Books on Autism & the Family

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Band, Eve
When young people have questions about a brother or sister with autism or Asperger's Syndrome, clear answers are hard to find. 'Why does Daniel do that?' is the question ten year old Emily recalled asking her parents as a young child when she first sought to understand her older brother and his differences. Written by Eve Band, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, his book gives voice to Emily's story: her questions about her brother, her search for answers about autism, her exploration of her feelings as a sibling of a high-functioning autistic brother. Told in her voice, Emily's story is as uplifting as it is filled with valuable information for parents and siblings - or any individual whose life is touched by a person with autism or Asperger's Syndrome.

Barnhill, Anne
Anne's sister Becky was born in 1958, long before most people had even heard of autism. Diagnosed with "emotional disturbance," Becky was subjected for much of her childhood to well-meaning but futile efforts at "rehabilitation" or "cure," as well as prolonged spells in institutions away from her family. Painting a vivid picture of growing up in small-town America during the Sixties, Anne describes her sister's and her own painful childhood experiences with compassion and honesty. Struggling with the separation from her sister and the emotional and financial hardships the family experienced as a result of Becky's condition, Anne nevertheless found that her sister had something that "normal" people were unable to offer. Today she is accepting of her sister's autism and the impact, both painful and positive, it has had on both their lives. This bittersweet memoir will resonate with families affected by autism and other developmental disorders and will appeal to everyone interested in the condition.

Biddulph, Steven
From award-winning psychologist Steve Biddulph comes an expanded and updated edition of RAISING BOYS, his international best seller published in 14 countries. His complete guide for parents, educators, and relatives includes chapters on testosterone, sports, and how boys' and girls' brains differ. With gentle humor and proven wisdom, RAISING BOYS focuses on boys' unique developmental needs to help them be happy and healthy at every stage of life.

Braun, Betsy Brown
Parents are often perplexed by their children's typical behaviors and inevitable questions. This down-to-earth guide provides "Tips and Scripts" for handling everything from sibling rivalry and the food wars to questions about death, divorce, sex, and "whyyyy?" Betsy Brown Braun blends humor with her expertise as a child development specialist, popular parent educator, and mother of triplets. Whatever your dilemma or child's question -- from "How did the baby get in your tummy?" to "What does 'dead' mean?" to "It's not fair!" -- Betsy offers the tools and confidence you need to explain the world to your growing child.

Burke, Peter
Examining the overlooked subject of non-disabled siblings in families where there is a disabled child, Brothers and Sisters of Disabled Children details the experiences of these children and explores what it means to have a disabled brother or sister. Through family interviews and one-on-one meetings, Peter Burke records siblings' views on issues ranging from the everyday social restrictions of their lives and the discrimination they face at school; the difficulties of finding their own identity in 'disabled' families and competition for parental attention; through to their concerns about the future.

Camis, Jean
When I'm Away From Home is a workbook designed to provide specific information about the individual care requirements of a disabled child for anyone responsible for their care. It includes the child's medical and physical needs, their daily routine and a section which they can fill in themselves about their personality, preferences and habits. The workbook will benefit everyone involved: it will be an invaluable resource for the carer; the child, who may find it particularly difficult to understand and adapt to change, will benefit from the continuation of their everyday routine; and it may help to alleviate the anxieties of a parent or carer when they entrust their child into someone else's care. This clear and comprehensive workbook will help ensure that children's mental, physical, medical and emotional needs are met whenever they are being looked after by someone other than their primary carer.

Durand, Vincent Mark
This book offers professionals and parents, in a step-by-step approach, "How to" instructions for addressing a variety of sleep-related problems. These widely tested, largely drug-free techniques have helped hundreds of children with special needs.

Edwards, Becky; Armitage, David, Illustrator
Sammy's a special brother but he doesn't need special love -- he's just like any other brother. Sammy is autistic, and our narrator, Sammy's older brother, tells us how he (sometimes) wishes Sammy weren't so special. But as Sammy and his brother learn to share time together, our narrator discovers that he's 'lucky to have a special brother because that makes me special too.'

Ernsperger, Lori; Stegen-Hansen, Tania
This book is a much-need resource that specifically addresses the eating challenges of children who may have autism spectrum disorder (ASD), dysfunction in sensory integration (DSI), or other developmental delays. Poor oral-motor skills, physical impairments, a fear of new foods, and even a stressful mealtime environment can all contribute to eating problems and food aversions. In this guide, the authors provide invaluable information on the complexity of the eating process, the most common factors contributing to food aversions and food selectivity, and the creation of a written treatment plan. Chapters include: identifying a resistant eater; oral-motor development; environmental and behavioral factors that contribute to eating problems; sensory-based and motor-based problems; designing and implementing a treatment plan; environmental controls; gastrointestinal, physical, and oral-motor development; stages of sensory development for eating; and additional considerations. This is a comprehensive handbook for parents and professionals who live or work with resistant eaters.

