FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Helping Children with Autism Learn: A Guide to Treatment Approaches For Parents and Professionals

By Bryna Siegel, Ph.D.

Published by Oxford
June 2003; $30.00US; 0-19-513811-2

 

Bryna Siegel gives parents of autistic children what they need most: hope. Her first book, The World of the Autistic Child, became an instant classic, illuminating the inaccessible minds of afflicted children. Helping Children With Autism Learn: A Guide to Treatment Approaches for Parents and Professionals Now she offers an equally insightful, thoroughly practical guide to treating the learning disabilities associated with this heartbreaking disorder.

 The trouble with treating autism, Siegel writes, is that it is a spectrum disorder -- a.orgbination of a number of symptoms and causes. To one extent or another, it robs the child of social bonds, language, and intimacy -- but the extent varies dramatically in each case. The key is to understand each case of autism as a discrete set of learning disabilities, each of which must be treated individually. Siegel explains how to take an inventory of a child's particular disabilities, breaks down the various kinds unique to autism, discusses our current knowledge about each, and reviews the existing strategies for treating them. There is no simple cure for this multifarious disorder, she writes; instead, an individual program, with a unique array of specific treatments, must be constructed for each child. She gives practical guidance for fashioning such a program, empowering parents to take the lead in their child's treatment. At the same time, she cautions against the proliferating, but questionable, treatments hawked to afflicted families. She knows the panic to do something, anything, to help an autistic child, and she offers parents reassurance and support as well as sensible advice,.orgbining knowledge from experience, theory, and research.

 For parents, autism in a child is heartbreaking. But it need not be overwhelming. Bryna Siegel offers a new understanding, and a practical, thoughtful approach, that will give parents new hope.

 Author

Dr. Bryna Siegel is Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco and Director of its Autism Clinic. As a developmental psychologist specializing in developmental disabilities, she has worked with families of children with autism for the past 25 years. She has closely studied early diagnosis for autism, diagnostic methods, and the effect of autism on the family. Her books include The World of the Autistic Child: Understanding and Treating Autistic Spectrum Disorders (OUP, 1996) and What About Me?: Siblings of Developmentally Disabled Children. She lectures frequently to parents and professionals,.orgparing and contrasting treatments for autism and focusing on how to design and tailor treatment programs for the individual child.

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"We each have our own way of living in the world, together we are like a symphony.
Some are the melody, some are the rhythm, some are the harmony
It all blends together, we are like a symphony, and each part is crucial.
We all contribute to the song of life."
...Sondra Williams

We might not always agree; but TOGETHER we will make a difference.

 

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