop or twirling one's hair around a finger. Kids with autism simply take these behaviors further than "typical" children.
From infancy to adulthood, FINDING YOUR CHILD'S WAY ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM will be sound advice and a close companion to moms and dads of children on the autism spectrum. Families across the country will be encouraged and fortified after reading this timely, carefully researched and user-friendly book.