Childhood Disorders
Resources

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
12 and HoldingA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Lethal InheritanceA Mother's Courage: Talking Back to AutismA Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning AutismA Special EducationA Toss Of The DiceA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainABC of Eating DisordersADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your LifeADHD Grown UpADHD in the Schools: Assessment and Intervention StrategiesADHD NationAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAlpha GirlsAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAsperger Syndrome and Your ChildAsperger Syndrome, Adolescence, and IdentityAsperger's and GirlsAssessment of Childhood DisordersAttention Deficit DisorderAttention-Deficit Hyperactivity DisorderAttention-Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderAutism - The Eighth Colour of the RainbowAutism and MeAutism's False ProphetsAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBeen There, Done That? DO THIS!Before I DieBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBipolar ChildrenBipolar Disorder in Childhood and Early AdolescenceBipolar DisordersBipolar KidsBlackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive DevelopmentBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoy AloneBrain-Based Therapy with Children and AdolescentsBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingBullying PreventionBut I Love HimCan't Eat, Won't EatCaring for a Child with AutismCatalystChild and Adolescent PsychiatryChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChild and Adolescent PsychopathologyChild NeuropsychologyChild Well-BeingChildren and SexualityChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren with Sexual Behavior ProblemsChildren, Sexuality and SexualizationChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneCommunication Issues In Autism And Asperger SyndromeConcepts of NormalityConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinConsuming KidsContesting ChildhoodCount Us InCrackedCrossesCutCyber-Safe Kids, Cyber-Savvy TeensDamageDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDisconnected KidsDoing SchoolDon't Bother Me Mom--I'm Learning!Don't Pick On MeDying to Be ThinEarly Intervention Programs and PoliciesEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismEight Stories UpElijah's CupEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEpilepticEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEvery Girl Tells a StoryExiting NirvanaExploiting ChildhoodEye ContactFacing BipolarFamily HistoryFast GirlsForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillFrictionGirl CultureGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlhoodGirlWiseHandbook of Evidence-Based Therapies for Children and AdolescentsHandbook of Preschool Mental HealthHealing ADDHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Hyperactive KidsHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHelping Students Overcome Depression and AnxietyHelping Teens Who CutHollow KidsHope's BoyHow Infants Know MindsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHurry Down SunshineI Am Not Joey PigzaIdentifying Hyperactive ChildrenIf Your Adolescent Has an Eating DisorderIn the Company of CraziesIncorporating Social Goals in the ClassroomIntegrated YogaIntrusive ParentingIssues for Families, Schools and CommunitiesJake RileyJoey Pigza Loses ControlJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKim: Empty InsideLearning and Behavior Problems in Asperger SyndromeLearning Disorders and Disorders of the Self in Children and AdolescentsLearning Outside the Lines Let Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLook Me in the EyeLoserLove and SexLove That DogMad at SchoolMaking ADD WorkMaking American BoysManicMastering Anger and AggressionMaverick MindMedicating ChildrenMind FieldsMind to MindMommy I'm Still in HereMore Than a LabelMy Flesh and BloodMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNew Look at ADHD: Inhibition, Time, and Self-ControlNo Child Left DifferentNo Two AlikeNon-Drug Treatments for ADHDNot Much Just Chillin'NurtureShockOdd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the WoodsOvercoming ADHDOvercoming School AnxietyParenting a Child Who Has Intense EmotionsParenting Children With ADHDParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeople with HyperactivityPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPlease Don't Label My ChildPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Problem GirlsPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsPsychotherapy with Children and AdolescentsPurgeRaising a Moody ChildRaising BlazeRaising Generation RxRaising Resilient ChildrenReady or Not, Here Life ComesReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRemembering Our ChildhoodResilience in ChildrenRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRitalin NationRunning on RitalinRunning with ScissorsRutter's Child and Adolescent PsychiatrySeeing EzraSex and the American TeenagerSex, Therapy, and KidsSexting and Young PeopleSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShort Term 12Should I Medicate My Child?SmashedSnapshots of AutismSongs Without WordsSophie Spikey Has a Very Big ProblemSpeakStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStraight Talk about Psychiatric Medications for KidsStraight Talk about Psychological Testing for KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrange SonStudent DepressionSuicidal Behavior in Children and AdolescentsSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTemple GrandinThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Anti-Romantic ChildThe Bipolar ChildThe Boy Who Loved WindowsThe Boy Who Was Raised as a DogThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully Action GuideThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Burn JournalsThe Color of AbsenceThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Evolution of ChildhoodThe Explosive ChildThe Eyes of van GoghThe Fasting GirlThe Field of the DogsThe Flight of a DoveThe Hidden Gifts of the Introverted ChildThe Horse BoyThe Identity TrapThe Inner World of a Suicidal YouthThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Kindness of StrangersThe Last Normal ChildThe Little MonsterThe Medicated ChildThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Nurture AssumptionThe OASIS Guide to Asperger SyndromeThe Other ParentThe Perversion of YouthThe Philosophy of AutismThe Psychoanalytic Study of the ChildThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Ride TogetherThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Science of ADHDThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Survival Guide for Kids With LD*The Unhappy ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouThings Tom LikesThrough the Glass WallThumbsuckerTotally WiredTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreating ADHD and Comorbid DisordersTreatment of Childhood DisordersTwistedUnder the Wolf, Under the DogUnhappy TeenagersUnstrange MindsWastedWe've Got IssuesWeather Reports from the Autism FrontWhat about the KidsWhat in the World Are Your Kids Doing Online?What Works for Whom?What Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhat's Happening to Tom?When Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhose America?Why Don't Students Like SchoolWill's ChoiceWinnicott On the ChildWorried All the TimeYou Hear MeYoung Minds in Social WorldsYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?

