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Autism is Not a Life Sentence: How One Family Took on Autism and WON! [Paperback]

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Item description for Autism is Not a Life Sentence: How One Family Took on Autism and WON! by Lynley Summers...

Summers takes a unique, and, to some, controversial, approach to teaching and parenting her daughter with autism by applying Chaos Theory in combination with more traditional behavior management strategies. The results have been extraordinary. Jessica, initially pronounced as limited to a self-contained classroom wearing a helmet to prevent self-abusive behaviors, is now an accomplished student in high school, composing music, writing stories, and speaking at conferences about life with autism.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   203
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 18, 2006
Publisher   Autism Asperger Publishing Company
ISBN  1931282889  
ISBN13  9781931282888  

Availability  0 units.

More About Lynley Summers

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Lynley Summers is a behaviorist working with children and adults across the autism spectrum. She is an advocate for children with disabilities and serves on the board of directors for the Arkansas Disability Coalition and the Arkansas State Medical Care Advisory Committee.

Lynley Summers currently resides in the state of Arkansas.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Personal Health > Children's Health > Autism & Asperger's Syndrome
2Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Personal Health > Children's Health > Special Needs Children
3Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > General
4Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Parenting > General
5Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Special Needs > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Autism is Not a Life Sentence: How One Family Took on Autism and WON!?

Out of Order Comes Chaos  Oct 7, 2007
This is one of the most beautiful and uplifting books I have ever read. Lynley Summers is a genius. It's as simple as that.

Ms. Summers' daughter, Jessica "Jazz," displayed severely autistic behaviors as an infant and toddler. Refusing to give in to the misguided so-called "experts" who held out minimal hope for Jazz, Summers worked diligently with her child. Instead of institutionalizing her (this was in the early 1990s, not the Dark Ages of the pre-1980s) or relegating her to special classes where she would have to wear protective headgear, Summers implemented some very clever and creative programs for Jazz.

She took each behavior as an individual area to challenge. Just as many with autism process and follow information when it is presented in manageable amounts, Summers used this same approach with Jazz. Since her child adhered to routine, she decided to introduce chaos. In lay terms, she explains the chaos theory (and did such a good job that it piqued my interest and I started learning more about it) and how it could be applied to Jazz. She threw the girl's schedule into total chaos; every night dinner was served at a different time; Jazz did not know if she was taking her bath before or after dinner. The same approach was used throughout their day. Some afternoons they might take a walk; others they might read inside. Over time, this "chaotic method" paid dividends and was applied throughout various aspects of their lives.

I like the way Summers was honest with Jazz; I love the fair approach she took when administering discipline. If Jazz broke any rules, she could count on some repercussions. Similarly, if Summers broke an agreement she had made with her daughter, then she, too had to do without something she especially enjoyed.

Their horizons expanded; Summers graduated from college and moved out of state with Jazz. Jazz even spent her 4th and 5th grade years in Japan because of Summers' job transfer. Her performance exceeded any the so-called experts had predicted for her. Instead of special classes, she had occupational and speech therapy at home. Each activity outside of school was therapeutic. Jazz discovered that she had high reasoning skills; became conversant and literate in Japanese and, by 2002 became a loving sister to two step-brothers who all complemented one another well.

Averie, the younger brother was also on the autistic spectrum. The chaos method worked with him as well. He and Jazz have demonstrated extraordinary musical prowess and both have impressive academic track records.

I love this book; I especially love Jazz' insights about her nonverbal days which she called The Void. A gifted writer, she is at the time of this review working on her own book. I am looking forward to reading it. The trust in God both mother and daughter have beautifully underscores the triumphs they have enjoyed. Their faith stands out like a shining beacon throughout this stellar book.

This highly inspirational book makes me think of the 1962 song Elvis sang, "Follow That Dream" because Lynley, Jazz, Steve and the boys followed their dreams wherever their dreams led them. I love this book!
Inspiring Story  Feb 16, 2006
Initially upon reading the cover and starting the book I thought this was an "I know how to cure autism" book. As the mother of three children with autism spectrum disorder/Asperger Syndrome, I am hypersensitive and probably overreactionary when I perceive that message. But I was wrong, this isn't that kind of book at all! This is an inspirational story of a mother and daughter as they face the daily challenges of living and loving through autism. Indeed, necessity is the mother of invention, and Lynley took it upon herself to invent some very creative ideas for helping her daughter, Jazz. I enjoyed her thoughts on chaos theory and how she implemented it as a tool for helping her daughter be able to adapt more readily to a changing schedule. Plus, I could so strongly identify with the emotions she expressed as a mother and this greatly endeared this book to me. There were moments that touched my heart so deeply, particularly the story of her daughter having a major meltdown at the grocery store because it is a common experience for so many parents, including myself. A public humiliation. And yet, Lynley held her head high, continuing to put items in her grocery cart and checking out despite being an absolute mess. As a mother Lynley embodies the, I'm down but I'm not out, and I'm fighting back spirit. She's not fighting against autism, she is fighting FOR her daughter. And with her dedication and the grace of God, she has helped Jazz grow into quite a charming and successful young woman. This book will inspire many to follow their hearts and not give up even when things seem hopeless.

Kristi Sakai, parent of 3 children with ASD and author of
Finding Our Way: Practical Solutions for Creating a Supportive Home and Community for the Asperger Syndrome Family
Absolutely FABULOUS!  Feb 1, 2006
This is an incredible book for which I HIGHLY recommend to ANYONE! This book is applicable to anyone and should not be limited to Autism alone.
Great Story  Jan 31, 2006
This book tells the story of a family that has autistic children. Artistically written, Dr. Summers shows that autism is not necessarily a bad thing; it's not a disease; and that people overcome it.

I would have liked to been able to read a few more "Jessica Speaks" and maybe have added an "Alex Speaks" to tell how he feels about his autistic siblings.

All in all, this is an amazing book that everyone should read.
Dr. Summers has done a great job.
Easy Read - proven methods  Jan 25, 2006
Lynley's daughter was a beautiful infant that laughed walked sang and danced. She talked and played and then disappeared. Her mother refused to give up and and worked with her. Her methods are proven. Jazz is now 16 years old and is a 4th generation National Honor Society Student. Highly recommended for parents and caregivers of Autistic Children.

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