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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 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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 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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
Educating Children With AutismReview - Educating Children With Autism
by Catherine Lord and James P. McGee, (editors)
National Academy Press, 2001
Review by Lynda Geller, Ph.D.
Jun 17th 2003 (Volume 7, Issue 25)

As anyone who browses the Internet or reads the popular press knows, autism is a topic being increasingly covered.  Unfortunately, the scientific validity of much of what appears before the public is questionable at best.  Legislators are torn between wanting to respond to desperate families and not really understanding what the state of the science is on critical issues.  School district personnel are frequently uneducated about what is and is not evidence based.  Parents are vulnerable to the claims of untested treatments as they search for help for their children.  The National Research Council has put together a group of experts in the field to examine the research evidence in a broad array of related fields on the topic of educational interventions for young children.  They have set forth what their criteria will be in assessing current research and they have organized this book around issues of key importance in the field of autism.  Most importantly, they have included a section entitled "From Research to Practice" at the end of most chapters that summarizes what is known, what further directions need to be taken, and how the research knowledge can inform effective practice.

Educating Children with Autism is meant for a professional audience, however, for thoughtful readers who are concerned about the merits of a wide variety of treatments, this is an excellent compendium of the scientifically based knowledge in the field and is much more approachable than attempting to review this literature oneself.  The topics that are covered in this book include diagnosis and its effect on program planning, family support issues, characteristics and effectiveness of treatment interventions and programs, governmental and policy issues, education and training needs in schools, and a summary of some of the problems in designing and conducting research that limits progress in this area.  The main limitation of this book is that it covers only educational interventions, although these are quite widely defined, and a small age segment, young children.  One hopes that this is only the beginning of such examinations on a wider array of topics about autism spectrum disorders.  This book is certainly thoughtful and evenhanded in its approach, even when treatments with no current evidence are reviewed.  Helping the public begin to understand what does and does not constitute scientific evidence, and this is an issue in all developing fields, is an important accomplishment of this committee of experts.

This book represents an important step in educating a larger readership than those personally engaged in research about autism.  Educational personnel who make decisions about children's lives, families who want what is best for their child, and professionals who provide education and treatment for children with autism should read this book, as it represents the best current summary of what is and is not known about educating young children with autism.  It is also a significant resource as a starting point for reviewing particular therapies and practices. 

 

© 2003 Lynda Geller

 

Lynda Geller, Director of Community Services and Education, Cody Center for Autism, SUNY Stony Brook


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