Featherstone, Helen
In this wise, compassionate account, Helen Featherstone, educator and mother of a severely disabled child, traces the long, often heartbreaking road toward complete acceptance of disability. Drawing on interviews with parents and professionals, published accounts, and her own personal experience, she discusses how parents and siblings cope with their feelings of fear, anger, guilt, and loneliness. She also explains what kind of support and understanding can be provided by professionals - doctors, therapists, and teachers.

Feiges, Lynne Stern; Weiss, Mary Jane; Harris, Sandra L.
Sibling relationships involving a brother or sister with an autism spectrum disorder present enormous emotional and practical challenges throughout the life span. In a unique combination of narrative context and deeply moving first-person excerpts from interviews with 20 siblings, this informative guide offers in-depth coverage of the issues of paramount concern to typical siblings. A chapter devoted to coping strategies is enhanced by end-of-chapter professional advice on how to maximize the sibling relationship.

Frender, Sam
Brotherly Feelings explores the emotions that siblings of children with Asperger's Syndrome (AS) commonly experience. With illustrations throughout, this book will help siblings to understand that their emotional responses - whatever they are - are natural and OK. It is the ideal book for parents and professionals to use with siblings to discuss their emotional experiences, and will also help children with AS to form an understanding of the feelings of other family members.

Gray, David E.
Autism is one of the most mysterious and disabling of all childhood development disorders, commonly appearing in the second year of life. The object of this work is to explore aspects of the family's experience of autism, and in this regard, it offers a sociological account of what it is like to be parents of an autistic child. In doing so, certain issues are examined that are commonly addressed in the sociological study of the illness experience. These include stress, coping, stigma and notions of illness causation. An ethnographic approach informed the study's methodology, which combined in-depth interviews and participant observation. Thirty-three parents, whose children attended an autistic treatment center, were selected for study and, depending on their preferences, were interviewed at home or at the center. Interviews were also held at the center with key staff, including administrators and social workers. During most of the study, the author resided at the treatment center, which enabled him to learn how it operates and about the relations between the staff and the clients and the latter's parents. This text serves as an excellent resource for parents, families, therapists, professionals and those who work with autistic children.

Hames, Annette; McCaffrey, Monica
Special Brothers and Sisters is a collection of real-life accounts from the brothers and sisters of children with special needs, disability or serious illness, ranging in age from 3 to 18 years. They explain, in their own words, what it's like to live with their siblings. There is a lot of advice available for parents of a child with a disability or illness, but very little about the important issue of educating their siblings about how they feel, and why they may behave differently from other children. These stories -- from 40 different families -- come with related tips to help siblings deal with some of the things that happen in their family lives. The book also provides a helpful glossary to explain, in child-friendly language, the disabilities and medical conditions mentioned, including ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome. Special Brothers and Sisters is an engaging and educational collection that will enable young people and adults to share in the extraordinary experience of being a sibling of a child with special needs, a disability or serious illness.

Harris, Sandra L.; Powers, Michael D., Editor
An invaluable guide to understanding sibling relationships, how autism affects these relationships, and what families can do to support their children as they cope with the intensive needs of a child with autism.

Jacobs, Barbara
Asperger's Syndrome (AS) affects as many as one in ten people. With humour, optimism and compelling honesty throughout, this is an insightful handbook that provides invaluable practical advice, including: AS Facts and figures; Asperger's questionnaires; Advice and guidelines on diagnosis; Asperger's and employment; How to handle the difficult times; and Personal accounts from people with Asperger's. By researching expert opinions and telling her own compelling human story, Barbara Jacobs reveals the truth about those with Asperger's and all those who love them.

Johnson, Jane
Families of Adults with Autism is a collection of real-life stories of people on the autism spectrum growing up, as told by their parents and siblings. The individual accounts explore the challenges that families of people with autism have faced, and the techniques they have used to improve the quality of their children's lives, from mega-doses of vitamins and dietary changes to intensive interaction. The contributors also relate how they have worked with their children or siblings to help them to function at their highest possible level, be it showing an awareness of their environment, holding down a full-time job in a local store, competing in the Special Olympics, or achieving international recognition as an artist. This book will offer practical and heartwarming advice to families who are affected by autism spectrum disorders, and provide insights for professionals working with people with ASDs.