Related Topics
Caring for a Child with AutismReview - Caring for a Child with Autism
A Practical Guide for Parents
by Martine Ives and Nell Munro
Jessica Kingsley, 2002
Review by Kristin Nelson, M.A.
Jan 24th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 4)

Ives and Munro have set a lofty goal for themselves in writing a practical guide to caring for children with autism.  For the most part they succeed in this endeavor.  The hallmark of this book is its understanding of the complexities of the medical, behavioral, social and learning issues presented by children with autism and its respect for the emotional, mental, physical and fiscal challenges these will present for parents. A lot of information has been packed into this deceptively small book.

The authors are at their best when compiling and interpreting technical information.  The chapter on “Explaining autism” is highly comprehensible without downplaying the complex nature of this disorder or the difficulty associated with diagnosing and treating it. To that end there is also a section on the history of autism.  It's interesting to note that autism wasn't identified until the mid 20th century and real interventions have only been available for the last twenty years.  There is also a lot of misunderstanding about autism in its short past that still affects the way parents and autistic children are viewed and treated today.

Another strength of the book is the integration of theory and application.  One of the theories behind autism is that of mind-blindness.  This theory is explained in the chapter “What causes autism” and is discussed again in the chapter on “Social ability” as the rationale behind social skills interventions and in the chapter on “Understanding behaviour” as the reason behind some problem behaviors that are common to autistic children.  So, while it is simple enough for the lay person to understand that autistic children have a problem making guesses about other people's emotional states or even recognizing that we don't all share one mind, it is more difficult to recognize this orientation as the cause of a particular problem behavior.  Passivity and lack of communication in some autistic children may be due, in part, to this mind-blindness – for example, they don't see the point of asking for a drink of water since, surely, their caretaker knows they are thirsty.  The ability of the authors to relate specific behaviors back to underlying theory is very useful for parents when trying to understand what drives their children's thoughts and behavior.

In addition to giving insights into the thoughts and behaviors of autistic children, the authors present a great deal of practical advice for everyday living. It is clear that they have done a lot of research into accommodations and modifications of environment that will enable children with autism to function at their highest level.  They have also done a credible job of addressing the problems that come with various ages and stages along the spectrum.  But the value of the practical advice is hit and miss.  Most of it is of the “It worked for me” ilk.  One example of this is the family that was bothered that their autistic child could not sit at the dinner table while eating.  He would get up and roam between bites.  This is very common behavior among autistic children.  The authors reported that this family solved the problem by removing the dinner plate after the child left the table and not bringing it back.  After a few nights of this the child realized that he had to stay at the table to get his meal.  This sort of solution is fine if it works, but it will not work for most children with this problem.  Many autistic children have sensory integration dysfunction and literally cannot sit still for any length of time.  There are special cushions designed to give sensory input to a child while sitting that might work for this sort of problem.  Another approach is simply to accept this limitation and worry about it when the child's sensory issues have been sufficiently addressed through therapy.

While a great effort has been made to help the reader understand the nature of autism and it's possible causes, this book really isn't a guide to addressing those problems or causes.  The authors state that “sensory disturbances may not be separable from autism,” yet they never mention the many available therapies designed to manage or treat sensory issues.  In fact, this is the biggest problem with the book.  Parents looking for guidance on choosing or prioritizing medical therapies and other interventions will find no such help in this book.   Even the most basic treatments are glossed over and there is no sense that the authors have given any thought to what it takes to formally address the problems of an autistic child – something most parents would consider an integral part of caring for such children.

This book is chock full of useful contacts – if you live in the UK.  These useful contacts are clearly intended to be a major attraction to this book.  However, outside of the UK they are fairly meaningless except for a few Internet URLs and a few resources listed in North America.  This local perspective also makes the chapters on “Sources of help” and “Education” a wonderful resource for those living in the UK, but next to useless for the non-UK audience.  Unfortunately these chapters are written procedurally rather than substantively so the information cannot be extracted and applied to the reader's home community.

Regardless of where one resides, the chapter on “Accepting the news” is a pertinent section of this book.  The authors stress the importance of taking the time to grieve for the loss of dreams and hopes already constructed and to make the time to build new ones.  They examine some of the problems parents will encounter, such as social isolation and criticism of parenting skills, and provide strategies and methods for coping with these.  This is one of the sections of the book that benefits greatly from the authors' apparent warmth and gentle humor. 

In short, this book is best for parents who have a new diagnosis of autism or are concerned that their child may have autism.  It will give them an excellent understanding of what the disorder is and what sorts of issues they may face in the future as well as some of the odd and humorous ways in which families with an autistic member manage to cope.  It is a strong and much needed grounding.  But it definitely doesn't get one very far down the path of addressing these issues.  That remains uncharted territory.  Or perhaps a follow-up book.

 

© 2003 Kristin Nelson

 

Kristin Nelson, M.A., is an assistant professor and medical ethicist at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Medical Center & Rush University in Chicago.  She is also the mother of three-year-old twins on the autism spectrum.


Share

Welcome to MHN's unique book review site Metapsychology. We feature over 7800 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than thirty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Can't remember our URL? Access our reviews directly via 'metapsychology.net'


Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from Amazon.com for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your Amazon.com purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!


Join our e-mail list!: Metapsychology New Review Announcements: Sent out monthly, these announcements list our recent reviews. To subscribe, click here.

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? Currently, we especially need thoughtful reviewers for books in fiction, self-help and popular psychology. To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716