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Understanding and Working With the Spectrum of Autism:
An Insider’s View

by Wendy Lawson

Item: 9781853029714

Format: softcover
Pages: 224

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 Wendy 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. Wendy 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.

Wendy 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.

Table of Contents:

Part One: The Spectrum Of Autism: General Concepts
  • Keys to understanding the spectrum of autism
  • Differences in ‘a label’
  • Factors that influence autistic expression
  • Obsessive, compulsive and self-injurious behaviour

Part Two: The Spectrum Of Autism And Stress-Related Issues

  • Overview of ASD cognition and family stress: What does this mean in practice?
  • Anxiety
  • What might it mean to acknowledge difference?
Part Three: Ideas For Action
  • Practical implications and interventions
  • Social understanding
  • Social stories
  • Questions I have been asked
  • Commonly asked questions about autism
  • Exercises
Glossary. Appendices. References. Index.

“I particularly liked Wendy’s poems, which were simple and insightful accounts of her views on the world. I felt it was a real treat being allowed to read such personal memoirs… I feel that Wendy’s personal accounts, coupled with clearly written and concise information made this book a worthwhile read. I have no hesitation in adding it to my bookshelf.”
- Rochelle Mitchell, Teacher

“Wendy Lawson, the author of this book, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and, because of this, the content of enriched with fascinating personal insights. Chapters cover existing concepts about autism, how people and children with ASD express themselves, factors that induce stress and anxiety plus difficulties with social skills. In addition to this, the author explores practical ways of managing social contact, anger and stress. At the end of the book, there is a useful list of frequently asked questions with answers and revision exercises. The content helped me to gain a better insight into ASD and would be helpful for any occupational therapist working with either adults or children with ASD.”
- British Journal of Occupational Therapy

“This book helps parents and others to find ways into the world of the person with autism. Its aim is to explore the cognitive processes of the ASD individual, in the light of the author’s personal experience… The book contains practical suggestions for managing obsessive-compulsive behaviour, avoiding sensory overload and annxiety. It also offers tips for developing social skills which, Lawson argues, should be taught in social situations, to overcome ASD individuals’ difficulties in generalising… Overall, this book succeeds in bridging the gap between ASD and ‘neuro-typical’ individuals.”
- RCSLT Bulletin

“The purpose of the book is to increase awareness and understanding of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), and cognitive processes in individuals who have a diagnosis of ASD. Ultimatley, it aims to enable others to relate better to people with ASD. Wendy uses humour, relevant literature, practical issues, case histories, personal experience and her amazing poetry throughout the book, which definitely ensures the purpose of the book is achieved. Understanding and Working with the Spectrum of Autism: An Insiders View is an excellently written book which I would recommend to any professional, person with ASD, carers, or parents. Its ability to provide new insights into understanding ASD and how to deal with it also increased the reader’s awareness of the need to make ourselves better understood and more predictable to the person with ASD, rather than the other way round.”
- Michelle Griffin, Nurse Specialist, Community Behavioural Team, (Worcestershire NHS)

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