Karasik, Paul; Karasik, Judy
Meet the Karasiks, a typical middle-class 1960s family: one mother, one father, one daughter, and three sons, one of whom, David, has autism. The Ride Together is an extraordinary family memoir told in alternating chapters of comics and text. With a narrative that stretches over nearly fifty years, Paul and Judy Karasik -- he writes with pictures, she with words -- unite to relate the story of their family, their brother David, and the history of their relationship with him. In doing so, each comes to understand the responsibility David represents and the meaning his life gives theirs. In the pages of The Ride Together, David grows from child to man, remaining dependent on others, even as he witnesses his siblings leaving home -- and him for careers and lives of their own. He speaks in a code of his own; he performs his own versions of The Adventures of Superman and Face the Nation; he writes page after page of television synopses. What he understands of life and death no one can truly tell, yet David walks through his days with dignity and, as it turns out, endurance. At first glance the adventure of this book is its brilliant experiment of form -- the story of a brother with autism told in a style that is as unusual as the subject matter. But The Ride Together goes deeper than that: It takes a family that may appear strange to some -- like many families with disabilities -- and reveals a group of people whose acceptance of what life has dealt them helps them persevere through good times and bad. Praised by writers for its craft and by families for its authenticity, The Ride Together provides a remarkable portrait of a family with a difference.

Lieberman, Lisa Ackerson
This one-of-a-kind book discusses the pros and cons of hiring in-home care providers for children with autism spectrum and other neurological disorders. Everything from assessing the family's needs and core values to advertising for, interviewing, hiring and training care providers is discussed, along with the special considerations necessary to support the needs of children with neurological disorders.

MacDonald, James
Children with autism and their life partners - their parents, families, peers and educators - who are not on the autism spectrum can feel as though they live in separate, and even incompatible worlds. Communicating Partners, the result of over thirty years of clinical practice, research and professional teaching, offers an innovative approach to working with children with ASDs that focuses on developing these relationships through mutual understanding.

Martin, Earle P., Jr.
Today, more grandparents are taking an active role in the lives of their grandchildren with autism. This loving book began as a series of love letters from grandfather to grandson and grew into one of the most touching and insightful books we have to offer.

Martin, Nick
A long-awaited and much-needed book, Strengthening Relationships deals with the impact a special needs child has on the family and, most particularly, the parents' relationship. Subjects covered include avoiding blame, support and guidance; sex, affection, and intimacy; money matters; time alone; effective communication; divorce; and affordable child care. It even contains a six-week program for couples.

McCabe, Patrick; McCabe, Estelle; McCabe, Jared
For most people, family life means both love and compromise. Within families where one or more members have Asperger Syndrome (AS), this compromise becomes yet more crucial to mutual happiness. In a revealing and candid account, the McCabe family discusses how Patrick's AS affects each relationship - with his wife (Estelle), son (Jared), other family members, friends and colleagues - and how they have all learned to accommodate each other's varying needs. Focusing positively on the relationships that are both the most important and the most difficult to maintain, this book is invaluable for anyone closely involved with AS.

Medina, Kathy
Finding no books with Biblical references to help her face the challenges of raising a child with special needs, Kathy did intense research to bring back her hope. Listening to the many preachers on TBN and doing Bible studies, she studied Scriptures to help her understand God's plan for her child's life. Doctors and teachers offered no hope and told her to brace herself for the long, dark road she was now on. Raised in a Christian home and active in her local church, she knew in her heart that the God she serves is a God of mercy. Here are Scriptures to restore your hope, strengthen your faith and show you that God has a plan for your child's life. Scriptures to promise that God is listening to your every prayer, that He is watching the work and efforts being done on behalf of your children. Scriptures that will empower you to be strong and steadfast, reminding you that with God, nothing is impossible.

Naseef, Robert
When a child is born, family life changes forever. If that child has special needs, the changes can seem overwhelming. What are the daily blessings and challenges that await parents when their child is not who they expected? How can they deal with their complex emotions, build a relationship with their special child, and maintain family unity? Dr Robert A. Naseef, a professional psychologist and father of a son with autism, answers these critical questions with keen insight and honesty. Special Children, Challenged Parents is both a father's intensely personal journey and an invaluable professional guide for parents of children with disabilities.

Ogaz, Nancy
A real-life story about a young boy with a brother diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. In story-like fashion, text tells of the brother's relationship, their trials and tribulations, and ultimately, their genuine affection for each other.

Parker, Charles
"I think your child may be autistic" Those words are probably the most devastating that many parents have ever heard. Hearing those words could easily destroy some families. Those words could easily have destroyed us as a family but as you read on you will find out differently. Our philosophy is that life is all about choices, whether you choose to give up or fight on is your decision, but hopefully our words will be of some encouragement to help all of those in doubt to take the positive approach and fight on. We want you to take a step into our lives. If you don't know already what it is like, find out how an autistic child can completely change your life. We are not hiding anything; it is the bare, undiluted truth. The heartaches, the fears and the joy that we have learnt to accept. Where have we gone for help? How have we achieved so many goals? Perhaps more importantly, how have we remained sane? So many of our customers say you've always got a smile on your face, how? Well if you don't smile you would probably cry. Hopefully we have whetted your appetite and you want to find out more, but just before you turn the page here's our little secret. You see, just like many of you we have a mirror in our bedroom. Unlike most we use it every morning. You see when we get up we look in that mirror and smile and you know what. EVERY DAY WITHOUT FAIL WE GET A SMILE BACK! Having an autistic child myself, I can appreciate the support that parents will gain from this enthralling book. I am sure people worldwide will gain a greater awareness of autism.

Randall, Peter; Parker, Jonathan
The pressures, strains and sometimes joys of looking after a child with autism are increasingly recognized in professional and academic circles. This book presents key findings from a research study conducted by the Family Assessment Unit that involved many long discussions with the parents and siblings of children and young people with autism. The authors provide a unique approach dealing specifically with the needs of families informed interventions for helping the family units The authors demonstrate how autism affects parents, siblings and carers. They provide case studies that examine their experiences as individuals and as family units over the life course of their son or daughter, brother or sister with autism. They identify various stressors from this study and an examination of previous research in this area. For example, families often face enormous stress in having the disorder diagnosed. There is also the complex stress associated with increasing social and behavioural difficulties, and guilt arising from others labelling the parents 'mismanagement of the children. The authors examine the diagnostic process from the viewpoint of parents and primary carers and chart the developments that have taken place in research and practice with families. They develop strategies for supporting and empowering families to better assist their children with autism, including contingency management approaches. Supporting the Families of Children with Autism is a valuable resource for a wide range of professionals who work with autistic children and their families, including health visitors, specialist teachers, social workers and p'diatricians. It will be of interest to educational psychologists and families of children with autism.

Rolland, John S.
The first book to focus on the treatment issues of couples and families and the full range of chronic and life-threatening disorders that affect them.

Rosaler, Maxine

Rosenberg, Marsha Sarah
The first nine chapters in this book are devoted to describing what is known about autism (and related disorders), along with diagnosis and treatment and intervention. There are a few stories and observations in the first person, but for the most part the presentation is factual. The next four chapters consider the difficulties and joys of being a sibling to an autistic child, and advocacy. This section offers sympathetic and practical advice about dealing with negative feelings, overburdened parents, and curious neighbors. Peer support and when to get professional help are also discussed. There is not much available on this subject for a young audience, although much of the advice is similar to that in other books dealing with illness and disabilities in families. Though teens could also benefit from reading Sandra Harris's Siblings of Children with Autism (Woodbine House, 1994), it is written with parents in mind. -- School Library Journal

Schopler, E.; Mesibov, G. B.

Schwier, Karen Melburg; Hingsburger, Dave
Parents have a key role in making sure their child develops healthy sexuality, that sense of self and confidence that helps make us all well-adjusted and strong individuals. In this touching and lively book, you'll learn how to interact with your children - no matter their age or ability - in a way that increases self-esteem, encourages appropriate behavior, empowers them to recognize and respond to abuse, and enables them to develop life long relationships. Parents share with you the joys and challenges of raising a child with an intellectual disability as they offer you helpful advice and practical strategies. And you'll hear individuals with intellectual disabilities explain what's important to them. Let authors Karin Melberg Schwier and Dave Hingsburger show you, in this inspiring book, how to accomplish one of the most significant tasks every parent faces - raising a proud and confident son or daughter.

Sullivan, Connor; Sullivan, Danielle, Editor; Griffin, Christopher, Illustrator
The Perfect book for young siblings and as a guide for helping preschool and kindergarten-aged students better understand their peers with autism.

Thomas, Kate
Thomas' oldest grandchild is autistic, and the book is the story of the 10 years since Katie was diagnosed.

Webb, James
Raising a gifted child is both a joy and a challenge, yet parents of gifted children have few resources for reliable parenting information. The four authors, who have decades of professional experience with gifted children and their families, provide practical guidance in areas such as: Characteristics of gifted children; Peer relations; Sibling issues; Motivation & underachievement; Discipline issues; Intensity & stress; Depression and unhappiness; Educational planning; Parenting concerns; Finding professional help; and much, much more!

Wood, Annette
This is not a cotton candy story. It is from the perspective of a sibling who grew up in the fifties with a sister who had autism. Even less was known about the disorder than is understood today. Much has been learned in the last forty years. I have struggled with many issues loss, guilt, anger, resentment, embarrassment facing people today. I know how my life turned out. My experiences have something to say to others. In 1958, one in ten thousand was diagnosed with autism. One in 150 of those born today will be diagnosed with some form of autism, a developmental disability. That makes this a timely topic. Much information about autism is available today. Personal stories from the viewpoint of a sibling are rare.

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